COWBOY JACK

Sung by Marcella “Sally” Woerman of Oakland, Nebraska in 2016.  I visited Sally at her farm in rural Nebraska. A farmer's daughter and wife, she fondly remembers her late husband telling her at breakfast each morning, "Now Sally, I'm going out to the field. You take care of things." She thinks of that each day as she continues, now in her nineties, to care for their property.  As a child, her father bought her a $3 guitar off of a traveling cowboy, and later she was gifted her Uncle's violin, which he had bought off of some farmers who offered him shelter as he bivouacked across Italy in World War I. Over the years, Sally learned to play the piano, mandolin, button accordion, ukelin, and autoharp. She mostly learned songs off the radio, and music has been a constant source of joy for her, as well as her 7 children, and her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In her youth, Sally often played around town, at the local Farmer's Union meetings (which her father was president of) and in the 1930s on the West Point Radio station. When I visited, she played some classics, and some old songs I had never heard before, including Cowboy Jack, which was a popular Western song when she was young.

This Song Quilt is a transcription of how Sally sang Cowboy Jack. The "root" color of this song is a pale blue sky, like the one that hung over the farm when I visited. The backing fabric is a vintage sheet in browns and golds that match the color palette of her home. When I sat with her, Sally had a gorgeous Double Wedding Ring quilt on her couch, so I used that as the inspiration for the quilting. I used the Sweet Dream Quilting Studio DWR pattern on the Innova auto-pilot.

Marcella Woerman plays her autoharp at home. 

Marcella's living room, filled with her favorite things. 

The vintage back, with some DWR detail. 

 

Marcella's barn under that big Nebraska sky. 

Marcella still "taking care of things."

A young Marcella with her husband on the farm.