High Noon logo and Smoke Signals Masthead
July, 2009 - Vol 1, Issue 6
In This Issue
Feature Story: Alexander F. Harmer: "...eulogist of the beauties of the world."....written by William Reynolds
Featured Photo: Pictorial view of Western Americana....featuring Myron Beck
Collector News: Don't leave your collection unprotected!
The Feed Bag: Margarita Pie
Auction Highlights: 20th Annual Cody Old West Show & Auction
Did You Know?: Sage Tips, Tidbits, Trivia and Terminology
Our Inner Cowgirl: Lisa Sorrell. Founder, owner and artisan of Sorrell Custom Boots.
Bits & Pieces: Information and Updates for High Noon Show Dealers
Dealer Spotlight: This month, High Noon investigates the life and times of RG (Ron) Munn
Who's Who at High Noon: A little insight into who makes High Noon happen
Upcoming Events: Don't miss these upcoming Western and Native American events
Feature Story

Jayne Skeff
Alexander F. Harmer: "...eulogist of
the beauties of the world."

by William Reynolds

That phrase aptly describes a special person in the history of early California and vaquero art. They were spoken by Alfred Douglas Harmer about his beloved father, and only begin to introduce the artistic and social contributions made by Alexander Harmer, an artist considered to be the first important painter of the West and a leader in California's art community of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Harmer was a pioneer in the portrayal of not only the "fantasy" of the West but of its reality with his depiction of the plains and its indigenous people. But his most popular contribution must lie within his collected works that celebrated the memories and visions of the people and ways of early California.

Featured Photo by Myron Beck
Myron Beck Photo
Through his photos, award winning photographer Myron Beck (Los Angeles, CA) inspires us to dream and embrace the beauty that surrounds us in the people we see, the environments in which we thrive and the diverse cultures that enrich our lives.  www.myronbeck.com
Collector News

Don't leave your
collection unprotected

Get a digital camera and photograph every item in your collection. Shoot multiple photos, from different angles in situ. Multiple images can assure your insurance adjuster that you actually owned and photographed each item. If possible, photograph the receipts for each item as well. Backup the files to a disk or thumb drive and create prints of each image. Store the prints and backup data in a separate location from your collection (a safe deposit box is a good choice). Do this once every six months, or every time you add or subtract from your collection.

High Noon Music Box
Ranch & Reata Radio

Empty Saddle

Richard Lea

CW Slagle

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The Feed Bag
High Noon logo
Margarita Pie

Contributed by Ruth McLeod

This is a great recipe from "Tastes & Treasures A Storytelling Cookbook of Historic Arizona." I purchased the whole book because it has some fascinating history of hospitality venues around the state that are 50 years or older. But then I found the recipes to be so good and easy to make. This one is so pretty to serve. The photos in the book are yummy. I got it at www.HistoricalLeague.org for $24.95 and free shipping. It is a non profit group so all funds raised go right to the Historical Society Museum for education. 

Pretzel Crust
1 1/2 cups finely crushed pretzels
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons gold Tequila
2 tablespoons Triple Sec
2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
Green food coloring (optional)
For the crust, pulse the pretzels and sugar in a food processor several times to combine. Add the butter in a steady stream and process until well mixed. Press over the bottom and up the side of a 9 inch pie plate sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
For the pie, combine the lime juice, condensed milk, Tequila and Triple Sec in a bowl and mix well. Fold in the whipped cream. Tint with green food coloring, if you desire a deeper color. Spoon into the crust. Cover with plastic  wrap and freeze for 4 hours or up to 1 week. Garnish with additional whipped cream and lime slices.
Note: Do not use fat-free or low-fat pretzels in the crust or the crust will not hold together when cutting. You may substitute graham crackers for the pretzels.
Serves 6 to 8


Help us "Put on the Feed Bag!" Appetize us with your favorite cowboy cuisine. Send us a recipe or culinary creation - keeping the traditions of the American West alive is about the great food too! From ribs to rhubarb, campfire food to a great bowl of chili - we Wild West epicureans want to know.
Submissions welcome at SmokeSignals@highnoon.com.

Auction Highlights

It's official -The 20th Annual Cody Old West Show & Auction was a resounding success!

We knew that Brian Lebel's 20th anniversary would be a fantastic weekend, and we're thrilled to say we were absolutely right! People from around the US attended the four-day events that brought the best of the West together in Denver. This year's show - its first in Denver's Merchandise Mart - is being touted as one of the biggest and best-looking shows many have ever seen. The Expo rooms came alive as the country's finest dealers showcased their best merchandise, creating an environment that was inviting, exciting, beautiful and fun.

Equally exciting were the Friday and Saturday night auctions, both of which were well attended. As anticipated, the highlight of Saturday night's big auction were the two stunning Main & Winchester saddles, which brought over $250,000 combined and made one private collector extremely happy. Bidding was also fast and furious on the rare, engraved Colt Single Action, keeping ringmen, internet bidders and phone bidders all busy before selling at $63,250. Friday's art auction raised money for a worthy cause while also proving to be an excellent opportunity for savvy collectors to purchase great material at great prices.  The Thursday night kick-off party launched the busy weekend, and brought us all out of the summer rain and into the Wazee Street galleries for food, drinks, art and community.

Brian, we had a blast and we're impressed! Congratulations!

Did You Know?
  1. Female bandit, Pearl Hart, was the last person to rob a stagecoach in the Old West in 1899.
  2. The Hopi tribe in Northern Arizona is known for distinctive "overlay" silver jewelry, pottery and Kachina dolls.
  3. And from one of our readers: As a collagen biochemist, I couldn't let pass by the reference to "collage" and "collograph". The word indeed comes from collagen (protein of connective tissue in animals, the most abundant protein in mammals), which when boiled (denatured), like chicken soup, it becomes a "glue". Hence the photographic process and the proverbial "glue factory" for livestock.
    - Helene Sage
Our Inner Cowgirl

In a series of profiles, Smoke Signals takes a look at the women artisans working in the traditionally male world of the Western Lifestyle. This month, Smoke Signals chats with
 Lisa Sorrell
Lisa Sorrell
Founder, owner and artisan

of Sorrell Custom Boots.

In a most engaging conversation with Lisa Sorrell, it became immediately evident that this woman is truly an artist passionate about her work - creating some of the most beautiful boots anyone's feet could ever don.

"I'm a boot maker, not a cowboy" is her opening statement. And how she stumbled into her craft is story of the most unlikely of circumstances. Lisa was raised in a strict religious community in Missouri akin perhaps the Amish. At an early age, Lisa began sewing her own clothes as what she was allowed to wear couldn't be "bought at Macy's." By the age of 15, she was an accomplished seamstress sewing clothes for women in the community. At the age of 20, she married and together she and her new husband moved to Oklahoma. Needing a job and knowing her talent for sewing, she answered an ad in the local paper for a position stitching boot tops. She had absolutely no idea what this was - had never heard of it before. But, her sewing skills landed her the job and she spent the next 1-1/2 years working with master boot maker and designer Jay Griffith. And the rest as they say, is history.

By 1996, she opened her own business which, as she tells it, could never have been done without the dedication and support of her husband Dale. Now, both wife and mother, her husband provided her the team support to develop her artistic design skills and begin marketing her rich creations. She began by making real working cowboy boots but her real love was creating what she calls "office boots" - the kind of boots men wear with the finest suits in professional environments. It was these "office boots" that brought her artistic talent to the forefront. In the most charming of statements, Lisa believes "cowboy boots are a way for men to wear high heels in bright colors."

Well done Lisa for in just 3 short years, her work was recognized and featured in Tyler Beard's hard-cover coffee table book, "The Art of the Boot" published by Gibbs Smith in 1999.

Today, Lisa's clients span the globe from Belgium to Buenos Aires. While the majority of her clients are men, Sorrell Custom Bootsthe number of women she designs for is on the rise. She meets personally with each of her clients for custom fittings but more importantly so she can glean the personality of the person destined to wear them. Through that, she can create the design and incorporate the colors that will reflect the heart and "sole" of the wearer. "They aren't just a piece of footwear, they tell a story."

As a boot maker and an artist Lisa feels that "cowboy boots are the perfect representation of art and craft meeting." Today in her studio, she employs an apprentice but don't expect overnight results. The intense design work and craftsmanship that goes into each pair takes time. You can be sure, though, that they will be worth the wait!

Lisa Sorrell
Sorrell Custom Boots
217 E. Oklahoma Avenue
Guthrie, OK 73044

Bits & Pieces

Photos of TheresaHigh Noon 2010 Dealer Update
from "T"

Dear High Noon Dealers,

It was great to see so many of you at the Cody Old West show in Denver. I'd been
to the Denver Merchandise Mart for many different events over the last 30+ years,
but that was the prettiest I'd ever seen it. Hats off to Brian and his show managers, Deb & Roz Broussard, and their decorator Chris Bailey & the Dynamic Events' crew.
Well done everyone!

We're back at the office in Los Angeles, and ready to put on our cowboy hats and get back to work. Linda
& I meet tomorrow to begin work on the 2010 High Noon show contracts. We expect them to go out at the end of August.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, you can contact me at the office: (310) 202-9010 or Theresa@highnoon.com

We'll see you down the trail,

Dealer Spotlight

RG (Ron) MunnRG (Ron) Munn
Auctioneer, Savvy Indian Collector and Great Teller of Stories

After chatting with RG about the life and times of RG Munn, one's ribs hurt from laughing so hard. His experiences are vast, his collecting knowledge rich - 40 years in the business and 40,000 stories to share. So many it's hard to choose so let's begin and set the tone with the one about Olaf Weighorst...

Who's Who at High Noon

Each month, Smoke Signals will give a little insight into who makes High Noon happen.
This month we introduce you to Estee and Jeff Roll, treasured auction volunteers.

Jeff and Estee RollEstee & Jeff Roll
Treasured Friends, Family
and a Treasure Trove of Fun

In wrapping up the interview with Jeff, he took an aside and reflected: "A couple of months ago, Estee and I were on our way back from picking up some hay in town for our horses. My dog Sonny was in the back and Estee was at my side in the truck. Just driving along, I realized I have everything in life I ever dreamed of." Wow, not many of us can say that but it's hard to think of any two people more deserving of this happiness than our Jeff and Estee. Soulful, sincere, caring - just a few words that barely begin to do justice to this team of two that can have you crying tears of laughter from their irreverence or spellbound by their insightful views on life and how to live it to the fullest.

Just to be involved in the energy and spirit of High Noon - that's their motivation to come down off their New Mexico ranch high in the mountains and join us each year, VOLUNTEERING their time, working the grueling hours from opening auction preview, bidder registration, the auction itself and check out into the wee hours of the morning. They are there and they are smiling because they are happy just to be there and we are honored that they are.

How did this all happen? How did High Noon get so lucky? Since 1994, Jeff and Estee would escape their Los Angeles life and come each year to High Noon to add to their collections of the finest in Western and Indian and visit long-time friends. Admittedly not the biggest collectors (although Estee is a confessed shop-o-holic) they remember always being embraced by Joseph and Linda and everyone involved with High Noon. One year upon their arrival, they popped into the auction preview room and no one was there. So, being who they are, they asked Joseph if he wanted them to "hang out" for a bit and cover the area. "Great - that would really help - thanks!" Three days later, they're still "covering the preview room...oops." And that's how it began - a High Noon snafu begets a life-long friendship with two of the worlds genuine gems.

Speaking of gems, let's look at Estee and the fabulous Estee Roll Jewelryjewelry she creates. Yup, she's a "beadiac!" It's "hobby run amuck" she says as she watches you flip through her catalog of page after page of absolutely gorgeous beaded necklaces - all one of a kind works of art that rival any of today's noted jewelry artisans. She's also a show producer in her own right coordinating a monthly outdoor artist's market in their community near Santa Fe. Conveniently, the perfect opportunity to promote her own line of jewelry which is donned by stylish women from across the Southwest.

A look into Jeff reveals the unexpected. Shy and reserved and reluctant to talk about himself, very few of us know what a power house in the ad agency biz he was throughout his career. Always a bit of a renegade (explains why the Air Force didn't ask him to re-up when he was young) his intrinsic artistic ability was quickly recognized by the Art Center School of Design in Los Angeles followed by a stellar career as Art Director in one of the "big 2" Los Angeles agencies. You don't get to be on a first name basis with the president of Porsche or Volkswagen unless you make really nice commercials. You also don't win a Cannes Silver Lion Award for being mediocre. When asked what he won the Cannes award for? In typical Jeff style (with a sparkle in his eye) the response is "Oh, for some stupid TV commercial I did." When asked if he still has the award? "I asked Estee a while ago if it was still around. She said, 'yeah, somewhere in a box'. " You know darn well she knows exactly where it is. She also knows that this was Jeff's work, not the heart and soul of the man she loves. Today, who they really are is reflected in the life they share, now miles from Los Angeles on their ranch in the New Mexico mountains, surrounded by their horses, their dogs and cats, their friends and each other. "Our dreams have come true."

And for us, our dream has come true - they are and always will be part of our family.

Interested in wearing some of Estee's amazing jewelry?
Email her for more info and photos:

Upcoming Events
March 31-July 26, 2009   Nicholas Firfires: Views From His Saddle   Santa Barbara Historical Museum
July 18, 2009   Living Legacy: The American Indian Collection   Northwest Museum of the Arts, Spokane, WA
July 24-25, 2009   Santa Rosa Plateau Cowboy Jubilee Music Festival   Murrieta, CA
July 24-26, 2009  
National Day of the Cowboy   Superstition Mountain Museum, Apache Junction, AZ
August 5-9, 2009  
Old Spanish Days Fiesta   Santa Barbara, CA
August 7-9, 2009
   The Great Southwestern Antique Show   State Fairgrounds, Albuquerque, NM
August 8, 2009
   Buckarettes   Albuquerque, NM Expo State Fairgrounds
August 8-9, 2009   Women of the West   Old Cowtown Museum, Wichita, KS
August 14-16, 2009
   24th Annual Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering   Lewistown, MT
August 14-16, 2009   Whitehawk's Ethnographic Art Show   Santa Fe, NM
August 15-16, 2009  
Roasting Ears of Corn Native American Festival   Allentown Indian Museum, Allentown, PA
August 17-19, 2009
   Whitehawk's Antique Indian Art Show   Santa Fe, NM
September 5-6, 2009   Cheyenne Celebrates Americana Music Weekend   Cheyenne, WY
September 5-6, 2009  
Western & Native American Arts Festival   Sisters, OR
September 10-12, 2009
   Western Design Conference   Jackson Hole Wyoming (the Pavillion at Snow King Center)
September 10-20, 2009   25th Annual Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival   Jackson Hole, WY
September 11-12, 2009
   Quest for the West Art Show & Auction   Eiteljorg Museum
September 17-20, 2009   Will James Society Gather   Hardin, MT
September 18-20, 2009   Rocky Mountain Horse Expo   Ignacio, CO
September 22-26, 2009   Cody High Style: Designing The West   Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, WY
October 2-25, 2009   5th Annual Heart of the West Art Exhibition and Sale   National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame
October 16-17, 2009   44th Annual Cowboy Artists of America Exhibition & Sale   Phoenix Art Museum
October 16-18, 2009  
5th Annual Llano River Chuck Wagon Cook-off 2009   Badu Park, TX
November - December, 2009  
Gary Fillmore, Cormany Collection, Marjorie Reed   Woolaroc Museum, Bartlesville, OK
November 3-8, 2009
   15th Annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering & Buckaroo Fair   Heber City, UT
December 11, 12 & 13, 2009   11th Annual Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival and Christmas Art & Gear Show   Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, CA
January 30-31, 2010   20th Annual High Noon Show & Auction   Mesa, AZ
February 25-28th, 2010   10th Annual Saddle Up! (Western Musicians & Cowboy Poetry)   Pigeon Forge, TN

Send event submissions to SmokeSignals@highnoon.com

Don't Fret About the Future - Invest in the Past!

High Noon Western Americana
PH 310.202.9010  |  FAX 310.202.9011
Newsletter Submissions: smokesignals@highnoon.com
Information: info@highnoon.com  |  www.highnoon.com

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Smoke Signals is for and about all of the wonderful people in our High Noon family. If you have news you want to share, hot tips on what's going on in the Western Americana world or just a suggestion of something you'd like to see us cover, send us an email at smokesignals@highnoon.com


Chief Publisher: High Noon Western Americana
Chief Editor: Linda Kohn Sherwood
Chief Art Director: Robin Ireland, Ireland Graphic Design
Chief Graphic Designer: Curtis Hill, Art Direction Services
Chief Writer: Jayne Skeff, JSLA Media Solutions