BJ Giles Western Cowboy Poet.
For B.J. Giles, the poems he recites aren’t simply tall tales; some are spun from his own life. A poem about an old ranch house, for example, is about his grandfather’s home in Johnson County. He was raised by his grandfather and grandmother in that house, where he was taught that “your word is your bond.” Those old-school values were a staple of Wednesday’s Campfire Stories, which included plenty of cowboy songs and poetry and a healthy dose of Western swing. It’s the 13th year for the event, with all the performers working for free, and it’s a continuation of a lifetime tradition for Giles. When Giles was a child, his grandfather brought him to the Stock Show when it was still held in the Fort Worth Stockyards. As an adult, he showed horses for years and recalled getting a “cold chill” every time he entered Will Rogers Coliseum. And 12 years ago he started performing the cowboy poetry that has become a fundamental part of Campfire Stories at each Stock Show. At his ranch in Godley, Giles tried to pass down what his grandfather instilled in him to his foster children.