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Sample Autograph Signature: Bruce Kiskaddon

Americaís premier cowboy poet and storyteller. Bruce Harvey Kiskaddon (1878 - 1950), often called the cowboy poets cowboy poet, was born in Foxburg Pennsylvania. The family moved to southwest Missouri sometime before he was ten years old, and then moved again in the early 1890s to Trinidad in southeastern Colorado. He never completed grammar school, but it was here as teenager that he gained his education in wrangling, roping, and other ranch work before starting his cowboy career in 1898 as a wrangler in Southeastern Colorado's Picket Wire Canyonlands. He later worked in New Mexico and then served with the cavalry in the First World War in France. After the war, he worked as a buckaroo or "jackaroo" in Australia before returning to Arizona in 1915 to work at George "Tap" Duncanís million acres Diamond Bar Ranch in Mohave County. Duncan, previously a notorious gunfighter and the "last two-gun man in Mojave County", bought the ranch in 1904 to escape from his previous "profession." By the time Kiskaddon arrived, Duncan had become a widely known and respected cattleman. It was here that he began to write poetry with Duncan's encouragement. As he later wrote, "During the summer of 1922 I was working for G. T. (Tap) Duncan in northwestern Arizona. Sometimes I would parody songs to suit local happenings or write verses and different jingles about what took place on the work. Duncan insisted that I try writing some Western Verse. `Just what really happens,' he said". His Rhymes of the Ranges published in 1924 is about his life at the Diamond Bar Ranch. In 1926, Kiskaddon left the ranch with several friends to seek his fortune in Hollywood where his first job was driving a chariot in the original silent version of Ben Hur. After playing some other bit parts in movies, he found a better livelihood as a bellhop. He remained in Los Angeles for the rest of his life working as a bellhop and writing poetry about his experiences as a cowboy for Western Livestock Journal, a monthly magazine aimed at western ranchers. His first book of poetry, Just As Is, was published in 1928. This was followed by three other volumes, Western poems published by 1935, and Rhymes of the Ranges and Other Poems issued in 1947 and included additional poems not in the 1928 volume. The The Los Angles Union Stockyards began featuring his poems on its calendars in 1939 and continued doing so through 1959. Less known are Kiskaddon's prose sketches and short stories of cowboy life published in the Western Livestock Journalbetween 1932 and 1939. Almost lost, they have been collected and edited by Bill Siems inShorty's Yarns: Western Stories and Poems of Bruce Kiskaddon.

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