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February 2011 - Vol 3, Issue 2
In This Issue
Feature Story: A Memory of Midnight By William C Reynolds
Featured Photo: Pictorial View of Western Americana....Featuring Nadine Levin
Linda's Feed Bag: Bacon and Thyme Biscuits
Bits & Pieces: High Noon 2011 Dealer Wrap-Up from "T"
High Noon Auction Recap: The 21st Annual High Noon Western Americana Auction Grosses Over $2.1 Million
In the News: Thank You All for Coming
Dealer Spotlight: Scott Hardy - Master Western Silversmith
Our Inner Cowgirl: The Spectacular Golden West Cowgirls!
Upcoming Events: Don't miss these upcoming Western and Native American events
Feature Story
Photo of Bill Reynolds, Christmas 1957A Memory of Midnight -

In praise of great dude ranch horses


By William C Reynolds

At left:
Billy Reynolds, Christmas 1957.
A new western shirt and bolo tie
for the annual spring visit to the
Alisal Guest Ranch in Solvang, CA.

As a kid of the early 1950s, wrapped up in all things cowboy, the idea of getting to go to a dude ranch for Spring Break was my idea of heaven. Back then they were called Dude Ranches, and for some very good and obvious reasons - mostly with regard to their guest's riding skills. Those reasons still exist today - but we now call these places Guest Ranches in deference to those dudes among us with questionable self-image issues. The one thing that hasn't changed, thankfully, is the quality of the horses. In fact, in many cases, the horses on guest ranches today are even better. Unless you were as horse crazy as I was, it's difficult to describe to someone afoot the true wonder and joy of a kid's first ride on one of those great dude string horses.

It's a guiding rule of guest ranches: great horses = great ranch experiences. Of course, the food has to be good, the view a knock out and the beds have to lull you into the sleep of angels, yet there is no greater asset that can ensure a wondrous ranch experience than being assigned your own personal Trigger during your stay. Those assignments remain among some of my greatest memories.


Featured Photo by Nadine Levin

Nadine Levin photo of two children peering out of a ranch house window
Nadine grew up in Washington, DC. Riding horses into her teens, Nadine preferred watching Westerns to playing with dolls. She has always loved taking photos and studying photography, and once her children were grown, she jumped in full-time. She finds beauty in nature and in the animals that share her world, and Nadine offers us this beauty for February.


It's Our Birthday!

Smoke Signals 2nd Anniversary

Did You Know?

1. In pottery, the cutting of closely spaced lines and designs into the surface of the pot before it's fired is called Incising.

2. In Etching, a metal plate, first covered with an acid resistant ground, then worked with an etching needle, is "eaten" in an acid bath, creating the recessed image.

3. The famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral only lasted about thirty seconds.

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

Social Media News

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Linda's Feed Bag
High Noon logo

Bacon and
Thyme Biscuits

Light a fire in the fireplace, turn on the music and relax by making biscuits. They taste great for breakfast along with soft butter or jam and good, strong coffee OR they make a invaluable companion to a bowl of steamy, hearty soup!

Servings: 12

8 ounces smoked, thick sliced bacon (uncooked)
4 cups all purpose flourA basket of delicious biscuits
1/4 cup baking powder
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tbsp fresh thyme
3/4 lb margarine
14 ounces buttermilk
1/2 cup all purpose flour (for rolling out biscuits)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Cut the raw bacon into 1/2-inch pieces. Place the pieces on a baking sheet and cook in the 350 degree F oven for 18-22 minutes. The bacon should be cooked through, but not crisp
Turn the oven up to 375 degrees F when you remove the bacon so it will be ready for the biscuits
Combine the dry ingredients and thyme in a mixing bowl. Whisk thoroughly

Cut the margarine into 1-inch cubes and add to flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or a large fork, blend the butter and flour. The texture will be coarse with pieces of margarine still visible
Add the buttermilk and stir until the flour and margarine are evenly moist. The key to flaky biscuits is to not over mix
Sprinkle flour on a work surface or pastry cloth and then turn the biscuit dough out of mixing bowl
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Fold the dough in half, bringing the two short ends together, turn it a half turn, and roll it again
At this point layer half the bacon onto the biscuit dough
Repeat the fold, turn and roll two times then add the rest of the bacon and turn and roll two more times, a total of four times. This may seem like extra work, but it's worth it. Your biscuits will melt in your mouth
On the fourth and final roll, use the pin to roll the dough to a thickness of approximately 1/2-inch
Cut the biscuits using a 2- or 3-inch round biscuit cutter. The dough should be layered with margarine and bacon
Bake the biscuits at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden brown


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 Wrap-Up
from "T"

Howdy Dealers,

Whew! It was a whirlwind weekend. It took so many months to plan, then seemed to go by so quickly.

I hope you all had a wonderful show and had a chance to spend time with old friends. I loved seeing and visiting with you, and cannot wait for next January so we can do it all over again.

Take care and I'll see you down the trail,


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

High Noon Auction Recap

Will James PaintingThe 21st Annual High Noon Western Americana Auction Grosses Over $2.1 Million  

Mesa, AZ - The ballroom of the Marriott Hotel in Mesa (AZ) was standing-room-only on Saturday evening, January 29, 2011, as bidders from across the country joined absentee, telephone and internet bidders in quest of a diverse array of Western Americana, cowboy collectibles, American Indian and fine art and artifacts along with some select Hollywood memorabilia from popular silver screen heroes. This year's sale realized over $2.1 million on just 344 lots scoring the second highest per lot average in High Noon's 21 year history. High Noon had designated this year's event a celebration of the American Indian bringing to the block one of the most significant collection of American Indian offerings to ever come to High Noon. Prices realized on this collection validated the fact that the culture, spirit and art of these nations is deeply woven and valued by collectors worldwide. (prices indicated here reflect 15% buyers premium.)


In the News

Thank you all for coming

Collage of the High Noon auction staff and show floor shots
Above: Some of the High Noon staff that made it all possible and a view of the exhibition area. 

From our High Noon family to yours, we thank you for contributing to such a wonderful weekend in Mesa. We saw many, many old friends and made lots of new ones. We are thankful for the smiles on your faces reflecting the feeling of the cowboy community spirit. Thank you all for leaving your homes and joining us in Arizona. For those of you who could not attend and those who may be infirm, we send you some of the joy we shared via this issue of Smoke Signals to let you know we are thinking of you. 

Dealer Spotlight
Photo of Scott HardyScott Hardy

Master Western Silversmith


"It's the mystery and history of the west that fascinates me," says Scott Hardy renowned master silversmith. "I'm inspired by the works of Tiffany and I study fine art extensively to bring a level of sophistication into all of the work I do."

In a wonderful conversation with Scott, he gives a glimpse into his passion for what he does and his commitment to ensuring that master trades live on for generations to come. "What we do is steeped in the rich traditions from European masters of centuries past." The West was a melting pot, he remarks, of tradespeople from all over the world. They came here in pursuit of their fortune during the Gold Rush years, most, in the end, having to rely on their original skills to earn a living. By default, North America, particularly the West, became populated with master craftsmen from Europe practicing their mastery in silversmithing and leather working. It's this heritage and inspiration that lives on today in the soul of Scott Hardy.

It goes back to his childhood and his great-grandmother. Growing up in Alberta, he recalls his great-grandmother, who was from England, had a beautiful silver tea set. He would stare at the finely engraved teapot and wonder, "How could man make this?" He never forgot that and didn't realize at the time what an important role that teapot would play in his life.

His original goal was to find a trade, make some money, buy a ranch, become a rancher and let the trade fall by the wayside. Well, it seems his life worked in reverse. He found that trade - silversmithing but he became so captivated by the creativity and self-expression, that today he has a few head of cattle and some horses, but it's all about being the master artist he is. And what a master he is. His work is seen in the Smithsonian and owned by the finest collectors worldwide.

At the soul of Scott Hardy however, is his unstoppable passion and respect for the power and raw beauty of the North American West. It inspires him to raise the bar at every turn. He sees his work as a way of taming and transforming this raw power into usable art. Elegance and tradition is at the root of everything he creates.

"I have a real soft spot for High Noon," said Scott. "They continue to celebrate and educate people about our Western heritage." And we at High Noon have a real soft spot for Scott. His work as a master silversmith and his role with the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA) is invaluable to our culture now and the legacy that will live on forever.

Scott Hardy was one of the original founding members of the TCAA. Now serving as its President, Scott is committed to ensuring that the skills of saddle making, bit and spur making, silversmithing and rawhide braiding live on for generations to come. Through the TCAA's mentorship, educational programs and appearances throughout the country at special events, Scott and his organization continue to strive to maintain a seamless link between the past generations of these craftsman and future generations who aspire in their footsteps.

And, speaking of aspiring in their footsteps... Scott is father to twin boys (26 years old) Tyne and Colter. Colter is currently apprenticing as a silversmith and engraver but with an eye to a bit more modern styling than Western. Tyne is working full-time right now, saving money to go back to art school. Gee, wonder where they get their affinity to create and design? Could it be their dad Scott? Well, it's likely from their mom too. Leslie, Scott's wife of 33 years, is a pencil and pastel artist. A family full of artists? Scott's comment on that: "Yea, we are a pretty nutty group, but we're happy." You can view Scott's video for an insight into his art. Please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRQ652l2pFc

Scott Hardy
Master Western Silversmith
Traditional Cowboy Arts Association

Our Inner Cowgirl
Photo of The Golden West Cowgirls

The Spectacular Golden West Cowgirls!

So, who are those beauties be-decked and be-jeweled in vintage Manuel and Nudies strolling through the High Noon Show, turning heads and breaking hearts? They are the amazing women called the Golden West Cowgirls and their champion and leader, Bruce Peterson.

They are much more than a beautiful visual representation of the fabulous West. Each of these amazing women are master riders, and from competitions to parades, they can do it all. Since 1987 when founder and director Bruce Peterson first started to assemble his "dream team of cowgirl ambassadors" they have been seen in the Rose Parade and rodeos. But more importantly, everything they do, they do to benefit the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Happy Trails Children's Foundation. (www.happytrails.org) For over 30 years, the Happy Trails Children's Foundation has provided a safe haven for children at risk carrying on Roy Rogers' and Dale Evans' belief that "together, all of us can make a difference for our beloved nation's greatest treasure: its children."

The Golden West Cowgirls are committed to ensuring this goal is achieved. Through their public appearances, whether in competition or parades, all of their proceeds are donated to Happy Trails. These women may be stunning in their regalia but are even more so in their hearts. They are passionate about their goals, consummate professionals in their own right , who work together as a team driven by their love of what they do and what they represent. It's about family too. Mothers and daughters are involved together, passing their legacy and experiences to younger generations.

So, next time you see them passing by on horse back in a parade or showing off their master horsemanship in a rodeo, take a second look at this team of beauties be-jeweled and be-decked. Their hearts and their souls are all about helping children and making their world a safer and happier place.

For more information about the Golden West Cowgirls, visit their website at www.goldenwestcowgirls.com


Roaming Range Reporter

Melissa McCracken and Brian Lebel Wedding Announcement

Upcoming Events

NOW Until May 15, 2011  To Picture the Words: Illustrators of the American West  Oklahoma City, OK
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 12-August 7, 2011  Red/Black Related through History Exhibit  Indianapolis, IN
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
February 26-27, 2011  27th Annual Art of the Americas Marin Show  San Rafael, CA
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 9, 2011  Roy Rogers Centennial Auction  New Braunfels, TX
April 15, 2011 
Cowboy Culture Celebration  Dublin, TX
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
May 7, 2011  Fiesta of the Spanish Horse  Burbank, CA
June 3-5, 2011
  Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival  Oklahoma City, OK
June 10-September 5, 2011  Prix de West Art Show - National Cowboy Museum  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 11-October 9, 2011  Quest for the West Art Sale & Show  Indianapolis, IN
September 20-23, 2011
  Bit Making: Form & Function Workshop (TCAA)  Oklahoma City, OK

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
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Send us a Smoke Signal

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