Cartwrights Forever (By JC)

Summary: A tribute in rhyme for everyone who loves the Cartwrights, especially those who love to write about them.

Rating:  G  (560 words)

From Camp in the Pines 2017



Out in the west on the shores of Lake Tahoe
There lived a family of great manly men;
High in the pines in the wilds of Nevada,
Three strapping sons and their father named Ben.
Joe, Hoss, and Adam were gallant young cowboys,
Brothers by half though their blood ran as one;
The pride of their father, by three different mothers
Who left with the angels when their days were done.

They were the Cartwrights, known far and wide,
Known for their chivalrous ways –  
For helping the helpless,
Befriending the friendless,
And rounding up bad guys as though they were strays.

(Feast thine eyes, folks…)
Their ranch was a beauty they built with their own hands,
A sight near to Heaven or so it was claimed;
A thousand square miles in the land of the tall trees,
The big Ponderosas for which it was named.
Their home was a haven for friends and for strangers,
Lovers and widows and orphans and kin,
Troubadours, vagabonds, outlaws and gypsies,
Girls in blue dresses and little green men.

They were the Cartwrights, they all stood together,
Shoulder to shoulder as one.
Avengers and gunfights,
Sheepherders and wolf bites –
No problem too big for this father and sons. 

(But this one thing…)
Though Ben was most charming and Adam was handsome,
Hoss was endearing and Joe was so cute —
There were no women, at least none that lasted;
They either died or were given the boot.
For whatever reason the women were fickle,
Tragic or crazy or just passing through,
Ambitious, religious, in love with another,
Leaving our heroes all lonesome and blue.  

They were the Cartwrights, unlucky in love;
All their romances went sour.
They’d wine them and dine them,
They’d court and escort them,
But none of them stayed more than two or three hours*. 

 (*As in prime time…)

Now back on the ranch where they all live as bachelors,
One for the all and the all for the one,
Their love is stronger than any one woman.
They’re father and brothers – and wives, they need none.
They’re out riding fences and outsmarting rustlers,
Horse breaking, roping and branding their steers,
Staring down death and defying disaster,
With hardly a scar and a lot of warm beers.

They are the Cartwrights, and this is their life,
The life that we’ve all come to know.
This week they’re upended,
Next week they’ll be mended,
And back in the saddle and ready to go.

(It’s the same thing…)

Such is the fate of this dear TV family,
In reruns and boredom to languish and fade,
Except for the pens of some brave fanfic writers
Ready and willing to come to their aid.
Alternate universe, unexplored plot lines,
What happened next or perhaps in between?
At long last a wedding, or even a daughter;
Maybe a voyage to visit the queen?

They are your Cartwrights, so bring your best worst!
They’ll do whatever you write.
You can ambush or jail them,
Kidnap, impale them,
Torment or shoot them if that’s what you like.

(Please don’t kill them…)

Imagine the tales that are yet to be written –
The limit is only as high as the sky.
A bonanza of stories out on the horizon…

Cartwrights forever – they never will die!



18 thoughts on “Cartwrights Forever (By JC)”

  1. Wonderful tribute–fourteen seasons compressed into five and a half stanzas and a changeable chorus, with delightful comments by the narrator to punctuate it all! Glad your camp-in-the-pines was more productive than mine!

    1. Thanks for the compliment, SKL. Part of the curse of being a mostly AU writer is the compelling need to occasionally remind people that I CAN do other things and produce something they might actually want to read for a change. Camp was a great motivator, even if the s’mores were a little lackluster… 😉

  2. Oh. My. Gosh. This is terrific! I vote we sing it to the tune of Marty Robbins’ “El Paso” — not sure if the chorus fits but the verses are perfect. And JC, I do mean perfect. I would read this with a bear, I would read this on the stair, I would read this anywhere!

    1. You’re right about El Paso, Sandspur, one of the all time great western songs and one of the first I remember from childhood. I was humming the whole time I was writing! Thanks for the lovely endorsement. Your check is in the mail. 😉

    1. Yes, something for everyone. That’s one of the things that made it so universal, right? Thanks for reading, Q. 🙂

  3. No greater love hath no fan, than that of the Cartwrights (no matter what we put them through in our imaginations). Awesome tribute.

  4. Has anyone else figured out the song to which this poem can be sung? 🙂

    GREAT tribute to the Cartwrights.

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