It all started in 1998 when Westerly resident Margo Imes attended a Baxter Black show. There was a poet that opened up for Baxter and Margo thought to herself, “I can write better than that.”
So, she did. Margo wrote poetry for years and decided to try cowboy poetry since she had 16 years of experience with horses, cows and farm work. The first poem she wrote, she shared with friends and everybody wanted a copy. She continues to share her work by reciting her cowboy poetry around the Midwest at benefit/fundraiser events, book clubs, organizations that need programs and church groups. She has even had her work published in a poetry book called “The Big Roundup.”
Besides proving to herself that she was more talented than that opening act at the Baxter Black show years ago, Margo enjoys writing cowboy poetry because it is therapeutic to her. The cowboy way of life is also something she and her husband, Vern, have shared for 22 years.
It wasn’t until the two attended a whistle dance that they met. The dance requires you to dance with your partner for about 15 seconds and when the whistle blows you switch partners. The theme event encouraged dancers to dress like their favorite athlete. Margo’s favorite athlete was a barrel racer, so she dressed up as a cowgirl. As the two danced, Vern asked her if she was a real cowgirl and Margo responded, “yes!”
For several years, the two of them were part of the Mounted Sheriff’s Posse where they patrolled parades, Riverfest, zoo day and crowd control at large events. They rode their own horses and carried their own guns, since the organization was volunteer with only the uniforms provided.
Vern and Margo have lived at Westerly since January 2018, where they enjoy the people, communication and companionship with fellow residents.
If you’re interested in reading Margo’s work, her cowboy poetry books are in the Westerly library in books called “Pony Tales” and “Pony Tales II.”
PHOTOS: At the very top, right, are Margo & Vernon Imes as part of the Mounted Sheriff’s Posse. Left is Margo who wrote “Singles’ Dance” about the time she and Vern first met. It isn’t traditional cowboy poetry, which tells stories about the trail rides and has a surprise or humorous ending.