“The Legend of Missouri Walt”
The following poem was read at the retirement reception for Walt Nolte held to mark his retirement from Casper College. The poem was written and read by Ken Anderson of Trenton, Missouri. Ken is the husband of Joanna Anderson, former vice president for student services at Casper College, and currently president of State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Missouri.
“Dr. Nolte is a great fan of a certain Seattle-based coffee chain and is even less of a cowboy than I am. He provided leadership for a lot of change in his 11 years. A new gateway building, student union/dining hall, residence hall, early childhood learning center, and music building were built. Other additions included a ranch with barns for the rodeo team. Many buildings were remodeled and the Tate Museum acquired mammoth and T-Rex skeletons. Though at first he met with resistance, by the end of his tenure all were sorry to see Walt retire.
“In downtown Casper, Wyoming there is a sculpture of a cowboy on a horse carrying a calf and wading through deep snow. It is titled ‘20% Chance of Flurries.’ That was the forecast in 1980 when a late spring blizzard dropped three and a half feet of snow and many livestock perished.”
The Legend of Missouri Walt
Wyoming ranchin’ can be a bit tough,
There’s droughts and there’s blizzards, and all sorts of stuff.
And the wind! Last week, it blew away Pete, with all of his gear.
And worse is that Pete and his hoss, was still roped to our steer.
Snow here’s so common that it causes few worries,
Just beware when there’s twenty per-cent chance of some flurries.
Of critters we’ve plenty; of people there’s few,
And there’s no ugly trees obstructin’ the view.
The boss come around in the summer’a 04;
Said there’d be a new foreman step through our door.
Now real cowboys don’t come from the state of Missouri–
That’s all baldknobbers, and mules that’re too stubborn to hurry.
So we’d have to be patient an’ show him the ropes.
We’d teach him to be like our last Segundo … that was our hope.
But we run into trouble, it really weren’t fun …
Cause this Walt had his own ideas, about how a ranch should be run.
Some cowpokes just shrugged; they ride for the brand.
But others was addelpated, and griped and complanned …
But Walt wasn’t worried. He stuck with his changes,
And as time mosied by, he expanded our ranges!
And he added a ranch; he added some courses;
He added some barns for all of our horses.
A mammoth named Dee and a T-Rex or two;
He led us through good times, and some tragedy, too.
Our headquarters grew, so fine and so grand,
Our new bunkhouse and cook-shack’s the best in the land.
The herd has grown fat; with everything ducky,
And he surveys it all with a cup a’ Star bucky.
Now that things are all good and the ranch is a hummin’,
Old Walt’s gonna leave us … There’s a new foreman comin’!
Well, we’ve learned our lesson and know what to do–
We gotta train up this new feller … to be like you know who.
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