Born to Carroll and Vivian Flick on March 4, 1954, Leon entered the scene behind two sisters, Thelma and Nancy. As a three year old, the family moved from his brithplace of Gunnison, Colorado, to Lakeview, Oregon. There, Leon grew up on working ranches. He learned to ride on Chief, an old paint horse that was about 16 hands high. Chief, God rest his soul, had been a teacher, friend, baby sitter, and loyal companion to several kids, and was worth twice his weight in gold. Leon is still reminded of that old friend every time he sees some little guy crawlin' up some horse's leg, swingin' on the saddle strings, finally gettin' a stirrup, and climbin' into the saddle. The world is a big place when you're a "button," and God never made a better place to view it from than the back of a horse.
Leon and his wife, Billie, live in Plush, Oregon, a small, high desert town of 60 people about 40 miles north of where California and Nevada join Oregon. Remote would be a fitting word, as it is over 200 miles to even the nearest freeway. It's filled with sagebrush, rocks, cows, and a very few of the nicest families on Earth.
Leon started sharing his poetry and stories in 1988 at Elko, Nevada, and has entertained people in 13 Western states. Other than his entertaining, a little guiding and fencing, Leon and Billie still make their living using a cow's tail for a compass.
Recognizing the need for poetry in our lives, the Oregon Poetic Voices Project (OPV) has begun to create a comprehensive digital archive of poetry readings that will complement existing print collections of poetry across the state.
"We each carry lines of poetry with us. Words that others have written float back to us and stay with us, indelibly. We clutch these "life lines" like totems, repeat them as mantras, and summon them for comfort and laughter."
-Academy of American Poets