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American cowboy historian Phil Janowsky to perform at St. Patrick’s

On Sunday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m., St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church will present a special evening of stories, poetry, song and pictures of the American Cowboy by a favorite local entertainer, Phil Janowsky.

Phil Janowsky has delighted local audiences with his gifts of song and stories at numerous events since his arrival in Pagosa Springs in the early 1990s, but his audience has not been limited to our area by any means. Janowsky has presented “Pictures, Songs and Stories of the American Cowboy” in five western states at numerous venues, from Cattlemen’s Association, Farm Bureau and 4-H banquets, to rodeos, stock shows and western museums. He has also performed at the historic Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in Jackson, Wyo., and several West Fests sponsored by Martin Michael Murphey.

Following a presentation for Gal Gardner in Prescott, Ariz., Gail remarked, “You sing ’em, and you sing ’em right. You made my day and many to come.” Gail was one of the original cowboy poets, having written “Sierry Peets” and “Dude Wrangler.”

Janowsky was also a compadre of Curley Fletcher, who wrote the popular “Strawberry Roan.”

A retired Methodist minister, Janowsky holds degrees from Houghton College (NY), the University of Kansas, and Iliff School of Theology in Denver. During his retirement, he has continued to develop his passion of relaying the story of the American Cowboy.

The program, “Pictures, Songs and Stories of the American Cowboy” is a multimedia presentation on the history of the rise and development of the cattle culture in the western hemisphere.

The story begins with the second voyage of Columbus to the New World, at which time he brought horses and cattle from the Andalusia area of Spain to Cuba. From there, they were taken to Nueva España, or Mexico. The livestock were driven from there to Baja, Calif., and to Tejas, or Texas. This gave rise to the great cattle drives that followed the Civil War.

Janowsky tells and sings the story, accompanying himself on guitar, against a backdrop of beautiful slides of Western art, including Remington, Russell and others. Among the old traditional songs are “Chisholm Trail,” “Red River Valley” and the haunting night rider song, “Doney Gal.”

The public is invited to this entertaining evening of western history, art and music. There is no admission fee, though a freewill offering will be taken to support the food pantry.

St. Patrick’s is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. For more information, call 731-5801.

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