THE STORY: Owner of the largest ranch in his part of Wyoming, Jepson Heath is a proud and determined man. He manages his affairs with a firm hand, including the engagement of his beautiful daughter, Letty. The only man Jepson considers to be good enough for her is his college-educated foreman, Hank, but while Letty’s hand may be pledged, her heart is not; and when Joey Bud, a handsome young ranch hand, comes along to work on the haying crew, it is love at first sight for both of them. Jealous from the outset, Hank grudgingly signs Joey on but only with the condition that he assemble the new windmill, a task that no one else on the ranch has been able to accomplish. Aided miraculously by Letty’s kisses, Joey sets to work, and the windmill literally springs into shape before their astonished eyes. Joey wins the right to stay at the ranch, but Jepson adamantly keeps the lovers apart as Joey is a “catch colt,” an orphan of the plains who knows neither his true name nor his lineage. Bit by bit, however, and despite some underhanded work by Hank, the evidence of Joey’s true identity is pieced together, and all ends happily in a swirl of music, dance and the happy anticipation of wedding bells.
Described by the author-composer as “a folk tale of the western plains with music,” this high-spirited, colorful musical tells that story of Joey Bud, a “catch colt” (orphan) who claims his rightful name, and his rightful bride, despite the underhanded scheming of a jealous rival.