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August 2010 - Vol 2, Issue 8
In This Issue
Feature Story: Chinacos, by Danny Neill
Featured Photo: Pictorial View of Western Americana....Featuring Myron Beck
Linda's Feed Bag: Soft Summer-Night Pear Poaching
In The News: All is Well and High Noon Celebrates the Year of the American Indian
Dealer Spotlight: Gene Rogers - The Cowbilly Who Makes Spurs
and Furthermore...Cowboy Poetry by amy elizabeth
Upcoming Events: Don't miss these upcoming Western and Native American events
Feature Story

Photo of a ChinacoChinacos

By Danny Neill

We can define Chinacos through various times of history. They were guerrilla liberals in Mexico during the War of Independence. They were common people. They were horsemen, independent, proud, and artisitic. But they were not always so.  

These men originally came from Spain, from the Salamanca and Andalusia areas. They learned of horses from the Moors who conquered Spain in 711 AD and stayed for over seven hundred years. The Moors brought them Arabian horses, which were lighter and faster than the European horse. They also introduced them to a smaller saddle with bags, spade and halfbreed bits, spurs, and fancy outfits. And the Spanish adopted all of these new ways to fit their needs.

By the time Cortez came to Mexico in 1519 he brought over three hundred men who could ride horses and fight, many of them Chinacos. As more men came from Spain and the fighting slowed down, the Chinacos settled in haciendas, eventually owning cattle ranches, becoming proud riders, representing personal independence and respect in the cultural context.

Featured Photo by Myron Beck

Myron Beck photo of 2 cowboys with beautiful orange sunset behind them
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.


Did You Know?

1. Bear, a popular symbol in Southwest art, is often seen as a fetish in weavings, on pottery, and in silverwork, sometimes with a "heartline" running through the center of the bear.

2. Louisa Ann Swain, a seventy-year-old woman, became the first woman in America to vote in a public election at Laramie, Wyoming on September 6, 1870.

3. Painting on a smooth metal glass or stone plate, then printing on paper makes a one-of-a-kind print, Monotype. The pressure of printing creates a texture not possible when painting directly on paper.

And thanks to Theresa Verrier:

4. A Stampede string is a long string usually made from leather or horsehair. Typically, the string is run half-way around the crown of a cowboy hat, and then through a hole on each side with its ends knotted and then secured under the chin or around the back of the head keeping the hat in place in windy conditions or when riding a horse.

If you have some interesting tidbits that you would like to share, send them to SmokeSignals@highnoon.com

Social Media News

Don't miss exciting Western videos now available on YOU TUBE!

Subscribe now to the High Noon and Denver Old West YOU TUBE channels and receive email notifications whenever we post new content:

High Noon Music Box
Ranch & Reata Radio

High Noon logo
Skip Gentry

DeeAnn Sheppard

Paul Wales

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Linda's Feed Bag
High Noon logo
Soft Summer-Night
Pear Poaching

Looks Devine, Too Easy to Believe

Bring to a boil in a heavy-bottomed pan:
4 cups water
-1 cup sugar

Delicious Poached Pears DishTurn down to a simmer and add:
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
cinnamon stick broken into pieces
2-inch piece of vanilla bean split in half lengthwise

Peel, leaving the stems intact:
4 medium pears (such as Bosc, Bartlett or Anjou - ask someone working in produce which is the sweetest)

Scoop out the small blossom end of each pear (so they stand up evenly) and put the pears in the barely simmering sugar syrup. Add more water if needed to cover the pears. Cook for 15 to 40 minutes depending on variety and ripeness, until tender and translucent but not soft and squishy. Test with a sharp paring knife at the thickest part of the pear. Remove from heat and cool. Serve warm or chilled with some of the poaching liquid, reduced or not.

Serve with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, warm chocolate sauce or raspberry sauce with or without a garnish of fresh berries. Or serve with all of the above but we are trying to be healthy here!

Store in refrigerator submerged in the poaching liquid. Lasts for 3-4 days!


Substitute 3 cups dry fruity white or red wine for 3 cups of water.

Cut the pears into quarters. Peel and core and cut into -" slices and poach for 45 minutes, until tender, for a faster desert (see photo).


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.

Bits & Pieces

TheresaHigh Noon 2011 Dealer Update from "T"

Dear High Noon Dealers,

I was unable to get the 2011 High Noon Dealer Contracts out in July as planned. Sorry about that!

Plan B is to mail them (via USPS) at the end of August, when we get back from Santa Fe.

When you receive your packet in the mail, please take a few minutes to read everything over, and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at the High Noon office.

We'll see you down the trail...


PS For those of you who will be exhibiting or attending the shows and auctions in Albuquerque & Santa Fe this month, please be sure to stop by the High Noon booth and say hello. We'll be set up at the Great Southwestern Antique Show, and both of the Whitehawk shows (see Upcoming Events at the bottom of this newsletter for all the details).

Consignments Wanted

Buffalo Ranch Real Wild West PosterHigh Noon Western Americana Auction is accepting high quality consignments.

High Noon Western Americana Auction is accepting high quality consignments for our January 29-30, 2011 Auction in Mesa, Arizona. January will be here before you know it, so call us at (310) 202-9010 or email us information and photos of your treasures: info@highnoon.com

In the News

All is well...

By Linda Kohn Sherwood

Roy Rogers' Horse TriggerThe phone calls, the distraught baby boomers, all declared that this was the end of the Roy Rogers legacy. The museum was closing and how could they hope to keep the era of moral clarity alive?

My announcement today is that all is well.  

I witnessed not only the throngs of Roy and Dale passionados stroll through our sale (High Noon's, held in conjunction with Christie's in New York), each and everyone of them with huge smiles on their faces, but afterwards, the smiles continue.

Marjorie, a retired homemaker widow, works a few days a month at Christies during their previews, helping with questions and showing material to prospective bidders. She returned on her day off with her grown son and daughter-in-law, who were mesmerized by the sale! They stayed for hours and talked about how it all connected to today's world!  

A young 17 year old arrived from Connecticut after begging her mother to bring her to the sale as a birthday gift. They arrived by bus and stayed 8 hours, to return that evening in order to save money on hotels. She took photos of every item, drank in every nuance. I asked her to write a story of her day and I would print it in our eMagazine Smoke Signals. She smiled the entire day and hopefully will write down her thoughts. Again, she was only 17!

Thousands of photographs were taken both in front of the tricked-out Nudie Bonneville and in front of Trigger in the vestibule. Three generations of families were in those photos: we of the older generations who grew up without a remote control on our televisions, the 30-somethings who had seen the re-runs we insisted they watch, and the little ones whose eyes were aglow with the images of a man on a rearing horse and a loving couple.  

People gawked at the row of boots in the sale. Gawking is a word reserved for superstars. But all eyes were on the boots, even the ones that Roy cut around the toes to give him a "scooch" more room.  

During the auction over two weeks ago Wednesday, Joseph and I worked at the telephone bidding desk. There were at least 20 of us making calls. While we were on the phone with people waiting to bid, we heard their stories. When they met Roy, when they heard Dale sing. When they met Dusty (Roy Jr) and how kind he was. And how many had now met Dustin, Roy's grandson, who looks remarkably like Roy.

At the end of the sale there was a huge sigh. The last piece consisted of two 6'x 8' foam core illustrations of the music and words to "Happy Trails". They sold for a stunning price of $22,000. Spontaneously the crowd stood and sang the song. Possibly every person in the room sang off-tune but together, it created a magnificent melody.

So is it over? I'm here to tell you it is not. The closing of a museum will not deter the sentiment and values reflected by Roy and Dale. Instead the seeds of values and passion will now be spread and planted all over the US. Children from all walks of life and zip codes will be exposed like they have never been before. The plants will be tended by us new caretakers and blossom everywhere.

Since the auction, I have spoken with the man who purchased Trigger and Bullet and to the woman who bought Nellybelle. They have been inundated with phone calls and emails of warm congratulations. They are now some of the new curators of the legacy. Trigger and Bullet will live at RFD-TV station in Omaha, with programming centered around ranch and country life. Dusty and Dustin and their band The High Riders will be playing both Roy's and their own music. RFD-TV is talking about taking Trigger on the road, to rodeos and gatherings, for all to enjoy. Pam Weidel, a world renowned breeder of Arabian race horses and endurance horses from New Jersey, went home with Nellybelle. She plans on keeping it in the museum of businessman John B. Haines IV, in Pennsburg, PA.

Dusty made his last, heartfelt speech to the crowds and the last tears were shed. The auction was over, the sales room was packed up and carted away, the seeds to be shipped throughout the United States to all the new curators. With each piece goes a shard of the legacy that will be handed down both publicly and privately, to all those who sing Happy Trails in their heads when they do a good turn for their neighbor and hold their families close.

Check out photos of the event on High Noon Western Americana's Facebook page and feel the love!


High Noon Celebrates
The Year of The American Indian

High Noon is excited to announce that in 2011, we will be celebrating The Year of the American Indian. Through the powerful art and artifacts that remain today, join us as we trace the history from the more than 560 tribes that created the backbone of this land.

Beaded Baby CarrierTheir culture, spirit and endurance are deeply woven into each of our lives, and High Noon is committed to ensuring their legacy lives on in strength. By sharing knowledge of who they were and promoting who they will become, the influence of the American Indian, historic to contemporary, will continue to thrive and grow even stronger.

High Noon is very excited to announce that our January 29th, 2011 auction will feature some of the most important American Indian art and artifacts to ever come to market. Sioux, Plateau, Kiowa, Cheyenne, Blackfoot and more will be represented at this important event.

Over the next several months, High Noon invites all of our family to share their knowledge, stories, photos and their treasures from these powerful nations. It's through this sharing that we can all grow in spirit, helping to pass their legacy onto our future generations.

In celebration of the Year of the American Indian, High Noon is pleased to offer this Cheyenne Beaded Baby Carrier, c. 1880 at their upcoming January 29, 2011 auction in Mesa, AZ.

Dealer Spotlight

Photo of Gene RogersGene Rogers
Just the "Cowbilly" who makes spurs for the stars

Cowbilly? "Well, I was born and raised in the Ozark Mountains, so at first I was a hillbilly," recalls Gene. "When I was 15, I moved to Oklahoma and became infected with the cowboy craze and became a cowboy. So now I just call myself a cowbilly," he says with a laugh. Well, whether you call him a hillbilly, cowboy or cowbilly, one thing's for sure, this man makes beautiful spurs and is a valued member of the NBSCCA and the world of Western Americana.

It's so often by fluke that the best of the best end up doing what they do and Gene Rogers is no exception to this. His cowboy experience started at the age of 15 when he worked on a friend's ranch in the glamorous role of stall cleaner and manure shoveler. But that didn't stop him from being a cowboy in his dreams, even though perhaps he wasn't a world class rodeo rider.

What he was, however, was fully captivated with the lifestyle and culture of the cowboy. He rode some and it was on a ride one day that his spur-making career began. "I was riding one day up in the hills and I lost a spur. I couldn't find one to replace it so I decided to figure out how to make one myself." A pipe fitter by trade, working with metal and welding techniques was a natural for him.

Bob Hall helped in the beginning and Gene worked to emulate his fine designs and techniques. Later, Bill Adamson was his mentor resulting in a friendship that has sustained the years. "I've been trying to catch Bill for years but I still haven't gotten there yet," Gene remarks with a twinkle in his eye.

Now, 26 years later, Gene is still designing and creating some of the most exquisite spurs there are. He embraces passing on his craft and skill to future generations so this art continues to thrive. His apprentices range in age from their 60s to their 20s and he just loves what he does and all the people involved.

The "star" angle. Well, this "cowbilly" has made spurs for some very familiar cowboy and western types including James Drury of the Virginian, Stuart Whitman, Johnny Crawford and even Steven Seagal.

Oh yes, and those spurs that he made for the Roy Rogers Museum. Those spurs that just happened to sell well at the July Christie's auction... "The most any spurs I made have ever sold for were $3,000. But to me, it's not about what they sold for, just having my spurs in that auction and in that catalogue...well, it's like having something you've done exhibited at the finest museum in the world."

Gene's wife Donna "keeps him in line" as do his two children, Dirk and Cindy. Both have inherited a bit of the cowboy from their dad. Dirk is a firefighter in the US Forest Service and Cindy is an avid rider.

Gene took a break from doing shows for a while but we look forward to hopefully having him back in the High Noon family this January in Mesa.

Gene Rogers
(303) 642-7285

and Furthermore...

This month we present cowboy poetry by amy elizabeth...

It's a Cowboy Thing
by amy elizabeth

Up before the sun
An' well past dusk,
A cowboy's work
Ain't never done.
Nothin's ever broke
That he can't fix,
As long as someday
Is soon enough.
'Course it ain't no surprise
He's handy with a rope,
But if you don't know,
He's a master at makin' do
Usin' duct tape an' balin' wire too.

Photo of Amy Elizabeth, poetamy elizabeth 2010

Stories of the Old West were an inspirational tool in my early cowboy poetry. Born in Chicago, Illinois, horses were sparse and cowboys few - but if there's a will there's a cowboy way. Today, home is on a small ranch in Arizona where horses are plentiful and cowboys are an arm's length away. I'm currently at work on a Western Romance Novel, and I just completed my first book of Western Folk Poetry. Sometimes you have to grab life by the reins, put weight in the stirrups, sit deep, and chance every mountain no matter how steep.
--amy elizabeth

Upcoming Events
ONGOING  The Red Rock Ride - A horseback adventure...  Tropic, UT
NOW thru August 22, 2010 Home Lands: How Women Made the West  Los Angeles, CA
NOW thru September 6, 2010 
Georgia O'Keefe and the Faraway: Nature and Image Exhibit 
Cowgirl Hall of Fame, Ft. Worth, TX

NOW thru October 31, 2010  Splendid Heritage: Perspectives on American Indian Art   Cody, WY
NOW thru November 7, 2010 
The Art of Native American Basketry - A Living Tradition  Los Angeles, CA
NOW thru January 9, 2011 
21st Century Regionalists: The Art of the Next West  Rockwell Museum of Western Art, Corning, NY
August 12-17, 2010  27th Annual Antique Ethnographic Art Show  Santa Fe, NM
August 13-14, 2010  Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering  Prescott, AZ
August 13-22, 2010
  The Santa Fe Show: Objects of Art  Santa Fe, NM
August 15-17, 2010  32nd Annual Invitational Indian Art Show  Santa Fe, NM
August 19-23, 2010  Crow Fair 2010  Crow Agency, MT
August 20-21, 2010  Reno Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering  Reno, NV
September 1-4, 2010 
P.R.E. National Horse Show Celebrating Pure Spanish Horse  Las Vegas, NV
September 9-11, 2010 
Banning Stagecoach Days  Banning, CA
September 15-18, 2010 
100th Pendleton Round Up  Pendleton, OR
September 21-25, 2010 
Rendezvous Royale  Cody, WY
September 24, 2010 
12th Annual TCAA Exhibit and Sale  Oklahoma City, OK
September 30 - October 3, 2010 
Will James Society 18th Annual Gathering  Elko, NV
October 1-December 5, 2010 
6th Annual Heart of the West Art Exhibition  National Cowgirl Museum, Ft. Worth, TX
October 2, 2010 
Picture This: A Scavenger Hunt @ Cowgirl Hall of Fame  Fort Worth, TX
October 16, 2010  Buckaroo Bash  Indianapolis, IN
October 20-24, 2010
  Grand National Rodeo  San Francisco, CA
October 27, 2010  6th Annual Heart of the West Art Sale  National Cowgirl Museum, Ft. Worth, TX
October 28, 2010 
35th Annual National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon  Ft. Worth, TX
October 30, 2010 
Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)  Los Angeles, CA
November 6, 2010 
Western Stock Saddle Collection Opening  Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, TX
December 10-12, 2010
  Monterey Cowboy & Music Festival  Monterey, CA
January 29-30, 2011  High Noon 3-Day Shopping Event  Mesa, AZ

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