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August 2011 - Vol 3, Issue 8
In This Issue
Feature Story: Cowboy Aesthetic, by Don Reeves
Featured Photo: Pictorial View of Western Americana....Featuring Nadine Levin
Linda's Feed Bag: Hill Country Salsa
Collector News: The Frontier Project Features Terri Kelly Moyers
In the News: The Robb Report on Saddle Collecting
On the Horizon: The Next Generation of Western Americana Enthusiasts
Recommended Reading: Jo Mora: The Wild World of Jo Mora
An Additional Blurb: Colt's 1981 Navy
and Furthermore: Some Cowboy Poetry by Russell Peter
Upcoming Events: Don't miss these upcoming Western and Native American events
Feature Story
Piece of tooled leatherCowboy Aesthetic   


By Don Reeves       


Skilled craftsmen are familiar with that feeling, the need to create, but few verbalize their desire. The urging. A vision not so much seen as felt through the hands. There is an expectation of shape and line as fingers explore the supple texture of fine leather. The clay-soft yielding of fine silver as the graver cuts a graceful curve and then exits with an upward flourish of the master's hand.


At what point does a functional object transcend its function, yield to aesthetic desire, and become an objet d'art? Does a saddle, bit, quirt or silver concha begin as a tool destined to serve a particular task and then take a turn, throw off the shackles of utility and head toward the trophy room or mantle? Such objects are conceived, designed and executed by master craftsmen - artisans -  in the process of creating works that attempt to reach an envisioned aesthetic. 


  >>READ MORE>>   



Featured Photography by Nadine Levin

Bison in front of a barn with mountain backdrop



The photo this month is by Nadine Levin - Bison at the Barn



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 August.


Did You Know?

1. Ganado is a design that includes red as well as black, white and grey. At the time of its inception it was a major departure for Navajo weavers. The style is attributed to Lorenzo Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado, Arizona.

2. The term "gang" wasn't utilized by Americans to mean a group of criminals until sometime around 1870. The word was first used in America to mean a herd of animals in the 1650s, by 1823 it was applied to a pack of dishonest politicians.

3. A method of making color prints or transparencies, Dye Transfer gives the maximum control of color, balance and contrast. It is one of the most permanent color processes.

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:

Empty Saddle
Empty Saddle Logo

Don Atkinson

Ingram, Texas

John Craig

Limon, Colorado

Joe Gish

Fredericksburg, Texas

High Noon Music Box
Ranch & Reata Radio

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Linda's Feed Bag
High Noon logo
Hill Country Salsa


This month, Judy Lee (Julianne Bartlett's mother) shares one of her favorite recipes. She first mentioned it to us at Kurt House's ranch, outside of San Antonio, and this salsa reminds me of the beautiful country seen there.
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
11 oz. can shoe peg corn, drainedIllustration of a bowl of salsa
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cans Ro-Tel (diced tomatoes green chili, and spices), drained (hot or mild, your preference). I use Original
1/3 c. chopped cilantro
1/4 c. lime juice
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cumin
Mix all ingredients and let sit covered in fridge for at least 24 hours for best flavor. Serve with corn chips or crackers.


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

Photo of Terri MoyersFrontier Project: 

Terri Kelly Moyers


The Frontier Project is a Colorado-based publishing and multimedia venture launched in 2010 by a team headed by award-winning magazine journalist A.J. Mangum. The company produces a short-subject documentary series on the horsemen, artists and craftsmen defining the contemporary North American cowboy culture.


 "I saw a need for a new approach to journalism about the real West, an approach not driven by marketing or advertising, but by the need to share the stories of influential westerners, as well as the West's unsung heroes and heroines," Mangum says. "The Frontier Project will use an 'up close and personal' storytelling approach that puts its subjects front and center and allows them to tell their stories in their own words. Viewers can expect no fluff, no fads, no gimmicks, no bull." 


In Episode 3, Terri Kelly Moyers shares her inspirations in an interview at her Santa Fe, New Mexico, studio.
The Frontier Project: Terri Kelly Moyers
The Frontier Project: Terri Kelly Moyers
See the latest Frontier Project at www.thefrontierproject.net

In the News

Robb Report August Cover

The Robb Report  

on Saddle Collecting  


Smoke Signals urges you to pick up the August 2011 copy of the Robb Report Collection (Red Lamborghini on cover). See pages 60-68 for Karen Cakebread's wonderful article on saddle collecting, entitled "A Wild Western Ride - from the auction block to the ranch, high-end saddles remain in high demand." Thanks goes out to Karen for her insightful glimpse into collecting Western Americana, both antique and contemporary. High Noon gets a nod!

On the Horizon
Photo of Jeff Trammel & Stephen PlylerOn the Horizon

The Next Generation of Western Americana Enthusiasts       


By Jayne Skeff


Conversations are many about the dying interest in history and heritage in younger generations. Many of us who were at the exciting sale of the Billy the Kid tintype at the Denver Old West auction saw the importance of it selling for more than Michael Jackson's Thriller jacket that same evening. "Maybe there's hope yet that this country still embraces the value of our history over pop culture" were among the comments heard.


And what about the richness of our Western American heritage? Its influence is seamlessly woven into every day of our lives but who will ensure its powerful legacy will remain and thrive for generations to come? Can we hope that the younger generations will keep this treasure intact? Yes, indeed we can.

Two such unlikely individuals, namely Stephen Plyler and Jeff Trammel, are on the horizon as a great Western hope. The term unlikely is used because, by all counts, neither of these two young gentlemen should have any interest or passion for what this world is all about. But they do, and in a big way.

Jeff and Stephen met in their twenties when they were both rising young executives at Burlington Express in San Francisco - not a cowboy bone in either of their bodies. In an almost serendipitous way, they both experienced that break-neck-pace corporate burnout early. Both Texans by birth, Stephen moved back to Texas first with Jeff not far behind him. Both were looking for a life-style a bit slower yet a bit richer in quality.

Neither Stephen or Jeff were strangers to the world of antiques. Stephen recalls growing up spending many weekends scouring vintage clothing stores and antique malls with his mother who he refers to as a bit of an "Imelda Marcos" when it came to shoes.  Now back in Texas and his entrepreneurial spirit itching to come out, he went back to his early days of antiquing and became a dealer at a large mall outside of Dallas. By now Jeff had arrived back in Dallas and the two, together, forged ahead and decided to take their common passion for antiques and history and open their own antique mall - a general line one.

First calling it the Antique Experience they quickly outgrew their space, needing to move to a much large facility. Then, in yet another serendipitous event, Larry Peck showed up and suggested they create a whole section of the mall just for Western Americana. And the rest, as they say, is history. In short order, Jeff and Stephen became completely captivated by this genre. They saw the incredible history, heritage and passion that comes alive through every piece of art, furniture and artifact. "These are more than antiques, these are our history." Taking it even steps further, they saw the importance of showcasing not only historic and antique pieces, but contemporary items created in the spirit and heritage of the American West as well. First, they started to showcase spur makers and that led to more.

Today, driven by their passion and commitment to ensuring our Western heritage thrives, they operate six of the largest antique galleries in the country, all located in Texas, and all with a focus on the finest Western Americana you can find. "Our Western heritage and culture is all about honor and integrity and this is something we want to instill in young people coming up behind us," says Stephen.

So, we at High Noon are grateful to know that indeed, there is, another generation coming up behind us that will ensure what we all love will carry on for generations to come.

Jeff Trammel & Stephen Plyler
The Antique Gallery USA
(940) 243-3933


Recommended Reading
Photo of Jo Mora and Cyanotype of two cowboys

Jo Mora:  

The Wild World of Jo Mora  


Yosemite and the California Trails of Jacino "Jo" Mora 1904-1947 is a major exhibition featuring the diverse and prolific creative works of California artist Joseph Jacino Jo Mora and will be arranged and curated by the Central Sierra Arts Council this summer. A special focus will be on Mora's unpublished journal, sketches, paintings and writings during his first visit to Yosemite in 1904.

The exhibit will showcase the wide and colorful spectrum of examples of Jo Mora's art, sculpture, architecture, books, illustrations, maps (cartes) and bronzes, provided by numerous area collectors including many pieces, never before seen by the public, provided by the Jo Mora Trust.

Sonora, California, where the exhibit is set to take place, is one of the gateways of Yosemite, a place which inspired Mora to create writings, sketches and paintings from his journey by wagon-cart pulled by his two mules through Yosemite.    

Born in Uruguay, Mora moved to the United States as a child. His father was a well-known Catalan sculptor and his brother became internationally known as America's First Hispanic Master. At the age of 18, Mora came West and became fascinated by the cowboy life (cow punching), the Southwest Indians (living with and learning the Hopi and Navajo languages), and the California Missions (he traveled the California Mission rail on horseback, sketching the entire way). He spent most of his adulthood on the Monterey Peninsula (Carmel and Pebble Beach) where his studio was maintained until his death in 1947. He was perhaps best popularly known for his colorful, whimsical, pictographic maps (cartes) which he began creating and publishing in the early 1920s. Many of the cartes are visually woven with historical details and renditions of the subjects at the times the maps were created. His numerous mediums such as drawing, painting, watercolor, illustrations, cartooning, sculpture, photography will also be honored.

The exhibition will be open in Sonora, August 20 and continues through September 30, 2011 at the Central Sierra Arts Council.  www.centralsierraarts.org


Additional Blurb...
Photo of early Colt

Colt's 1851 Navy - From California to the Crimea   


Although when most people think of the guns of the Wild West, they generally visualize the 1873 Colt Single Action Army, but this cap and ball sixgun was taming the world's frontiers a full two decades before the Peacemaker!


By Phil Spangenberger

Certainly the handsome 1851 Navy Colt would rate at the top of anyone's list of classic firearms. It could be argued that this caplock six-shooter was the first truly practical revolver, since those Colt that preceded it were either lacking in ergonomics and design refinements, or were simply too big and cumbersome. The '51 Navy model represented the peak of firearms technology of its day. It married light weight, excellent balance, natural pointing and handling characteristics and man-stopping power, all in a one-hand gun.  


  >>READ MORE>>    



And Furthermore...


This month we present cowboy poetry by Russell Peter...



Old Pick Up Truck  



I was riding a green colt today, down an old country road,

when suddenly by chance, I saw an old famaliar site.

It was a pretty cowgirl, in an old pick up truck,

with a couple of cow dogs in the back.  


The old truck wasn't special to anyone but me,

and in a short time, I was flooded with memories.

The old truck, it had blew by me so fast,

just as quickly as it had arrived, it was gone, A lead foot on the gas.  


I reined the colt to a halt, and by the time I had caught my breath,

there was nothing in my path, but a thought. Nothing except

*the distance between us and the passing of time,

as they both grow larger, each passing day.

ain't it funny how time slips away.  


Too many days of being blue, too many nights of sleeping alone,

too many moments of just missing you,

too many memories of an old pick up truck.  


Now, strange things can happen on an old country road,

espicially when your riding a green colt.

Your mind goes to wandering, your thoughts go to dreaming.

Dreaming of Gold Buckles and Gold wedding rings.

*The distance bewtween us, and the passing of time,

they both grow larger each passing day.

ain't it funny how time slips away. 


Too many days of being blue,

too many nights of sleeping alone,

too many times of just missing you,

too many memories, of an old pick up truck. 


I spurred the colt and gave him some rein,

picked up a trot to pursue my dreams,

I headed west into the sun,

trying desperately to forget the memories of you

and an old pick up truck.

*The distance between us and the passing of time,

they both grow larger each pasing day.

ain't it funny how time slips away.  


Too many days of being blue,

too many nights of sleeping alone,

too many times of just missing you.

Too many memories of an old pick up truck.  


Funny how an old pick up truck,

can make me miss you so very much.

Funny how much I miss you and long for your touch,

*The distance between us and the passing of time,

they both grow larger each passing day.

ain't it funny how time slips away.




Russell Peter 






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

Upcoming Events

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

NOW Until March 30, 2012 
 Envisioning the West  Oklahoma City, OK                                                 
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 18-21, 2011  Big Bear Cowboy Gathering  Big Bear, CA
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 2-4, 2011 
DesignAmerica at Harley-Davidson Museum  Milwaukee, WI
September 8-11, 2011 
23rd Annual National Cowboy Symposium & Chuck Wagon Cook-off  Lubbock, TX
September 9-11, 2011 
3rd Annual Western Heritage Gallery Cowboy Gathering  Denton, TX
September 9-11, 2011 
3rd Annual International Guild of Bit & Spur Makers Conference  Denton, 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 

September 30, 2011  Backstage with Annie Oakley  Cody, WY 

October 6-9, 2011  20th Annual Nebraska Cowboy Poetry & Old West Days  Valentine, NB 

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 14-16, 2011  Holiday Country Expo and BBQ Fest  Ontario, CA 

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

October 20-23, 2011  9th Annual Southeastern Cowboy Festival & Symposium  Cartersville, GA 

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 

November 10-13, 2011  17th Annual Cowpoke Fall Gathering  Loomis, CA  

November 19, 2011 - September 2, 2012  Bolo Tie Exhibit at the Heard Museum  Phoenix, AZ 

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  Celebrate Trigger and the Roy Rogers family in Pasadena's Tournament of Roses 123rd Rose Parade  

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 



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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