Posted by: Bob Fisher | May 13, 2009

Mike Puhallo: Cowboy Poet, Storyteller, and History Buff

Chatting with Mike About British Columbia history … and about cowboy culture

Giving “Home on the Range” a whole new meaning

As I have said time and time again, the destination may be wonderful, but it is people who really make the place. What’s an orchestra leader without an orchestra? A sea captain without a ship? A burger without the bun?

Well, in Kamloops I got to chat, interact, and even have a few drinks with the people of this very traveller-friendly city; and Mike Puhallo was one of them.

(You can hear my chat with Mike by clicking on the audio sliders just under his picture: in the first segment we talk about cowboy poetry; and in the second the 150th anniversary of British Columbia.)

Now you might initially think that Mike is a Canadian version of a “Good ol’ boy” (and I am proud to say that I was made an honorary good ol’ boy in Arkansas), but don’t let his humour fool you. Yes, of course he is a satirist, a man of many words, and a real live working cowboy; but never underestimate either the import of his wit or his “take” on issues.

As you can probably hear, Mike and I got on like a house on fire. But that, I found, was a very common experience in Kamloops where people actually talk to you as opposed to at you.

And that, in my opinion, is the key indicator of a cohesive community.

Some key dates

November 19, 1858: The British colony of British Columbia was officially declared on a rainy November day at Fort Langley in this year. Some historians refer to it as the day when the modern era began in British Columbia.

July 20, 1871 British Columbia enters the Canadian Confederation, thus completing the east to west building of the nation.

A media release from Mike

February 3, 2009
For Immediate release re: Kamloops Cowboy Festival
March 12-15 2009

Ph 1-888-763-2224

What Recession? After a dozen years of lousy cow prices, border wars, mad cows, and political interference in the agricultural marketplace…the current, financial meltdown, seems like a walk in the park to most country folks!

Maybe that’s why advance ticket sales for the 2009 Kamloops Cowboy Festival are running about twenty percent ahead of last year’s pace.

Over the years the Kamloops Cowboy Festival has built a solid reputation as one of the finest cowboy cultural events in the world. Our main stage and dinner theatre shows feature the best in contemporary cowboy poetry and western music. In addition to our two main stages we also have two open mic stages and The Country 103 Rising Star Competition to encourage emerging artists. The Friday Night Feature Concert also includes The BC Cowboy Hall Of Fame Inductions.

The Art of the West, juried saddle and art show draws custom saddle makers, painters and sculptors from as far away as Colorado and California. The Western Art and Gear, Trade Show features the finest in custom-made equipment and apparel for horses, riders and those who just want to look the part.

New this Year

Buckles, Boots and Black Tie! (We were just kidding about the tie!) Pull on your hat, dust off your boots and shine up your buckle! South Thompson Inn and Guest Ranch, is hosting a Kamloops Cowboy Festival Kickoff party Thursday March 12, 2009.

Cocktail hour starts at 5:00pm with live entertainment. Dinner at 6:30 followed by even more lively entertainment featuring cowboy poet, Mike Puhallo and Horse Crazy, a three piece cowgirl band from Winthrop Washington.

The dance floor will be open. The evening will wind up with the Western Art Auction. We are still ironing out some of the details at this time.

Admission, meal and entertainment just $30.00

To reserve call South Thompson Inn and Guest Ranch
(250) 573-3777; email

Shuttle Service available for Cowboy Festival Pass holders.

Presented By; The South Thompson Inn and Guest Ranch, The BC Cowboy Heritage Society and The Horse Barn.

Profits from the Art Auction support the BC Cowboy Heritage Society Scholarship Fund.

The Canadian cow market has been in the toilet for a dozen years but the spirit of the West is alive and well at The Kamloops Cowboy Festival. It takes a darn site more than some pissant global financial meltdown to keep a good cowboy down!

Come see what makes a cowboy tick!

For More Information on the 13th Annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival and the BC Cowboy Heritage Society take a peek at our website or call Mike Puhallo 1-888-763-2224. Email:

And be sure to check out Cowboy Poet Mike Puhallo’s Weekly Meadow Muffin

Other resources

Horse Crazy, a three piece cowgirl band from Winthrop Washington

Art of the West Show and Sale

The BC Cowboy Hall Of Fame

The BC Cowboy Heritage Society

My favourite poem by Mike Puhallo

Cornwall Fox Hunt

Now the English chaps at Cornwall Ranch
had prepared a “bit of sport.”
For the visit of a Noble Gent
from Queen Victoria’s Court.
From far across the sea they brought
these special hunting dogs.
The kind they use to chase a fox
through England’s farms and bogs.

Cowboys, ranchers, and gentlemen
all gathered at that place.
For a chance to join the pageantry
and have a merry chase.

Now, in this land of sage and sand
foxes are quite rare.
But if they could find a coyote
the hunt should still be fair.

Soon the hounds were in full cry
the chase had fair begun.
With a “View Halloo”
his Lordship spurred his pony to a run.

Well, those high-priced hounds had caught
many a fox in the foggy English dawn.
But they got flat outrun
when Wiley Coyote commenced to movin’ on.

That evening by the fireside
they discussed the day’s events.
Did his Lordship enjoy the noble chase
and was the time well spent?

“I don’t mind the fact that the horse I rode
was somewhat of a runt.
You see the thing that rankles me
was the decorum of the hunt.
These colonial lads may ride quite well
over sage brush, fence, and ditch.
But please teach them to shout ‘Tallyho’ Not, ‘There goes the son of a bitch.'”

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