In a time of drought, a small girl finds that courage can be drawn like water from a well, as told by Linda Hussa. The origin of this poem, Homesteaders, Poor and Dry, was a story a friend’s grandmother told of when she was a girl in Texas during a time of drought and grinding poverty. Though an old story, the story of drought and resulting hardship is a recurring theme in the rural West.
Poem by Linda Hussa. Film by Chris Simon and Jerry Dugan.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Linda Hussa and her husband John live on their ranch in Surprise Valley, California, where they raise cattle, churro sheep, horses and hay. She writes poetry and nonfiction; her poetry collections include Tokens in an Indian Graveyard, Blood Sister I Am to These Fields, Ride the Silence, and Where the Wind Lives. She has received three national awards: the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum’s Wrangler Award; the Spur Award from Western Writers of America; and the Willa Cather Award from Women Writing the West. She also received the 1999 Nevada Writers’ Silver Pen.
Chris Simon’s prize-winning films have been shown throughout the world—including several shown at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Her films often celebrate aspects of traditional culture and music. Her most recent film, This Ain’t No Mouse Music!, featuring Cajun music, bluegrass, blues and more, is on Netflix. She is currently working on a film about musician Mike Beck, who is well known to folks at the Gathering.
Jerry Dugan is best known as a pioneer in filmmaking in the Action Sports world. For ten years, Jerry traveled to the far reaches of the globe, directing 15 films that helped shape and define action sports. He recently directed his first feature film with action legend Dolph Lundgren. In 2009, the Nevada Museum of Art asked Jerry to create and direct a short, award-winning film based on Buck Ramsey’s poem “Anthem” (The Prologue to “Grass”) for installation in Between Grass and Sky, an exhibition and two-part collaboration with the Western Folklife Center.
Produced by the Western Folklife Center in 2017.
Made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, ArtPlace America, the Community Foundation of Utah, Western Folklife Center stakeholders, and by the multitude of staff, artists, volunteers, and community members working behind the scenes.
Brought to you by the Western Folklife Center, using story and cultural expression to connect the American West to the world.