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January 2011 - Vol 3, Issue 1
In This Issue
Feature Story: The White Masked Bandit by James H Nottage
Featured Photo: Pictorial View of Western Americana....Featuring Myron Beck
Linda's Feed Bag: Real Easy Cowboy Sloppy Joe
Bits & Pieces: Dealer Update from "T"
Dealer Spotlight: Larry W Carpenter
Roaming Range Reporter: How I Remember Ray Pohja, by Tad S Mizwa
and Furthermore...Cowboy Poetry by amy elizabeth
Upcoming Events: Don't miss these upcoming Western and Native American events
Feature Story

Photo of Bill Carlisle, the Masked BanditThe White Masked Bandit

By James H Nottage

I remember him clearly, an older gray haired man, slender with the kind of wind-worn face common to men who labored to make a living in the Wyoming of cowboys and railroaders. These were the men who scraped out a living in this often unforgiving land. Some of my earliest memories as a child come from listening to this man chat with my father while I sipped a grape soda. He operated tourist cabins on the east edge of Laramie and my father delivered Sinclair gasoline to his adjacent gas station. 

As an avid fan of Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers, I was all about Wild West shoot outs, galloping horses, and the scenarios of the fictional 1950s Westerns. Imagine the fascination of learning that the scars on the man's left hand were from a bullet wound earned in a shooting following a train robbery gone bad! That certain difference between the mythical West of television and movies and the real West of Wyoming was clear and evident to my young imagination.


Featured Photo by Myron Beck

Dramatic Myron Beck photo of cowboy with wide-angle background
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. A New Jersey man named John Batterson Stetson first designed the cowboy hat we have come to know today in the 1860s. Stetson, in Central City, Colorado for health reasons, saw a market for a broad brimmed hat for ranch wear. He opened a shop in Philadelphia and began designing hats under the Stetson name in 1865. By 1906 Stetson employed approximately 3,500 workers, turning out two million hats a year.

2. Silver Print is a generic term referring to all prints made on paper coated with silver salts. Most contemporary black and white photographs are silver prints.

3. A New Mexico Pueblo, Cochiti, is famous for figurative clay work.

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 Auction Catalogs

High Noon Auction Catalog 2011 Mesa, AZ
Jan 2011

Purchase Current and Past High Noon Auction Catalogs

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
If you are heading to High Noon's Show & Auction in Mesa, AZ and need a quick bite to send you on your way, try this recipe from the Bice Family in Colorado:


My mother gave me this recipe over 53 years ago at a wedding shower held before I married my cowboy.  - Maril Bice
1 lb of hamburger, 93% is goodIllustration of Sloppy Joe Sandwich
1/2 of a green pepper, diced
1/2 of an onion, diced
3 or more garlic buds, crushed
Chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can of Tomato Soup, and over 1/2 of a can of water
1 can of chili beans if desired
Brown the green pepper, onion and garlic in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes, and then add the hamburger. Brown and break it up with a wooden spoon, and add the soup and water. Next add salt and pepper, as much chili powder as you like, and stir and taste. If it needs more seasoning, be my guest!! If you want to have it feed even more people, add the can of chili beans. This is delicious and so easy to prepare, and tastes great over hamburger buns with added fresh chopped onion on top!


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

Photo of Theresa
High Noon 2011
Dealer Update
from "T"

Dear Dealers,

Are you asking yourself these questions...
Where can I pick up my dealer packet?
Can I pay my balance with a credit card?
Where should I load in at the show? 
Where should I park?
Do I have to pay for parking?
What are the dealer hours at the show?
When does the public come in?
What's the name of the hotel across from the show?
Can I make a room reservation on-line?
Will there be porters to help me load in & load out?
Can I bring my own food to the show?
The answers to all of your questions can be found on your 2011 dealer information sheet. It was included in your original contract packet, and then just recently mailed to you in your Contract Confirmation Packet.

Contract Confirmation Packets
CC packets were mailed last Tuesday, January 4th, via the US Mail. If you haven't received yours by the 14th, please let me know & I'll email you a copy of everything in your packet.

Tax Forms
If you haven't sent in your tax forms, please call or email Peggy from the State and/or Brenda from the City of Mesa immediately. You must have the appropriate forms & fees sent in prior to set-up day of the show (Friday, January 28). All tax information can be found in your dealer information sheet.

Dealer Packet Pick-Up in Mesa
Remember, you can pick up your dealer packets on Thursday, January 27th at the hotel (same place as last year) from 3pm - 7pm, or Friday, January 28th (dealer set-up day), beginning at 8am in Lobby C (same as last year). See your dealer information sheet for all the details.

As always, your dealer badges will be in your packet. The front of your badge has your name & your exhibitor space address; the back of your badge has your dealer hours as well as the public hours posted there for you. Please make sure you're wearing your badge at all times.

An invitation to the dealer party (who, what, where) will be in your dealer packets. The party will begin @ 6pm Friday night.

Now, I just have one question for you...Are you ready to party? Yeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaw!

See you soon!

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

Mesa Arizona: Party News

Join the Party at High Noon Mesa Arizona

Dealer Spotlight

Larry Carpenter and friendLarry W Carpenter

The home page of Larry Carpenter's website says it all in just a few words, "I'm always in the mood to buy guns." And Larry's been in the mood since he was a young boy growing up in eastern Tennessee.

As a young boy, a neighbor of his family was a gun collector. Larry took to antique guns like a fish to water and his neighbor took him under his wing, educating him, taking young Larry to shows, mentoring him and fueling his passion for what would become his life-long career.

Larry then knew what he wanted to do. He graduated high school, did a stint in the military then graduated college in 1976. Within a year, he had opened his own gun shop in Kingsport (TN) called Lock, Stock & Barrel. Could he have called it a better name?

His true passion always ran to the antique guns like Winchesters and the real cowboy guns. He kept Lock, Stock & Barrel for 20 years until he decided to close the shop and focus entirely on buying, selling and trading the finest antique firearms at shows across the country.

"It's a close knit family of collectors in this business. And, even through this recession, the value of fine antique firearms hasn't diminished, but rather keeps increasing. This says a lot about our appreciation for history and fine craftsmanship," commented Larry.

He has also seen a solid increase in values over the last 20 years. "Oh boy, sometimes I wish I hadn't sold a couple of the guns I did, when I did," he says. They'd be worth a whole lot more now." There are still a few in his personal collection he is slow to part with. "That's my retirement bank account."

Today, he and his girlfriend of 12 years travel the country, selling at shows in their motor home, which they really bought for their dogs. "It's all about the babies," he admits. While Virginia is their home, their life is on the road buying, selling and trading what he loves the most and spent a life doing. "I have customers that want to buy the best, so I have to keep looking. And I need to keep that motor home going for those babies."

Larry began doing the High Noon Show the first year it opened in Mesa and has been part of our family ever since. He'll be there this month, looking to buy so he can sell to keep that motor home running...

Larry W Carpenter
Antique Guns

 Roaming Range Reporter
Photo of Ray Pohja and Rex AllenHow I Remember Ray Pohja

By Tad S Mizwa

Much like young Ray Pohja entering the Porter saddle shop and meeting Lowell Jett who gave him encouragement, Ray became my Lowell Jett and much more...over a 63 year friendship.

I too snuck into the Porter shop, drawn to the tap-tap-tap from the stamping benches. There sat Ray, munching an apple at lunchtime, studying a saddle skirt flower pattern he'd just cut. I was 19 years old, green as grass, but I could see that Ray, just 24 himself, was the best one there. One Saturday morning, Ray cut an all-knife scroll design and gave it to me to study. I used that same design on two black belts I made 50 years later, for then-Governor and Mrs George W Bush. The President referred to this as his lucky belt.

Photo: Ray Pohja, left, and Rex Allen, right. Ray stamped a saddle for Rex while working for San Fernando Saddlery. Photo courtesy of Tad Mizwah.

When I had a tiny Western store/saddlery in Houston, Ray made belts plus three saddles for me to sell. More than that, I would write to him asking how this or that procedure was done. He wrote detailed instructions-dozens and dozens of letters, sketches, design rub-offs and flower tapoffs. Ray sold me dozens of stamping tools and tips on how to use them.

Some years ago, Ray lent me his sketch-book of design ideas, for me to study. Some of these were so complicated, with cross-overs, cross-unders and inter-locking elements, that my eyes could scarcely follow the zigging and zagging. It was like following the movements of a bowl of spaghetti. Yet the major design elements, the flowers and the large leaves were very much balanced. Ray had an uncanny ability to SEE A DESIGN AS A WHOLE, in its entirety, a startling gift if there ever was one.

So long, Ray. I will always be grateful for the ways that you inspired my leatherwork and for your friendship all these years.
Tad S Mizwa
Leona, Texas

and Furthermore...

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

Cowboy Nick

First time I got throwed from a young colt's back,
I blamed that horse instead of the skill I lacked.
My face was still in the dirt when an ol' cowboy callin' himself Nick,
Extended his hand an' said, "Son, a good horse ain't never made quick.
There's one thing you ain't learned that's an absolute must,
The first rule of any partnership is based on trust."

I leaned on his wisdom till he died on that ranch,
The ol' timer was a champ, havin' my respect, root an' branch.
He may be gone, but I still hear his voice from somewhere yonders,
Roustin' correctness an' givin' me hell for my thinkin' that wanders.

That was a long time ago when I stood tall an' straight,
Just cowboyin' fer the buckle before it was too late.
I aimed for the top, makin' it a time or two,
With one regret, cowboy Nick never even knew.

Can't much explain it, but I have a feelin'...
You see, cowboys are like them fences gone to leanin'.
Once they're too weak an' knocked to the ground,
They drift into history where legends are found.

Good horses ain't made quick is rightly so,
But there's one thing else every cowboy knows.
There's a star lit trail when the moon is ridin' high,
To a cowboy gatherin' where the fallen never die.

Photo of poet, Amy Elizabethamy elizabeth 2011

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

January 21-22, 2011  22nd Annual Colorado Cowboy Gathering  Denver, CO
January 22, 2011  History of Stagecoaches to Gypsy Wagons - Doug Hansen  Santa Barbara, CA
January 24-29, 2011  National Cowboy Poetry Gathering  Elko, NV
January 26, 2011  Western Collectible Show  Prescott, AZ
January 27, 2011  NBSSCA Board Meeting  Mesa, ZA
January 29-30, 2011  High Noon 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 10-13, 2011  63rd Annual Gold Rush Days  Wickenburg, AZ
February 15-18, 2011  (TCAA) Steel Engraving for Bit & Spur Makers Workshop  Oklahoma City, OK
February 18-20, 2011  Spirit of the West Cowboy Gathering  Ellensburg, WA
February 19-20, 2011  Tucson Rodeo & Parade  Tucson, AZ
February 19-27, 2011  La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Rodeo  Tucson, AZ
February 24-27, 2011  Saddle UP!  Pigeon Forge, TN
February 25-27, 2011  25th Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering  Alpine, TX
March 10-13, 2011  8th Annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering  Cartersville, GA
March 19-20, 2011  Antiques, Objects and Art in LA  Glendale, CA
March 24-27, 2011  Palm Springs WestFest & Rodeo  Palm Springs, CA
April 27-May 1, 2011  Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival  Santa Clarita, CA
April 28-30, 2011  Gathering of Nations Pow Wow  Albuquerque, NM
April 29-May 1, 2011  Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival  Santa Maria, CA
April 29-September 15, 2011  Arapaho Journeys: Photographs and Stories from the Wind River Reservation  Cody, WY
May 6-8, 2011  DesignAmerica-Texas  Grapevine, TX
June 3-5, 2011  Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival  Oklahoma City, OK
June 24-26, 2011  Brian Lebel's Old West Show & Auction  Denver, CO
August 5-7, 2011  Great Southwest Antique Show  Albuquerque, NM
August 11-13, 2011  Antique Ethnographic Art Show  Santa Fe, NM
August 12-21, 2011  Objects of Art Antique Show  Santa Fe, NM
August 14-16, 2011  Antique Indian Art Show  Santa Fe, NM
September 20-23, 2011  Bit Making: Form & Function Workshop (TCAA)  Oklahoma City, OK

Send event submissions to SmokeSignals@highnoon.com

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High Noon Western Americana
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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