Cowboy Buck, Elizabeth lasso fans in Poulsbo

POULSBO — It promises to be a rootin’ tootin’ good time for “partners” of all ages, but spurs and 10-gallon hats aren’t required. They might, however, be encouraged as the Cowboy Buck and Elizabeth reading program moseys on into the Poulsbo and Little Boston branches of the Kitsap Regional Library next Tuesday.

Cowboy Buck — aka Paul Stierle — and the lovely Elizabeth will bring their unique brand (pun intended) of humor and teaching to the two venues for a free, 45-minute session filled with singing, dancing, reading, and sign language exercises.

“This year’s theme is, ‘How ‘bout you get a clue?’” Stierle said. “We have been doing events like this all over the state for 20 years. We will be singing songs that are co-written by the kids. Our goal is to be interactive with kids and get them excited about reading.”

And even after two decades on the trail as Buck, Stierle said he still enjoys the character just the same as it harkens back to his years as a youngster.

“I grew up during the Gene Autry and Roy Rogers era,” he said. “It’s fun to play the Cowboy Buck character for these kids. It’s kind of like if someone were to play Sponge Bob (Squarepants) or something like that.”

Stierle said the goal of the 45-minute session is to relay the importance of reading.

“We will tell them without reading we wouldn’t be able to write these songs that we’re singing,” he said. “They need to know how important reading is. It’s all about education through entertainment. It’s a celebration of reading and writing.”

In this day and age of advanced technology, Stierle believes the down-home, old-fashioned presentation will benefit every child in attendance.

“It’s good for kids to be dancing and singing instead of standing in front of the TV or video game screen,” he said. “They don’t have to be so sophisticated.”

Stierle said he hopes a connection will develop between him, Elizabeth and the crowd.

“We’re trying to make friends with them along the trail, not fans,” Stierle said.

Kitsap Regional library director of support services Carol Schuyler said the Stierles have been performing in Kitsap Regional Libraries for the past four years.

“He’s great. The kids are absolutely delighted. They have a wonderful ability to draw an audience,” she said. “They put on the perfect variety show for children.”

KRL Librarian Kim Doyle said the program has proven popular in the past.

“Kids have had a lot of fun singing along with the country style of music,” she said. Even though the program is geared toward children, anyone looking to lasso up some good memories is invited. “This is open to anyone who wants to come. It’s a celebration of reading in the summer.”

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