I’ll Be Seein’ You


The long winter’s gone to wherever time goes

And the moisture this spring passed us by.

The cattle are looking for shade in the noon

While we’re praying for rain in July.


The almanac says that each day has less light

Though you sure couldn’t prove it by me,

But whether it’s heat or a bone-chilling cold,

There’s just no place that I’d rather be.


I rode in tonight tired and hungry again

And a steak sounds like manna right now.

I threw Doc two flakes of some timothy hay

And then walked to the house for my chow.


I turned to look back at the land that is mine

Far beyond what these old eyes can see.

I’m keeping the place by the sweat of my brow

And the blood shed so I could be free.


Their mem’ries cry out as I open the door

And I know I must answer that call.

I look ‘cross the room at the flag hanging there

Where I’ve written their names on the wall.


John Dorsey was killed in an avalanche high

In the Pecos near Barbara Peak.

We found him next spring where the wild bighorns graze

And the river begins as a creek.


Joe Peterson lies in Nevada’s hot sand

Near a spot they call Indian Springs.

No maidens bring flowers or tears to the grave

Guarded closely by a sentry with wings.


Rick Thomas rolled up ‘neath a jug-headed roan

While he’s chasin’ a ringy old steer.

The gelding tripped up in a prairie dog hole

And poor Rick had no time to jump clear.


Debosey rode out for the San Andres Hills

But George never came back from that ride.

He sleeps beside Gene up in Rhodes Canyon now

Where wild horses and cougars abide.


Nick Hack was thrown hard from a bronc in Cheyenne.

We all thought he was well on the way

To win him a buckle or leastwise some coin,

But he cashed in his last chip that day.


Bob Brown lies asleep in a field back east

Where his family laid him to rest.

The Lord knows I wept when I heard he was gone;

As friends go, he was one of the best.


So now every year on the Fourth of July

When I ring Addie’s bell for my friends,

I wonder if someone will ring it for me

On the day when my own story ends.


~Dale Page


Al Albrethson, 1921 – 2020

In addition to being a decorated World War II hero and an accomplished attorney, Al was a prolific writer of Cowboy Poetry.


In his self published book “From True to Coulda Been,” Al’s introduction tells of a life fully lived:
“I was born on a small ranch near Gannet, in the Big Wood River Valley of South Central Idaho. A succession of bad water years and low crop and livestock prices led my parents to leave that area in 1926 and move the family to a small rented farm near Meridian in the Boise Valley. They eventually bought a farm in that area. I lived and worked on that and neighboring farms until I graduated from Boise Junior College (now Boise State university) in 1941. During that period I learned how to milk cows, ride a horse, drive a team, milk cows, pitch hay, shock grain, clean out a monstrous chicken house, slop hogs, dig post holes, string used barbed wire, milk cows, take care of sheep, and milk cows.”


From Al’s obituary:
“He joined the Army Air Corps (later called the Air Force) and rose to the rank of 1st Lieutenant, serving as a bombardier on B-29 bombers in the China-Burma-India and Pacific theatres during WWII. When one of his daughters asked Al if basic training was difficult, he noted that enduring boot camp during the Nebraska winter was a vacation compared to growing up on a dairy farm. Citations included three Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross. To see an interesting interview about Al’s wartime experiences, search “Veterans Remember Al Albrethsen” on YouTube.


Al enjoyed fishing, gardening, and pinochle, but his passion was words. He knew a plethora of them (and their etymology), and strove to choose the most appropriate one in every circumstance. He was truly witty and often produced the perfect pun without missing a beat. 


Al was a self-taught musician and became proficient on the clarinet and harmonica without ever learning to read music (although he once paid $5 to take 10 clarinet lessons). He heard harmonies everywhere and saw music in color. One of his true pleasures was to jam with his musician buddies, daughters, and sons-in-law. He continued to play mouth harp well into his 90s and knew hundreds of songs. As his health and eyesight failed him in his final years, he still found joy in listening to his family and friends play music and sing songs. Al’s formidable intellect, quick wit, musical ability, and perfect grammar add up to poetry, and Al wrote some exceptional verses. He composed folkloric poems and enjoyed reciting them at various cowboy poetry gatherings all around Colorado.” He emceed both the Silverton Jubilee Folk Music Festival and the 4-H Cowboy Poetry and Dinner Fundraiser in Gateway for many years. Every family gathering included Al’s recitations of favorites such as “Treat Everyone Equal” and “Spring Cleanup” (search “Selected Poems Annie Albrethsen” on YouTube).”


From his long-time friend and partner in music, Peggy Malone:
“Al and I enjoyed our shared love of music. It was always a magical time when so many times we’d close the show together with jovial camaraderie at different events. We especially loved the Gateway 4-H fundraiser. I was honored to call him friend.”


A tribute to Al Albrethson could go on and on but, suffice to say, Al was a long-time regular performer in the Western Slope Cowboy Gathering, a writer of perfect rhyme and meter, and a steadfast friend.