Twenty Years of Echoes by Johnny Kendrick

“I personally thank all who have supported Echoes of the Trail the past 20 years. It was a delightful weekend from the Friday night dance that featured Jason Richison and his band Crossfire with their excellent young vocalist Kinley Taylor Rice (Fort Scott’s own!) to Saturday evening’s spotlight shows by Geff and Dawn Dawson and RFD-TV’s Del Shields, who sang his first cowboy song on the Echoes stage some 17 years ago. Those who were at the Fort Scott Community College Round Room on Saturday saw some old friends, and met some new ones, all drawn together by a common bond – love and appreciation for our American heritage.

It was so good to again see Laura Meeks, who was president of FSCC in 1996 when Echoes began and encouraged and supported our efforts. It was she who put Arnold Schofield and me (with our outlandish scheme of a cowboy poetry festival) with Judy Howser, a stalwart supporter, organizer, and main archivist of names, details and all the singular ephemera that are vital to putting together a festival of this scope. She and her husband Lloyd are of inestimable importance to Echoes’ longevity. This year’s committee, Diann Tucker, Judy Johnston, and Marlene Arndt bore the pressures and finalized the details for this, the end of the Trail. Read more.

Founding Member Awards

On Saturday night, June 18, 2016, Diann Tucker surprised Arnold Schofield and Johnny Kendrick with beautiful silver buckles engraved with a longhorn head and the words “Echoes of the Trail Founding Member.” In turn, Arnold Schofield presented flowers to Diann Tucker and Judy Howser. Howser also was surprised with a plaque from the group, engraved “In appreciation of your faithful support and dedication to Echoes of the Trail and the preservation of true cowboy heritage."

From Judy Howser

From left: Johnny Kendrick, Judy Howser, Diann Tucker and Arnold Schofield
Well, it has been a wonderful ride! Twenty years of hard work, friendships, fun, and tearful moments with a large group of wonderful people, all dedicated to the lore and history of the American cowboy.

So many memorable times, like the fund raiser at what was then Bobby Kemna’s restaurant, The Branding Iron, where local businesses and residents bid on donated items and raised $3,000 for Echoes of the Trail! And the wonderful painting by friend Gary Hawk that depicted Arnold Schofield, Johnny Kendrick, Dave Carey, and Gary Harvey herding cattle across a “crick.” Gary donated the first 10 prints, and Bob Tuchserer was the winning bidder on print number one, bringing Echoes $1,000! Read more.

Del Shields

One of Echoes of the Trail's Star performers, Cowboy poet and singer, television and radio personality Del Shields (of America by Horseback) wrote a very special poem to commemorate 20 years of Echoes of the Trail. As you are reading, the 20th and last year was bittersweet for all connected with the event. Del pays tribute to the performers both living and passed who have graced the FSCC Round Room and Fine Arts Center stages as well as vendors and behind the scenes personel that made Echoes of the Trail the event it was. Read Del's poem : HERE

Please visit our Facebook page for pictures and more from our 20th Echoes of the Trail. Here