The lost purse story is circulating through Elko. O’Carrolls breakfast group in Lamoille heard it from Paula who got it from Cowboy John. Susan passed it to a bridge group in town, and from there it hit the Western Folklife Center.
Wisconsin Sue is the lady holding the bag in this tale, and she’s feeling guilty, but at the same time, she is the star of this story!
We met these ladies in 2004 when they came touring from Wisconsin with
ringleader Val. “We want a tour.” Val had retired from teaching. Spent her time keeping her friends traveling.
Cowboy John took them to see the sights! They giggled, asked questions as
only teachers can, saw deer, and Tiffany windows, ate mushroom burgers
at O’Carrolls in Lamoille, and became a part of our lives.
Val’s health wasn’t good. She came out one more time to bring a friend who’d
missed the first tour. Then after a stroke the message came from Sue.
The story of these Wisconsin ladies is a story of rare friendship.
They came to the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, a tribute to their dear friend. Before Val died she told her friends she wanted to go to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko. They promised they’d go in her honor.
Cowboy John met their train at 4:00 a.m. Sunday.
It’s a deserted place, the “station” in Elko—a platform, no shelter, no phone booth. The six stood in the cold on the cement platform watching the train pull away into the dark with Sue’s purse still aboard! The tickets, the money, everything. What to do?
In the cherry red van they streaked toward Winnemucca, two hours to the west, to beat the train and capture the bag.
Leader Sue: “What if we can’t get the purse?”
John: “We’re not going to talk about what might go wrong.” He reaches under the seat, “Here, Sue, read these. Let’s talk about how we’re going to make it; we’re going to get that bag.”
(The cards: Wayne Dyer’s card deck, companion to his latest book, The Power of Intention. Cowboy John reads these every morning)
As Sue tells it, “The card on top hit me between the eyes.”
Look upon every experience you’ve ever had, and everyone who’s ever played any role in your life, as having been sent to you for your benefit. In this universe, which was created by a divine, organizing intelligence, there are simply no accidents.
This is good stuff.” She read through the cards, two hours to Winnemucca.
Sliding into the Winnemucca station they beat the train! Retrieved the purse! Hopped up and down. Kissed the conductor, and returned to Elko in time for John’s tour with the Brazilians and in time for the Wisconsin ladies to take a short nap before hitting the action at the Cowboy Gathering!
for Cowboy John