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November 2010 - Vol 2, Issue 11
In This Issue
Feature Story: Packing Your Kit, The Transformation of Cowboy Leather Goods
Featured Photo: Pictorial View of Western Americana....Featuring Myron Beck
Linda's Feed Bag: What Real Cowboys do with the Leftovers - Turkey, Pear and Blue Cheese Sandwich
Expressions: Elk Dreamers - Magical, Powerful, Romantic Healers
In The News: The Autry National Center Does it Again
Dealer Spotlight: Elmer Diederich - Raging Bull Antique Mall
Roaming Range Reporter: At the 44th Annual Cowboy Artists of America Gathering
and Furthermore...Cowboy Poetry by Ron Soodalter
Upcoming Events: Don't miss these upcoming Western and Native American events
Feature Story

Main and Winchester SaddlePacking Your Kit,
The Transformation of Cowboy Leather Goods

By James H. Nottage

In this day of mass-produced goods and media manipulated marketing, it is no surprise that there is a clear sameness in the design and appearance of every kind of product from clothes to cars to electronic gadgets. Everything looks alike and when something new does have a distinctive appearance, you can bet that others will soon be copying it.

For those of us who enjoy the history of Western, and especially cowboy leather goods, there is something about the unique styles of saddles, gun belts, boots, and other gear that is very appealing. You can document particular fashions of shape, function, and design that are characteristic of regions, especially during the last half of the 19th century. As time passed, however, we clearly see how homogenized certain styles became. As an example, the classic cowboy saddle of the 1880s that we think of as the "Cheyenne" saddle, with square skirts, rolled cantle, and other attributes is easily spotted in catalogs, old photographs, and actual specimens. As most collectors know, however, saddles of this exact type can be marked by makers from Montana to California and even beyond. How did designs and forms spread so quickly?

Photo: Main & Winchester Saddle, Sold 2009 Brian Lebel Old West Auction

Featured Photo by Myron Beck

Beck photo of cowboy roping
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. From the end of the Civil War until 1890, some 10 million head of cattle were driven from Texas to Kansas.

2. Limited Edition has a known number of impressions, usually fewer than 200, that are numbered and signed.

3. Burnham, a contemporary Navajo weaving style, has intricate, geometric designs.

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:

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It's easy to purchase current and past High Noon Auction Catalogs. Stay up-to-date with upcoming auction information and make sure your library has all of the past catalogs too. Simply go to our website for more information.


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Linda's Feed Bag
High Noon logo
What Real Cowboys
do with the Leftovers...

Turkey, Pear and Blue Cheese Sandwich

The day after Thanksgiving, when everyone is still milling around the kitchen and you've already sworn off eating, try this tasty combination. You won't regret one calorie!

Illustration of Thanksgiving food table

Ingredients for each sandwich

2 slices of a crusty bread
Slices turkey, enough for a manwhich
1/2 Sliced pear (preferably purchased along with the pre-Thanksgiving grocery spree so it is ripe)
Thick blue cheese dressing


Start by sautéing the sliced turkey in a little melted butter. This is just to warm it up and add some flavor. You can skip this step if you are a cowboy who counts calories.

Slice and toast the bread.

Spread a generous amount of blue cheese dressing on the bread.

Top with turkey, pears and additional slice of bread.

We won't tell if you add a generous scoop of leftover dressing!


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.


Pony Quill DressElk Dreamers -
Magical, Powerful, Romantic Healers

The Elk, in Native American culture, is the symbol of strength, youth, love, power and integrity: Male elks fight to their death to protect their mate and herd, a wondrous athlete in spite of his size and his antlers.

To that end, the Sioux and Plains Indians aspired to embrace the culture of this powerful animal. An Elk Dreamer was a man that saw an elk in his visions and so gained its power and influence. He drew his strength and power from this glorious beast of good spirit and was said to be almost as strong as a bear but gentle at heart, looking out for the womenfolk, the weak and helpless children.

A Sioux Elk Dreamer once said that when an elk dies, everything except the tusks return to the earth, imparting long life to those who wear them. Native American women wore robes adorned with hundreds of teeth, which were the remnants of the prehistoric tusks and their ancestors' glory.

Photo: Dress to be offered in January, 2011 High Noon Auction

Recommended Reading

Book Cover: Heart of a CowboyThe Heart of a Cowboy
by John H. Conley, Jr.

Tom Mix once said, "The Old West is not a certain place in a certain time; it's a state of mind. It's whatever you want it to be." 

John H Conley Jr. has portrayed that state of mind in his book, The Heart of a Cowboy. In 20 rich chapters he showers each of his Old West heroes with love, respect and devotion by giving us insight into their lives and careers. 

He begins with The Cowboy Code, the Cap Guns and Broomstick Ponies and moves on to chronicle all those who contributed to his childhood: the stars, and others who helped make the dreams come to life: Gene, Roy, Monte and Poncho, Will James and the Yodeling Bombshell singer Carolina Cotton, Red Steagall, Louis L'Amour, Hoppy and the Duke were among his favorite heroes. They influenced him on Saturday morning TV, double features at the movies, on record players and books. From these high profile film and TV heroes, to the quieter heroes, stunt doubles and sidekicks, singers and actors, artists and authors, he ends with a special invitation for all to participate in the National Day of the Cowboy. He reflects what the day is all about. As Sen Craig Thomas said, we want to "recognize our country's cowboys and cowgirls for their important contributions to our nation's history."

It should be a staple in every library, a must for those interested in learning about our heroes, history and halcyon days.

Collector News

Illustration of High Noon PediaCheck out the
High Noon-Pedia

Did you know that High Noon has a very comprehensive RESOURCE DATABASE of the ARTISTS and CRAFTSMEN who have been featured in our auctions? And they can be found on our website FREE for EVERYONE to use? It features brief BIOGRAPHIES and TIDBITS of information about these talented and important individuals and companies. It's our version of "Western Wikipedia"!

And, in the style of Wikipedia, this is EVERYONE'S database! We want to know of any corrections, additions or deletions that need to be made. It's a High Noon family effort and we welcome your input!

Email us and we'll even give you credit for your submission if you want!

Check it out:  www.highnoon.com/hnartistbios.htm
Email us:   smokesignals@highnoon.com

In the News

The Autry National Center does it again, this time with electricity!

Two couples enjoying the GalaThe best of the west stepped out in black-tie and rich Western regalia on October 2nd for the Autry Museum's Annual Fundraising Gala. Always a highlight on the Los Angeles social scene, this year's event was titled The Electric West Gala with electric guitar chandeliers adorning the walls and guests decked out in their rhinestone best!

In true Gala style, the dressed up crowd walked the cocktail reception, bid in the exciting silent auction, then headed to the elegant dinner catered by celebrity Wolfgang Puck. There they applauded as Merle Haggard accepted the Spirit of the West Award and bid on offerings including a one-of-a-kind Bohlin belt buckle designed specifically for the event by David Marold and a one-week vacation to a Scottish Castle. Caught Red Handed got everyone's toes tapping and the dancing began.

This is the Autry's largest fundraiser each year with proceeds from the event supporting their important education and outreach programs for children as well as fueling their art and artifact acquisition fund.

For more information about the Autry National Center, visit: www.theautry.org

Top:  Theresa Verrier of High Noon and Dwight Yoakum look like they are about to hit the dance floor!

Bottom:  Melissa McCracken of Denver Old West gives Brian Lebel a big hug in support of the Autry National Center.

Dealer Spotlight

Photo of Elmer DiederichElmer Diederich
This month Smoke Signals chats with Elmer Diederich - he's a hoot!

Any interviewer can get the flavor of an interviewee fairly quickly but with Elmer it was immediate. At the beginning, when he was asked, "How did you end up in this world of Western Collectibles?" his response was - "Well, that would be my mother's fault." Dead silence followed as more information was anticipated...none came until he said, "She birthed me..." Okay. Got it. He's gonna make us work. In the end though, as they say, "Payback's a b..." So, when, at the end of the interview he asked if he would see this story before it ran, our response was "Absolutely not." Our turn for dead silence. Then he boomed with laughter. When it was then revealed that the name of the antique mall he and his wife Jan own in Big Timber (MT) is called Raging Bull Antique Mall it was too tempting not to say (and we did), "Raging Bull..., that's a good description of the story we're going to write about you!" And on it went but in the end, we were able to glean some bits of information in between giggles and guffaws.

Okay, back to Elmer, who left Aurora (IL) years ago burned out by his real job(s) and the big urban environment. He began by collecting guns in the 1970s, which he still loves but soon found the other genres of Western Americana even more intriguing. He blames this on Brian Lebel whom he met in the early 1980s at a show in Montana. Brian was set up and Elmer became fascinated by what he had. The rest, he said, was "proverbial history." Out with the guns, in with the chaps, bits, spurs and saddles and a wealth of knowledge in all areas of Western collecting.

He's extremely proud that he has been able to make his livelihood today doing what he loves. In the beginning, he'd do over 40 shows a year but now he's slowed down to only about 30. Tireless he is. Shows, along with The Raging Bull Antique Mall, keep him busy only 365 days a year.

When asked if there is anything he has acquired in his years of collecting that he just couldn't part with? "Heck no - it's all for sale!" (We should've known that would be his response.)

He's done High Noon since show #1 and will be there as long as they last. And we wouldn't want to have a show without him.

Elmer and Jan Diederich - just so fun and just so important to us!

Elmer Diederich
Raging Bull Antique Mall
Big Timber, MT
(406) 932-7777

Roaming Range Reporter
People Pnjoying Cowboy Artists Gathering

High Nooners
Theresa and Danny
oogling the
beautiful art with
Terry and John Moyers
at the 44th annual
Cowboy Artists of America gathering in Phoenix,
October 15-16th.

and Furthermore...

This month we present cowboy poetry by Ron Soodalter...


We was never the friends all the stories made out,
Though I'd stand him a drink now and then.
But I guess when you come to shoot a man dead -
Or a boy who carried a price on his head -
It just ain't enough for some men.

So the stories get told of the Kid, brave and bold,
And the mean-hearted way that he fell.
But just give me a chance to put it a-right,
And I'll tell you what happened in Sumner that night,
When I sent Billy's spirit to Hell.

Now, Billy had already killed two of mine,
Gave 'em no chance at all for a play.
He pistoled Jim Bell, comin' back from the loo,
Then he shotgunned Bob Olinger, cut him in two,
And he laughed as he cantered away.

I'd already captured the Kid once before,
Took the trouble to take him alive.
But I knew as I packed for the hunt once again,
And I swabbed out my guns and selected my men,
That this time he wouldn't survive.

We was three of us rode into Sumner that night,
And I knew where to look for the Kid.
He was sweet on Paulita, with her long raven hair,
Pete Maxwell's kid sister, both comely and fair,
It was soft in her bed that he hid.

We tied up our horses and walked to Pete's house -
There was Poe and McKinney and me. 
I ordered them both to keep watch from the stair;
And went into Pete's bedroom, and sat on a chair,
So dark I barely could see.

As I woke up Old Pete, I heard a voice bark,
"Quien es? Who the devil are you?"
"We're just cattle-buyers," I heard Poe reply.
I recall that his voice sounded shaky and high,
As the Kid backed away from the two.

He backed down the porch till he stood in Pete's door,
With a long carving knife in his hand,
No shirt was he wearing, no shoes on his feet,
"Quien es?" his voice trembled. "Who are those boys, Pete?"
And 'twas then that I made my stand.

I fired a round at his skinny white chest,
Then I fired again at the Kid,
And as he was falling, I ran for the door,
Fair blinded and deaf from my own forty-four,
Only guessing the damage I did.

"I got him!" I shouted, "I just shot the Kid!"
And folks started gathering 'round,
As deep in my belly I bent to a cramp,
While McKinney and Poe lit a kerosene lamp,
And there was the Kid on the ground.

My first shot had taken him flush in the chest,
Christ knows where the second one ran.
He'd died fairly quick, just a groan and no more,
Lyin' flat on his back on Old Pete's bedroom floor,
Lookin' more like a boy than a man.

I was sick to my stomach, and shook like a leaf,
With the shock of the deed that I did.
My ears were still ringing, as distant and dim,
McKinney was shouting, "Are you sure it was him?"
But I knew that I'd ended the Kid.

I recall that I thought, as we rode out of town,
Things were finally going all right.
But I never did reckon that people would say
How I murdered my friend in a cowardly way,
Shot him down like a dog in the night.

So sing your sad ballads of Billy the Kid,
And grieve at his early demise.
But know that the bastard was no Robin Hood,
And that he did a crapload more evil than good,
And everything else is just lies.

Ron Soodalter, Author of The Slave Next Door and Hanging Captain Gordon

Upcoming Events
NOW thru December 5, 2010  6th Annual Heart of the West Art Exhibition  National Cowgirl Museum, Ft. Worth, TX
NOW thru January 9, 2011  21st Century Regionalists: The Art of the Next West  Rockwell Museum of Western Art, Corning, NY
November 11-14, 2010  Annual Cowpoke Fall Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering  Loomis, CA
November 12-14, 2010 
26th Annual Vaquero Show & Sale  Santa Ynez, CA
November 12-14, 2010 
Chilies & Chocolate Festival  Phoenix, AZ
November 19-20, 2010 
Grand Junction Cowboy Poetry  Grand Junction, CO
November 26-28, 2010 
40th Annual Arabian Thanksgiving Arabian Horse Show  Burbank, CA
December 2-11, 2010 
Cowboy Christmas  Las Vegas, NV
December 2-11, 2010 
NFL Rodeo Finals  Las Vegas, NV
December 4-5, 2010 
Bill Pickett Invitational Championship Rodeo  Kansas City, MO
December 5, 2010 
Cowboy Christmas Concert  Los Angeles, CA
December 10-12, 2010
  Monterey Cowboy & Music Festival  Monterey, CA
December 18, 2010  Native American Community Drumming Circle  Indianapolis, IN
December 28-January 1, 2011 
60th Annual Arizona National Stock Show/Cowboy Classics  Phoenix, AZ
January 21-22, 2011 
22nd Annual Colorado Cowboy Gathering  Denver, CO
January 24-29, 2011 
National Cowboy Poetry Gathering  Elko, NV
January 29-30, 2011
  High Noon 3-Day Western Americana Event  Mesa, AZ
February 3-6, 2011  3rd Annual Texas Crossroads Cowboy Gathering  Van Horn, TX
February 3-20, 2011 
San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo  San Antonio, TX
February 19-27, 2011 
La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Rodeo  Tucson, AZ
February 25-27, 2011 
25th Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering  Alpine, TX
March 24-27, 2011 
Palm Springs WestFest & Rodeo  Palm Springs, CA
April 28-30, 2011 
Gathering of the Nations Pow Wow  Albuquerque, NM
May 6-8, 2011 
DesignAmerica-Texas  Grapevine, TX
June 24-26, 2011
  Brian Lebel's Old West Show & Auction  Denver, CO

Send event submissions to SmokeSignals@highnoon.com

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

High Noon Western Americana
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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