As part of the weekend event the Salado Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering is participating in the Salado Middle School 7th grade Texas history program. The state requires that the 7th grade student curriculum includes information about “Texas History Life on the Chisholm Trail.”
The goal of the 2022 Gathering is to bring together a group of poets and musicians who are doing their part to preserve the culture and heritage of the American West. Because that history is an important component of education and because the Chisholm Trail runs close to Salado, it seemed an obvious opportunity for Salado Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering to get involved with school programs. The Bell County Historical District and the Summerlee Foundation have granted financial assistance to help make these learning centrals a reality.
On May 7 at Salado Middle School, 7th grade students will rotate through four history centers. In the first center Ronnie Sexton will bring 3C Cowboy Church’s chuckwagon to demonstrate life on the Chisholm Trail. Students will see the working parts of the chuckwagon, food storage and preparation, and they will learn the origin and purpose of cattle trails. Devon Dawson, Washtub Jerry, and Glenn Moreland will perform western music at the second center; Teresa Burleson, Jim Cathey, and J.C. Penny, will recite cowboy poetry at the third. In the fourth center the children will hear the official song of Salado written by local musician Richard Paul Thomas. In addition the 1901 Thomas Arnold High School valedictory address given and written by Nannie Florence Poteet, will be read by the women of her family who still live in Salado. The establishment in 1859 of Salado College, the first co-educational college in Texas, and the later founding of the academically rigorous Thomas Arnold High School show the early settlers’ commitment to education. The Salado Historical Society will provide each student a map not only of the location of the ruins of the old college and the high school but also other historic locations. The four programs of music and poetry reflect the settlers’ hardships and good times. We hope the program inspires students to learn more about their community and to take an active part in Salado’s future.
In addition, Gary Allegretto, a second year Gathering performer, will teach harmonica to forty 7th grade special needs children because harmonicas were a favorite musical instrument of early cowboys.