Salado Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering

Gary Penny, left, from Lorena recites cowboy poetry while Freddie Fuller, “The Singing Cowboy,” from Salado looks on Saturday morning during the Salado Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering outside Barrow Brewing Co. in Salado.

SALADO — “Red River Valley” and similar cowboy ballads floated Saturday morning across the grounds of Barrow Brewing Co., all part of the Salado Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering.

Harmonica lessons and a writer’s rendezvous at the Salado Museum would come in the afternoon, followed by an evening concert at Heritage Country Church, 9929 Lark Trail in Salado. The event concludes with a worship service at the church at 10 a.m. today.

Bill Kinnison, president of the Salado Historical Society, was among those seated near the outdoor stage and taking in the singing and poetry recitation. He handed out a brochure that included a map of the village’s historic sites, from Salado Plaza to College Hill Drive.

“There are people who are coming to Salado who are still discovering Salado’s history,” he said. “When they come here they have questions. They want to know about the history. So we’re trying to put it in a nutshell.”

Still within the sound of music, a lot of people ambled through the market booths on the south bank of Salado Creek. One of these was Belton Veggie Guys, operated by Jeff Oaks of Belton and Eric Warren of Troy. They had lots of produce, grape jelly and fresh-baked bread.

Their onions looked good, and Oaks said he planted them in December.

“A lot of people wait until January,” he said. “You can’t get the real big ones planting them that late.”

They use no pesticides and do a lot of composting, he said, calling it the “French intensive method.”

“We focus on the soil,” he said. “For pest management, one of the things we are doing is we have marigolds in the garden. It’s a good all-around, pest-resistant plant to have in your vegetable garden. It will grow all summer.”

Across the way, Deron Corpening and Tiffany Williams, both of Killeen, waited at The Occasional Cupcake booth. They both said they favor the banana pudding cupcake, and she also likes the key lime pie jar, she said. His mom, Tabeth Johnson, is the lead baker, he said. They do deliveries and are online at tocupcake@

Caroline Burks, who recently moved to Salado, waited on customers at her booth, Wine Mom Baby Boutique. She sells baby goods and pregnancy accessories, and said she will be at the market every second and fourth Saturday. At her side, her 3-month-old son, Winter, was “sleeping on the job.”

A lot of her customers are the grandmothers, she said. She showed off various baby shoes, and she had jumpers that were made out of bamboo.

Closer to the creek, where children played in the shallow water, Jessica Montez of Lorena offered spray paint art work done by her son, Caden, 13. She said it was his second time to sell his art.

“He’s always been interested in art and drawing,” she said. “He started spray paint drawing a few months ago. This is our second time to sell. At Lorena last month we sold probably eight paintings.”

Robin Cobb of Austin, whose real job is consultant pharmacist for nursing homes, said it was her first time in a Salado market. High Tea by the Sea is the name of her hobby.

“I make tea towels, aprons, table runners — all sorts of embroidery, and I also make glass bowls and drying mats,” she said.

Kathy Novian of Manchaca and her granddaughter, Zoe Novian, 14, of Fredericksburg, welcomed visitors to their booth, Fredericksburg Frau Jams & Jellies. Kathy had been to Salado before.

“I fell in love with this small little town,” she said. “We made 114 jars this past week and that’s 216 pounds.”

She’s been making jams and jellies since she was a little girl, she said.

“We generally sell out,” she said. “In Ballinger three weeks ago, we sold out in three hours.”

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