You might call him successful. Of course, it’s according to how you measure success. As an author, you might want to judge him by the number of his books that have been sold.
Ron Secoy, Christian cowboy poet and author of two books, figures if it is numbers that determine success then he isn’t. Ron’s first book, Cowboy Psalms, has sold less than 500 copies. It was released last September; published by Tate Publishing in Mustang, OK.
His second book, The Cowboy, the Creation and the Creator, has been out since early June. That volume of Christian cowboy poetry has sold less than 20 copies. He went with PublishAmerica to produce that book.
Secoy is a former resident of Benld and Gillespie and a 1967 graduate of Gillespie Community High School. He is a graduate of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, earning a bachelor of arts in mass communications and the University of Oklahoma School of Health Sciences with a bachelor of science degree as a physician associate.
“Accounting-wise,” according to the 63 year-old Secoy, “there is more red than black ink in the ledger.” But, Secoy admits that his ideas of success may be a little different than others. He counts success in intangible but what he calls ‘precious’ things.
“Just like watching an Oklahoma sunset astride my quarter horse Rogan is priceless so are a lot of things that you can’t purchase with a greenback or deposit in the bank.”
He points out that his books are chocked full of local color, western culture and themes about the Big Trail Boss that have no value except deep within the heart and spirit of a person. At the recent Summerfest in Fuqua Park in Duncan, Oklahoma a smile spread across his face while he wiped away sweat when someone pointed to Cowboy Psalms saying, “I got one of those Bibles.”
Comments like that he counts as success.
Another indication of success was the woman who bought the book so she could read it to her six year-old son. The boy was decked out in cowboy hat and boots during the Day of the American Cowboy last July at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center, also in Duncan. The gift shop there carries both his books.
Then there was the lady who bought a copy at the Center and wanted it personally dedicated to her 100 year old father. Secoy says it does his heart good to know people think his books are good enough for their kids and their parents.
Cowboy Psalms and The Cowboy the Creation and the Creator grew out of poetry Ron Secoy has recited at numerous churches, mostly cowboy churches, in the Oklahoma counties of Stephens, Cotton and Comanche. His intent was to present the gospel in a version palatable to cowboys and those who love the western lifestyle. When he’s approached for a book by someone in a cowboy hat, boots and a big belt buckle – what he calls a cowboy three piece suit – he thinks that is success.
“I’m not a cowboy by trade. I’m a poet by the grace of God. I’m a Christian cowboy poet by calling. That’s it. The Big Trail Boss called me a few years back and I’ve been writin’ the poetry ever since.”
Ron got introduced to cowboy church three years ago. He says it took a lot of prayer, counsel and heart searching to leave the traditional environment of Central Baptist Church in Central High, Oklahoma and venture “down the trail”.
“From Sunday school and business meetings
To sermons uttered from red dirt floors
Prayer meetings with beans and cornbread
And services in the great out of doors…”
Excerpted from the poem “From Three Piece Suits to Cowboy Boots” in the book The Cowboy, the Creation and the Creator.
Secoy got a request from a person to send a copy of Cowboy Psalms to her daughter at a youth camp in Arkansas. Come to find out the girl was a counselor at Camp War Eagle. She wanted several copies for the other counselors. He said just knowing his book was being shared with people who influence youth is a sign of success to him.
Most of his poems were read aloud at Chisholm Trail Cowboy Church in Duncan and Cross Creek Cowboy Church in Marlow. Some of the poetry is about or dedicated to the people there.
“Time spent among people and critters rubs off on you. When it comes time to put pen to paper whatever flows is usually what is most familiar to you. Like in the Bible when it says out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks so the poems flow.” He explained.
Both books are full of characters from cowboys to truckers to soldiers or family members. You’ll find horses, cattle, wolves and a cow dog. He’ll take you back to the pony express, Gold Rush and cattle drives then fast forward you to 9-11 and the new times along the old Chisholm Trail. Oklahoma is his favorite subject whether it’s the Land Run or a sunset over the Wichita Mountains. Guess he thinks success is about letting others know about where he lives.
Living on six acres with Anneliese, his wife of 30 years and Rani-Anne, his teenage daughter, Secoy settled in Central High. Oklahoma 19 years ago after a 20 year stent with the US Army. When it came time to retire he knew he wanted to be west of the Mississippi and not live in an apartment building. The quietness of the country suits him as does the sound howl of pet wolves, the nicker of their three horses or the bark of the black and white cow dog. Success may just be living the lifestyle you like.
A measure of success might be the woman at Rush Springs, Oklahoma who wants to use Cowboy Psalms for a Bible study. Secoy thinks that’s also an honor. He doesn’t put himself up there with King David who wrote the Book of Psalms in the Bible but admits he meant his book to reflect the relationship the cowboy has with the Big Trail Boss (God) just like King David’s relationship with God.
Secoy continues to write. His next book will be a devotional. He plans on marrying his poetry with scripture then add in some prose of encouragement; all in cowboy vernacular. After that a book of poetry dedicated to the state of Oklahoma. He also mentioned he owes his writer friend Dutch Henry of Appomattox, Virginia, a book of poetry based on Dutch’s novel, “We’ll Have the Summer”.
While his favorite venue is a cowboy church Ron Secoy has done readings at other churches, a nursing home in Colbert, Oklahoma, the Rush Springs (Oklahoma) Lions Club and even onstage at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma. At Cameron he was part on annual program called the “Cowboy Story Hour”.
Ron says he is open to reading his poetry and talking about the books and of course, the Big Trail Boss anywhere, anytime. “I’ll saddle up and get on down the trail anywhere the Big Trail Boss leads.”
He can be contacted via his Facebook page or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is cowboypsalms.com. The books can be found on Tate Publishing, PublishAmerica, Amazon or Barnes and Noble websites.
You might catch him at a festival, rodeo, church or library. He’ll be glad to sell you a book. Of course, he’ll sign it “God Bless and Happy Trails”. That’s success to him.