Barbecue,good times and deep belly laughs.
Those are just a few of the ways to describe the annual Sunny Hancock/Leon Flick Memorial Cowboy Poetry Show that took place at Paisley’s Community Hall on Friday, July 27.
The evening kicked off at 4 p.m. with a barbecue in preparation for the live auction starting at 6:30 p.m. A few of the Paisley 4H members could be seen moving around the room, assisting in the food clean up and distribution in their vibrant, lime green shirts.
Before the auction began, event emcee and award winning writer, Kathy Moss, presented the Sunny Hancock/Leon Flick scholarship to Violet Wilson. Over the last four years, $4500 in scholarships have been awarded; this year’s awarding $1000. The scholarship is specifically targeted for a rancher or agriculturally oriented individual.
Money raised from the event goes toward the scholarships and a crisis/emergency-fund as well, which allows the fund raiser the ability to provide $200 in immediate cash for a medical or unexpected crisis to a ranch hand family in need.
The Community Hall was packed with dozens of visitors, eager to shoot their hands high in the sky, bidding to purchase some of the 35 items on display at the event.
The event’s organizer, Billie Flick, was impressed with the turn out of the auction.
Some of the highest won item price points were two separate headstalls, embellished with silver, each going for $450. Along with that, a unique poem transferred onto an original photograph by Kathy Moss went for $460.
Altogether, the auction raked in $8000 in earnings, setting the stage for an evening of music and poems to follow.
As the crowd exited the Community Hall, the tent outside where Brenn Hill and Andy Nelson would perform started to fill; enough to run out of chairs, leaving standing room only in the back.
The night wouldn’t have been the same without the two performers, both very good friends of Flick’s late husband, Leon Flick. After running into Hill and Nelson after a show at the Oregon Cattleman’s Association Convention, Flick asked the duo if they would be interested in performing in Paisley.
“I didn’t think they would come since it’s so small,” said Flick. “But, they said they would if we could get it put together.”
After agreeing on a generous price point to come perform, the wheels started churning and the show started growing some legs.
The evening led off with a few original poems from Moss, warming up the crowd for the headliners.
Hill entered, strumming his acoustic guitar and preformed one number with Moss before making way for Nelson to be greeted on stage.
As the daylight faded, the crowd hung on every word sang by Hill and recited by Nelson. There were acts that brought thundering laughs, and those that brought a few to tears.
There were performances of devotion, family and memories. One specifically reminiscing on Nelson’s confusion with what his daughter and her friends knew as a thong (underwear), and what he did (flip-flops) had the whole crowd trying to catch their breath from laughter.
The night ended with another original from Moss, shutting down the show and setting up the night’s final performance by the Jody Cooper band out in the lot.
Flick plans to get together with the event’s higher ups on Aug. 7 for the post show meeting to discuss next years date and performers.
“We’re going to see what did well and what we should change,” said Flick. “Each year the whole thing gets a little bit better, a little bigger, and a little more people know about it.”
Anyone interested in donating to the Hancock/Flick fund can contact Flick at 541-947-2635.