10 Favorite quotes from Will Rogers

I have always admired the wit and wisdom of humorist, author, and actor Will Rogers—the cowboy philosopher from Oklahoma. He was also pretty handy with a rope and you can see a sampling of his work on this 3-minute video: Watch here.

When I heard about the Will Rogers Medallion Award for outstanding achievement in Western literature, making the list of finalists became a personal goal. So you can imagine how honored I was to recently learn that the third book in my Cañon City historical collection, Romancing the Widow, was named as a finalist in the WRMA Inspirational Fiction category. A complete list of categories and finalists can be found on the WRMA Facebook page, and you can read more about the award on their website.

To celebrate, I’m giving away a signed copy of Romancing the Widow. Details at the end of this post.

The  hero in Romancing the Widow is a Colorado Ranger named Haskell Tillman Jacobs. Tillman was my maternal grandfather’s name. He wasn’t a Ranger, but he spent some time in Cañon City in the 1920s, and it was fun working a bit of family history into the story.

As a Will Rogers fan over the years, I’ve collected many of his pithy sayings. Here are ten of my favorites:

Will Rogers quote1. A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries.

2. A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.

3. Buy land. They ain’t making any more of the stuff.  (My dad liked that one.)

4. Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.

5. Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

6. People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.

7. The best way out of a difficulty is through it.

8. The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.

9. Worrying is like paying on a debt that may never come due.

10. What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.

Do you have a favorite Will Rogers or other cowboy saying? If so, I’d love for you to share it is in the comment section. If not, let me know which one of my ten you like the best.

And if you’d like your name added to the drawing for a signed copy of Romancing the Widow, just mention it in your comment. I’ll be choosing a random winner on July 5.book5

Until next time, remember:

You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes

because that’s where the fruit is. –Will Rogers

A cheerful heart is good medicine. Proverbs 17:22


18 thoughts on “10 Favorite quotes from Will Rogers

  1. As a native Oklahoman, Will Rogers is near and dear to my heart. A saying of Will Rogers’ that we still hear often is, “If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, just wait a minute.” 🙂 Congrats on being a finalist in the WRMA!

    1. davalynn

      Thanks, Vickie. I think that famous Oklahoma weather remark blew over on Colorado, too!

  2. Hi Davalynn, Will had so many wonderful sayings, but I really like number 7. We all need to be courageous in our daily circumstances. Congratulations again on your wonderful award! God bless, Kate

    1. davalynn

      True, Kate. It has a biblical ring to it, doesn’t it! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your opinion.

  3. Congratulations to be a finalist in WRMA!! My favorite Will Rogers quote is 10. I feel if people were more eager to work our country would be a lot better. When I was growing up in a small farming community in Illinois all of the kids worked, deliver papers, baby sitting, working at the diner etc. It was wonderful to have a little spending money. I’ve read all four of the Christmas Bride books and am working on the fourth story in Book 1 of the Summer Brides. Mid July won’t come soon enough to get Book 2. And I enjoy your articles in the Record.

    1. davalynn

      Sharon – Thanks for stopping by. I’m so glad you enjoyed the Christmas bride and summer bride books – and my columns! Thanks for picking your favorite quote. This one says a lot about our country.

  4. Congratulations on being a finalist! Your books are great in my opinion. I would say that #6 stood out for me. Proverbs 30:33 says anger produces strife. The Lord is slow to anger and so should we be also.
    loved the roping video. Very impressive. I didn’t know that one could even do that!

    1. davalynn

      You’re right, Karen – it’s amazing what Will Rogers could do with a rope. Thanks for stopping by and picking a favorite quote.

  5. My favorite: 5. Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

    1. davalynn

      Thanks, Donna!

  6. Congratulations on finaling in the WRMA Inspirational Fiction category — that’s wonderful! Here’s a favorite cowboy quote of mine from John Wayne: “Life’s hard — but it’s harder when you’re stupid.” 🙂

    1. davalynn

      Thank you, Beth. And yes, this is one of my favorite JW quotes, too! Thanks for dropping by.

  7. Hi Davalynn. Congratulations on finaling in the WRMA! What a wonderful accomplishment! I’ve always dreamed of writing westterns, just haven’t gotten one to the completion stage yet.

    I really like #4, “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.” It speaks so well about how we drag yesterday’s mistakes, frustrations, anger, and resentments with us instead of moving on.

    I’m a huge fan of the TV show Gunsmoke, so a lot of my favorite sayings come from the character Festus Haggen, played by Ken Curtis (who happened to grow up in my town). Of course, I can’t think of any that I can accurately copy here right now and I don’t have access to my huge collection of GS episodes at the moment, but there’s a bunch of them.

    I wold love to be entered in the contest to win a copy of your book, but I realize I may be too late!


    1. davalynn

      Thanks for stopping by, Patti. Festus was such a great character on Gun Smoke. Those simple story lines always seemed to have a good message attached. Thanks for voting!

  8. A big congrats to you! How exciting! Like the “dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds” quote best. By coincidence, I just posted a short story entitled “Square Dance Date” featuring Festus, Newly, and Merry Florene from Gunsmoke. An amateur writer and blog reader sent it to me and I thought it was fun so included it on my blog. Here’s the link: http://www.blybooks.com/blog/ Love to get a copy of your new book…. janet(at)blybooks(dot)com

    1. davalynn

      Thank you, Janet! I’ll have to check out that story. Looks like Festus has a following!

  9. the best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of a horse. BABE lives on!

    1. davalynn

      Oh, yes!


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