May 22, 2015

"Ride 'er Careful, Joe"



By Joleen Kartchner


Published in Utah Heritage Remembered in 1996

by the two Blanding Stake Relief Societies for the State Centennial



The year of our Lord was 1905,
His job was to carry the mail.
At age 15 he had yet to learn fear
He’d been down more than one dusty trail.

He would leave Cortez at 4 AM
And at 6 he would ride into Bluff.
For this long ride of 14 hours,
A dollar would be payment enough.

Tying a bundle onto the saddle,
The young man was ready to go.
Jess Majors, the Boss, tipped his hat and said, 
“Ride ‘er careful, Joe.”

The Trail was long and tiresome,
The raven’s cry would set his mind adrift.
A windstorm to break the monotony
Gave the boy’s youthful spirit a lift.

Thunder and lightning were his favorite,
He’d holler while the rains pelted down.
After one such storm, folks heard him say
“If it weren’t for my hat, I’d have drowned.”

From the top of the cliff there were switchbacks
Leading down to the valley below.
If you choose to stay in the saddle,
“Ride ‘er careful, Joe.”

A fiery buckskin was saddled,
Stamping the ground while her eyes followed him.
She loved to bite and would bolt and run
Whenever her mind got the whim.

She was spooked by lizards and blowing leaves
And spirits inside of her head.
Her craziness nearly cost him his life
So he ran her until she was dead.

If we were to walk through those Pearly Gates
And watch a Spirit Rodeo,
You can bet we’d hear the angels say,
“Rider ‘er careful, Joe.”

When the trails seem rough and rocky
I must travel along on my way,
When I cannot see the goodness
Amid the wickedness of the day.

When I feel my burden is heavy,
The weight too heavy for me to bear,
When I seek for help and knowledge’
And someone who’ll love me and care.

My answer comes in a whisper,
A spirit from long, long ago.
“Go to the Lord in fervent prayer,
And ride ‘er careful, Jo.”

1 comment:

Miner Family said...

Excellent writing and inspirational message!