High Noon logo
July 2011 - Vol 3, Issue 7
In This Issue
Feature Story: Stuff I Know About Indian Camp Blankets, by Barry Friedman
Featured Photo: Pictorial View of Western Americana....Featuring Myron Beck
Linda's Feed Bag: Can Cowboys Drink New York Egg Creams?
In the News: Billy the Kid Tintype Brings $2.3 Million at Record-Breaking Auction
In the News: National Day of the Cowboy
Dealer Spotlight: Jim Nicholls - The Gentleman of Breckenridge
Recommended Reading: Trail of Trials by Amy Elizabeth
and Furthermore: Some Cowboy Poetry by Bob Frost, Arizona Poet Laureate
Upcoming Events: Don't miss these upcoming Western and Native American events
Feature Story
Example of an Indian Camp Blanket

Stuff I Know About Indian Camp Blankets    


By Barry Friedman      


While still doggedly pursuing my theory that Brian Lebel is Arnold Schwarzenegger's oldest love child, I've decided to take a momentary step back from that twisted tale to further educate Smoke Signals readers on my specialty, American Indian trade and camp blankets.


Certainly nobody can forget my March article that dealt with the history of the American Indian trade blanket. Everybody's still buzzing about that one and now here I am about to explain Indian camp blankets! I can hardly imagine your excitement and would give anything to be in your shoes and/or Lucchese's.


You'll recall that the fine wool geometric pattern blankets produced by Pendleton Woolen Mills and their competitors instantly became a staple of North American Indian life and remain so today. Pendleton is the only surviving pioneer trade blanket manufacturer and was the only mill that specifically went into business to create blankets for the Indian market. They manufactured their first blanket in 1896 and from the beginning made a very high quality product that commanded a good price. 


 >>READ MORE>>   


Featured Photography by Myron Beck

Cowgirl on a horse with a dramatic sky


Through his photos, award winning photographer Myron Beck (Los Angeles, California) 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. 

To see more of Myron Beck's photography, visit www.myronbeck.com.

Did You Know?

1. The first biography of Billy The Kid appeared only three weeks after his death.

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

3. In 1881 Helen Hunt Jackson published A Century of Dishonor, the first detailed examination of the federal government's treatment of Native Americans in the West. Her findings shocked the nation with proof that empty promises, broken treaties and brutality helped pave the way for white pioneers.

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

Please use the link below to forward this eMagazine to a friend.

To receive your own copy of Smoke Signals, click on the link below.
Smoke Signals Sign Up!
Linda's Feed Bag
High Noon logo
Can Cowboys Drink New York Egg Creams? 


First of all, this drink has no egg and has no cream. Second of all, just because the tradition began in Brooklyn, New York, is no reason why it cannot be popular throughout the US. Cowboy boots are!

This old-time New York thirst-quencher is sweet and full of fizz. Its basic ingredients are milk, seltzer, and chocolate syrup. It is traditionally made in a small Coke-style glass and fun to serve at barbeques or special gatherings.

True aficionados insist that it is not a classic egg cream without Fox's U-Bet Chocolate Syrup. But any brand of chocolate syrup will do (although U-Bet has been used as early as 1904). It is perfectly proper to gulp down an egg cream. In fact, the egg cream will lose its head and become flat if it is not enjoyed immediately.
Each 10 oz glassful:Frosty Egg Cream Glass

1-2 Tb cold, whole milk (splash)
Approx 6 oz cold seltzer water (or sparkling mineral water or club soda)
2 Tb chocolate syrup
Pour in 1-2 Tb cold milk.
The technique is in adding the seltzer water: Slowly pour into glass, drizzling it down the side until 3/4+ full.
Pour the 2 Tb of syrup in center. When it falls to the bottoms, it will begin to foam a little and there should be the beginnings of a creamy head. Take a spoon and along the bottom only (not the whole glass) gently stir the chocolate at the bottom. The top gets meringue-like at the top. Once it's mixed, with a creamy head, drizzle a little chocolate on the top. Some purists do not use a straw. They sip through the creamy head. I use a straw to prevent a milk moustache. But that's me.


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.

Consignments Wanted
Consignments wanted for January 2012 Auction

Collector News

Billy the Kid tintypeBilly the Kid Tintype Brings $2.3 Million at Record-Breaking Auction     

The famous "Upham tintype" of Billy the Kid sold on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at Brian Lebel's Old West Auction, bringing $2.3 million including the premium. This is a record price paid at auction for an historical photograph, and is a record for any single item at Lebel's event, now in its 22nd year. Total sales equaled $3.6 million for 444 lots, a total sales record for the auction house. An impressive 94% sales rate was realized overall.

It took 2 1/2 minutes from the opening bid to the fall of the hammer for Billy's tintype to sell, with 5 bidders involved to 1.2 million and 2 bidders through the final stretch, all of whom were present on the floor. The winning bidder was Florida billionaire and collector, William Koch, who graciously granted interviews, posed for photos and even signed autographs after the sale.

A number of pieces brought well above-estimate prices, including a John Wayne Productions movie hat that sold on the telephone for $17,250, more than 10 times the low estimate. The Andy Warhol serigraph, Mother and Child (est. $8,000 - 10,000), brought $18,400. Other notable pieces include the Ed Borein watercolor, California Vaquero which brought $138,000, a record auction price for a Borein watercolor. A Colt Single Action with provenance to the Johnson County War brought $46,000 in a heated bidding contest.

Brian Lebel, auction owner, stated, "Across the board, prices were strong, and good pieces brought good money, as they always do."

A complete list of prices realized is available at www.denveroldwest.com. Additional details from the auction appear below.

Contact: Melissa McCracken
480-779-9378 /press@denveroldwest.com



Personal belt buckles of rodeo legend Jim Shoulders sold in 3 consecutive lots for a total of $27,600 combined, with the first offered bringing an impressive $12,650.

Phone bidding was fast and furious for a unique and finely woven Navajo "cow rug" that brought $8,625 (est. $3,500 - 5,500).

The personal scrapbook of Buffalo Bill's Wild West performer, Jordan Cottle brought $20,700 after a lively battle between bidders on the floor and the phones. Cottle's Wild West presentation Colt Double Action was equally sought after, realizing $26,450 in another contest between the phones and the floor.

The best line of the night was likely heard during the sale of original copies of the divorce depositions between Buffalo Bill Cody and his wife Louisa Cody. When the bidding stalled at $5,000 a ringman exclaimed, "They're the cheapest divorce papers you'll ever get!" They sold for $6,325.

(All prices include buyers' premium.)

In the News

July 23, 2011 7th Annual
National Day of the Cowboy

3 Cowboys agains sunset  by Linda Kohn Sherwood, Editor

The mission of the National Day of the Cowboy nonprofit organization is to contribute to the preservation of America's Cowboy heritage so that the history and culture which the United States Congress's National Day of the Cowboy resolution honors, can be shared and perpetuated for the public good, through education, the arts, celebrations, gatherings, rodeos, and community activities.

July 23, 2011 Seventh Annual National Day of the Cowboy

The Cowboy Code: 1 - Live each day with courage. 2 - Take pride in your work. 3 - Always finish what you start. 4 - Do what has to be done. 5 - Be tough, but fair. 6 - When you make a promise, keep it. 7 - Ride for the brand. 8 - Talk less and say more. 9 - Remember that some things aren't for sale. 10 - Know where to draw the line.

An official day honoring the Cowboy and Cowgirl has been observed in America since President George W. Bush issued a letter of support to Wyoming's U.S. Senator, Craig Thomas, stating that July 23, 2005, should be recognized as "a day to celebrate the Cowboy as a symbol of the grand history of the American West. The Cowboy's love of the land and love of the country are examples for all Americans."

In response to that first formal declaration of one Day for the Cowboy, the National Day of the Cowboy nonprofit organization was established in order to pursue permanent passage of the National Day of the Cowboy resolution, so that the fourth Saturday in July would always be recognized as the National Day of the Cowboy. The stated mission of the NDOC organization is to contribute to the preservation of America's Cowboy heritage so that the history and culture which the United States Congress's National Day of the Cowboy resolution honors, can be shared and perpetuated for the public good, through education, the arts, celebrations, gatherings, rodeos, and community activities. It stands to honor history; and the contributions made by cowboys all over the world.

Bethany Braley, the Executive Director of the organization, its Board of Directors, spokespersons, and those who volunteer their time and effort to this cause, are dedicated not only to perpetuating and preserving the 'cowboy' way of life, but also to building community all over the world among the many 'western' enthusiasts who continue to hold this element of America's history in high regard. This international cultural phenomenon is aptly highlighted in the words of the 2008 U.S. House Cowboy Day Resolution which declares, "The love of the Cowboy archetype transcends gender, generations, ethnicity, geographic boundaries, and political affiliation."
Last year they were proud to add the Autry National Center to the list of those dedicated to supporting the cause with their annual tradition. This year's event will be held July 23 of course, on the Autry museum grounds.

For more information, or to throw your hat into the ring in support of this great 'tradition' and dedicated organization, as a member or as a volunteer, visit www.nationaldayofthecowboy.org, and contact them through email at info@nationaldayofthecowboy.com 

Photo at top by and copyright Myron Beck.

Dealer Spotlight
Photo of Jim NichollsJim Nicholls

The Gentleman of Breckenridge     



By Jayne Skeff

We're going to flash forward to the end of the interview with Jim Nicholls as his closing comments are the best place to start. At the end of the interview, soft-spoken Jim said, "If I can say just one more thing... Aside from hunting big game, the experiences I've had at these shows are some of the highlight of my life. If I can count 100 true friends, 90 of them are in this room." That's one of those statements that gives you goose bumps, that makes all of us remember that it's not just about the "stuff" but, at the core, it's about the people and the journey along the way. For Jim, it's been a journey that began as a boy growing up in Gary, (IN). (Please don't start whistling that song, it's been in my head since the interview)

"I was always interested in history growing up and started collecting as a kid," he recalls. He also always had the "West" in his roots. His family founded the town of Fruita (CO) in 1885 so he was destined, by heritage, to eventually end up immersed in the world of Western Americana. As soon as he finished high school, he "bolted" for Colorado where he earned his degree in forestry and wood management. After a short stint for the US Forest Service, he quickly found that he was an entrepreneur at heart with strong creative abilities. He began to parlay these skills into architectural design then real estate development. It was Breckenridge (CO) that would capture his heart in the early 1960s. It was a historic town at the time on the verge of development. His passion for history and preservation would influence the city's development and his footprint there is very evident today. His heart was captured in Breckenridge in another way as well. It was on the slopes of a Breckenridge ski area that he met Maureen in 1965, the love of his life. They've been inseparable since then, now married for over 40 years.

Maybe we'll just call Jim and Maureen, "Mr. & Mrs. Breckenridge" because they have been instrumental in the careful development of that beautiful Rocky Mountain community. She's renowned as the city historian and Jim does what he can to ensure that old historic buildings are conserved and new buildings keep the same historic flavor. "So many new buildings are being constructed with wood. The reality is though, that in the 1800s, Breckenridge quickly discovered that these buildings burn and brick became the building material of choice," says Jim. It's the wonderful old brick buildings that are the true look of Breckenridge and you'll find any new buildings Jim has had his hand in designing, to be brick and solid brick.

Well, enough about Jim the developer, let's look at Jim the collector. He admits in his early days of collecting, he really didn't know what he was doing or collecting, just that he loved the process. He also admits he made a lot of mistakes but, that through those mistakes, his knowledge has made him an expert. His true love goes to Navajo weavings (he estimates he has bought and sold some 700 over the course of 20 years) and horsehair bridles but it was his gun collecting and collection that put Jim "on the map."  He was one of the original founders of the Colorado Gun Collectors Association and is still active today as a life member of the NBSSCA.

His early years in gun collecting taught him some very important lessons. "The first gun I bought was a Flintlock pistol for $150. I thought I had the real McCoy here. I took it to a show and was quickly told it was a Japanese version valued at $39.95. I still have that gun hanging in my office as a reminder to always question, to never stop learning." And learn he did. At one point, Jim owned what could likely be regarded as one of the most valuable and extensive collections of Marlin Lever Action rifles. "I still have 4 or 5 left, but have sold all of the rest over time. Now, I'm at a point in my life where I buy and collect to keep, not to sell. It's a nice change of pace."

Jim and Maureen are on the go and on the move constantly. When Jim is not in his shop in Breckenridge called "Cowboys & Indians Antiques" he is busy restoring and maintaining the charming original Victorian home in which it is located and the shopping complex he built to complement it.

Jim is truly one of the High Noon "originals" as well. He's been with us since the very first show that was held at the Holiday Inn in Phoenix - wow, now that's history.

Jim Nicholls
Cowboys & Indians Antiques
226 S. Main Street
Breckenridge, CO 80424
(970) 453-6813


Recommended Reading
Photo of poet-author Amy Elizabeth

Trail of Trials 


by Amy Elizabeth


Poet-author Amy Elizabeth takes readers on a unique and inspiring lyrical journey and adventure as she unleashes her poetic prowess in Trail of Trials. This book is a wonderful collection of Western Folk poetry that touches on diverse themes such as life, love, and cowboyin'. Each poem in this anthology tells a beautiful story that taps anyone's senses to understand its deep meaning. Take an exciting ride into the world of love as some of these poems awaken the dormant feelings deep within you. Find more surprises and truth through the poems about life, and experience fun and adventure in the poems about cowboyin' and so much more. Amy Elizabeth is a regular contributor to Smoke Signals and we are proud to offer her book to our readers.


Trail of Trials is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, or at any local bookstore's order desk

And Furthermore...


This month we present cowboy poetry by Bob Frost, Arizona Poet Laureate...



The Gift 



I saw the three men ride slowly into town that day.

One was on a Black, one on a Paint and one on a Bay.

The boardwalk cleared as everyone went inside.

I scrambled behind a water trough to hide.

I was only twelve at the time, but I remember.

It was a cold morning in the middle of December.

The one on the black looked like he was the boss.

On his buckskin jacket was a large black cross.

He and his gang rode to the front of the bank.

When I saw that, I swallowed and my heart sank.

Everyone in town kept their savings there.

What would we do if the town safe was left bare?

I knew that Sheriff McCoy had gone to Abilene.

These bandits were going to pick the town clean.

One guy stayed outside and looked around.

I ducked and laid flat down on the ground.

When I looked up the gang fixin' to leave.

I was so mad I picked up a rock and gave it a heave.

The gang turned and started coming at me.

I froze right there as I stared at the three.

The boss reached in down and handed me a book.

I was so scared I couldn't even look.

They quietly rode out of town that day.

The morning sky was still dark and gray.

I couldn't read the book 'cause I hadn't been to school.

The shopkeeper said, "It's a Bible, you fool".

It turned out the gang didn't take any town money.

Everyone thought that it was strangely funny.

There was a note inside the money sack.

"It's now the town's money and we don't need it back".

"We hope you will use it to build a church", it said.

We couldn't believe what we had just read.

We never did find out who the three men were.

But, the gift made the town folk happy, that's for sure.

The new church stands on the hill above the stream.

The gift was more than any one man could dream.

Now each Sunday I sit quietly there and wonder

If the money came from a bandit's plunder.



Photo of Bob Frost, poetBob Frost, Scottsdale, AZ Poet Laureate  

Frost and was named Scottsdale's poet laureate on July 6, 2010 by Mayor Jim Lane. Frost says that "the real job of the poet laureate is to promote the writing and reading of poetry." Robert "Bob" Frost has two published books: A Sweet Place to Play: Poems from the Heart and Road and Cowboy Poems: About the Old West and New.






Send us your stories...
  An Invitation to NBSSCA Members

Upcoming Events

NOW Until August 7, 2011  Red Black Related Through History  Indianapolis, IN                                        
NOW Until September 5, 2011  Prix de West Art Show - National Cowboy Museum  Oklahoma City, OK        
NOW Until October 2, 2011 
Dressed Just Right: An Evolution of Western Style from Function to Flamboyance  Cody, WY

July 7-24, 2011 
Reining by the Bay  Woodside, CA
July 8-17, 2011 
Calgary Stampede  Calgary, Alberta
July 15-17, 2011 
Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering  Encampment, WY
July 18 - September 4, 2011 
RockMount Ranch Wear's Cowboys & Rock Stars  Golden, CO
July 21-24, 2011 
101st California Rodeo Salinas  Salinas, CA
July 23, 2011 
Seventh Annual Day of the Cowboy  Throughout the US
July 23, 2011 
Day of the Cowboy and Cowgirl - Autry Museum  Los Angeles, CA
July 23-31, 2011 
Durango Fiesta Days  Durango, NM
July 30-31, 2011 
Wild West Days  Golden, CO
July 31, 2011 - Beginning 
The Roy Rogers TV Show - RFD-TV - Sundays 12:30pm ET
August 3-7, 2011 
Old Spanish Days  Santa Barbara, CA
August 5-7, 2011
  Great Southwest Antique Show  Albuquerque, NM
August 11-13, 2011  Antique Ethnographic Art Show  Santa Fe, NM
August 11-14, 2011  26th Annual Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering  Lewistown, MT
August 12-21, 2011
  Objects of Art Antique Show  Santa Fe, NM
August 14-16, 2011  Antique Indian Art Show  Santa Fe, NM
August 19-20, 2011  Reno Cowboy & Music Gathering  Reno, NV
August 20 - September 30, 2011 
Yosemite and the California Trails of Jacinto Jo Mora 1904-1947  Sonora, CA
August 27-28, 2011 
Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo  San Juan Capistrano, CA
September 8-11, 2011 
23rd Annual National Cowboy Symposium & Chuck Wagon Cook-off  Lubbock, TX
September 10, 2011 
Banning Stagecoach Days Parade  Banning, CA
September 10, 2011 
Larry Peck Spur Collection Auction  Denton, TX
September 11-October 9, 2011 
Quest for the West Art Sale & Show  Indianapolis, IN
September 14-17, 2011 
Pendleton Round Up  Pendleton, OR
September 20-23, 2011
  Bit Making: Form & Function Workshop (TCAA)  Oklahoma City, OK

September 20-24, 2011  Rendezvous Royal  Cody, WY 

September 24-25, 2011  Montague County Western Heritage Roundup  Bowie, TX 

September 29-October 19, 2011  19th Annual Will James Gathering  Elko, NV 

October 8-9, 2011  Golden California Antiques Show  Glendale, CA 

October 14-15, 2011  Traditional Cowboy Artists Assoc 13th Annual Exhibition, Sale, and Seminars  Oklahoma City, OK

October 14-15, 2011  46th Annual Cowboy Artists of America Sale & Exhibition  Oklahoma City, OK 

October 15-16, 2011  Austin Chocolate Festival  Austin, TX 

October 21, 2011  The West Select Art Sale & Exhibition  Phoenix, AZ 

November 1-6, 2011  Annual Heber City's Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Buckaroo Fair  Heber City, UT

November 4-6, 2011  Tombstone Western Music Festival  Tombstone, AZ

November 5, 2011  Celebration of Roy Rogers 100th Birthday  Apple Valley, CA 

December 1-10, 2011  National Finals Rodeo  Las Vegas, NV 

December 1-10, 2011  Cowboy Christmas  Las Vegas, NV 

December 2-4, 2011  Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival  Monterey, CA

January 1, 2012  Pasadena Rose Parade - Celebrate Trigger and the Roy Rogers family on the Rose Parade Float 

January 28-29, 2012  22nd Annual High Noon Western Americana Antique Show & Auction  Mesa, AZ

February 2-19, 2012  San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo  San Antonio, TX  

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

Private Treaty Sales  |  Appraisals  |  Consignments  |  Acquisitions
Estate Services  |  Investment Consultations

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