November 2011 - Vol 3, Issue 11
One of My Favorite Things, Maynard Dixon's Painting, Hill Camp
By James H Nottage
As a museum curator, I have seen many remarkable artifacts and works of art over the years. One thing that strikes me is that sometimes small works can have a huge impact that goes well beyond their size or medium. Providing a little detail about one of my favorites, gives me the opportunity to marvel at an early work by California painter, Maynard Dixon.
If you have not visited the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art where I work in Indianapolis, you cannot fully appreciate the extraordinary collection gathered by our founder, Harrison Eiteljorg. Among the museum's treasures is Maynard Dixon's 1938 oil painting, The Cow Country, painted in the year he moved to Arizona. It is a formal and mature, 30" by 40" painting, rich in design, color and composition. This is the kind of painting that any major collection would be proud to have. Also collected by Eiteljorg, however, is a small watercolor, just 8 7/8 inches high by 11 3/4 inches wide. Below the artist's signature is simply written, Hill Camp, Ore. June 1, 1901. Despite its size, this small painting cannot be dismissed as a minor work. I will tell you why.
|Featured Photography by Nadine Levin|
The photo this month is by Nadine Levin - Under the Rainbow
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 November.www.photographybynadine.com
|Did You Know?|
|1. "Bronco Bill" Walters
might have started out his life as a cowboy and a railroader, but he soon found a more lucrative future as a train and stagecoach robber. Forming his own group of bandits, he worked primarily in New Mexico and Arizona. Credited with shooting several men and committing a number of robberies, he soon was targeted by Wells Fargo as a foe to eliminate. He was captured following a gunfight near Solomonville, Arizona, stood trial, and was convicted of train robbery and sentenced to prison for life. Released in 1917, he worked as a wrangler until his death when he fell from a windmill tower he was repairing.2. When new areas were settled in the west, "clearings" were made by cutting down the trees. When the majority of trees are deadened, the clearing was called a deadening.3.
A single action pistol was sometime referred to as a plow handle
. These were also referred to as "thumbusters," "cutters," "smoke poles," and "hawg legs."
| Empty Saddle |
Checotah, OKHigh Noon Family Exhibitor
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| Linda's Feed Bag|
Beans in a Hole
from our own Curtis Hill (Smoke Signal's Chief Graphic Designer)The following recipe for cooking the beans in a hole is adapted from an old cowboy recipe that's been greatly embellished and can easily be done on top of the stove (if you don't want to dig a pit). If you do decide to dig a pit, let me know and I'll give you the directions and a shovel.
2 pounds dried pinto beans (or any type you like)
2 - 2.5 pound pork shoulder, cut in pieces (no pork shoulder? Curtis often substitutes Mexican pork chorizo, grease and all - or 1 pound of chorizo in addition to the pork shoulder for extra flavor)
1 whole chopped onion
1 whole head of garlic, chopped
2-3 tablespoons dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin
1-3 tablespoons chili powder or a few shakes of chili flakes (start with less and add more per your preference)
2 cans of chopped tomatoes (if you want it to be a little more like stew - but if you do, also add a pinch of sugar to cut the acid)
Salt and pepper to taste
Place beans in a deep 12-inch or larger Dutch oven, add the pork and the seasoning and fill almost to the top with water. If cooking on top of a stove, cover at this point and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to simmer. Test after 3 or 4 hours for doneness, continue until done. Don't add salt until beans have cooked at least one hour, or they will be tough. Add more water if needed, or if too soupy, remove lid and cook until thicker.
It's great with good chewy bread, or hand-made corn tortillas.
Curtis' inspiration came from a Ranch & Reata Mike Oden recipe. Then, like most good chefs, Curtis gave it his own twist. Feel free to give a little of yourself to it.
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|
|High Noon 2012
Dear High Noon Dealers,
Contracts were due October 31, 2011. We will be releasing exhibitor space in the next week or so.
Just a reminder that as per your 2012 High Noon Show contract, you are required to send in your TAX forms (see "ivory-colored" dealer information sheet in your packet).
Due NOW: CITY forms (payment and documents should be placed in ONE envelope; the address is on the dealer info sheet).
If Fido ate your information sheet and you need another, or if you haven't downloaded your tax forms yet, you can find them all in one place on our website:
2) Look for "Quick Links & Downloads"
3) Look for & click on:
a. Download "Show dealer Info Sheet"
b. Download "Dealer Tax Forms"
TAX QUESTIONS: Contact Peggy or Marie (State) or Brenda for (City).
If you have any show related questions, suggestions, or concerns, please contact me at the High Noon office at 310-202-9010 or firstname.lastname@example.org
I wish you all a very happy turkey day!
We'll see you down the trail...
| Consignments Wanted|
|In the News|
Happy Thanksgiving to All!
In the 19th century, the economic downturn in the East pushed New Englanders to the Western Frontier in search of work, land and hopes of a better life. With them, these determined frontier settlers took their traditions and what treasures they could carry.
Often living in remote areas, miles from neighbors, what they knew Thanksgiving to be in the East, a day of families and friends gathering, became a whole different holiday celebration in the West. The typical feast of turkeys, pumpkin pies and cranberries was rare. Provisions were limited as were the implements to roast and bake the traditional feast. Pumpkin, if available, was boiled, not baked. Grain for bread and pie crusts was replaced by corn and venison, beef and chicken often replaced the traditional turkey.
In many recounts, a Thanksgiving celebration on the frontier lasted as many as three days. Families traveled far to be with other families. With such long journeys to the celebration, the families then hunted and prepared what would be a multi-day celebration to enjoy the company of their neighbors before returning to the cold isolation of winter in the Western frontier.
Women were challenged to recreate the Thanksgiving celebrations they knew from the East but their tenacity and spirit endured. As testament to this, in 1860, a Kansas housewife on the frontier wrote to her sister in New York, "We had a grand feast this Thanksgiving Day of some unnamed critters instead of turkey but never was a tastier meal served."
In this short statement lies the perfect example of the underlying strength of those women, men and children that endured and thrived and created the great American West.
From all of us at High Noon, we wish everyone the happiest of Thanksgivings and remind everyone to take a moment and be thankful for those that came before us. It was their determination to thrive that allows us to have our bountiful tables and football in HD TV.
He Never Worked a Day in His Life
by Jayne Skeff
That's because, according to Joe, if you "arrive early, stay late and love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life." And that's pretty much been Joe's life - he just loves what he does - cattle ranching since 1957 and spur collecting since the age of 10 (we'll get to that story in a minute)... the only other job he's had for the past 45 years is a Farm Bureau Insurance agent. "This job has pretty much taught me the truth factor has vanished. My advice? Trust everyone but brand ALL your calves."
Now, back to spur collecting, which is how we all know and love Joe Flores. It started when he was 10 years old growing up on a ranch in Stratford, TX. His father wouldn't allow him to wear spurs, he said it would make the horse buck him off. But Joe wanted spurs. He found his first pair in an old burned out barn. They were a pair of McChesney ladies spurs and they fit him just fine. He kept them and used them everyday while riding but would hide them in the bushes outside the house and put them on so his dad didn't see. Perhaps it was that typical defiance of the young boy wanting what he wasn't allowed to have, that created his addiction to spurs that would last his lifetime. Regardless, his collections have spanned the best makers in the world.
"I became a full fledged addict to collecting spurs," Joe recalls. "I had to have every spur in the Kelly catalog and racked up credit card bills to prove it! I think I even lost wife #1 over them," he recalls with a smile. And collecting Kelly spurs became his life addiction. At any given point, Joe had 300 to 400 spurs in his collection, many of them he used on his ranch every day. There is one pair though, after all these years, that he will never part with. It's a pair of Crockett spurs his wife gave him in 1958 as they were just building their cattle ranch business. "Those spurs built my ranch and I will never let them go."
It was in the late 1980s that Joe began to work the show circuit with the man he considers his mentor, Jim Statler. As Jim was getting older at the time, he invited Joe to ride with him across the country, doing show after show. "What I learned from Jim was invaluable," he recalls. It was Jim that got Joe his first table at High Noon in the mid-1990s. Now with the shows, his collecting addiction was really getting worse, he laughs. He finally did break his addiction just last year when he sold one of his collections of 30 spurs for a nice sum. "I could finally start paying off those credit cards bills!," he laughs again.
The day of this interview, Joe, who is 80 years young, complained he was a bit stiff as he was hauling bails of grass hay for the one horse he has left. "You know those bails of hay are $8 a piece? But, I love my horse so he's worth it every penny."
Today, Joe still has a collection of some 300 Kelly spurs. He also has a collection of about 80 spurs from makers including Randy Butters, Tom Johnson and Bill Adamson. This collection is on exhibit at the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock, TX in the Joe Flores Family Gallery. "There's even an oil painting of me in that gallery. Some guy painted a portrait of me. Heck, I've never even painted my house!"
And this is why we love Joe Flores. Outspoken, funny but oh, so genuine.
If you want to contact Joe, try his email: email@example.com
|A Little Cowboy Poetry|
This month, we present cowboy poetry by Russell Petter...
Just like a pirate that is out of place on the land,
or, a sailor that is lost at sea with no ship to sail,
I'm just a cowboy that was born a hundred years too late.
Way too many fences and concrete highways,
"What happened to the land that I used to ride my pony on as a kid?"
Am I a cowboy, ...
or a victim of fate,
definetely arrived a hundred years too late.
"What happened to the land that I used to dream about as a kid?"
Made enough money to have everything that I could possibly need,
Instead, I became the middle man, and pissed it all away.
"What happened to the money in my hand?"
I guess an occupational hazard of living today,
is remembering all of your yesterdays.
With all the computers and technology,
the problem is, I just can't find an occupation to my satisfaction.
*"What happened to the world that I used to know?"
Riding horses all day long,
fixing broken fences and broken hearts at the honky tonk,
*"What happened to the world that I used to know?"
Now, as old as I am, I am searching desperately for the better things in life,
A good horse to ride, a loving wife,
More money than I can spend,
my memory struggles to recall, just how it all began.
*"What happened to the world, where love lead to a marriage that lasted forever?"
VIOS con DIOS, to all my Caballeros,
with a little luck and God's grace,
we will all meet at the Pearly Gates,
where there are no fences, or concrete highways.
Just the best Cabayos to ride for eternity.
No worries or cares about the cruel world that I know all to well,
The thought still runs through my mind, as I ride my horse to town for the last time.
*"What happened to the world, that I used to know?"
My mind reflects back to all my better days,
*"What happened to the world that I used to know?"
|Roaming Range Reporter|
Article 1 in a Series of 5:
Western Cinema in the Golden Age and Top 10 Memorable Silent Westerns Worthy of Watching
By Gary Eugene Brown
Gary first became involved with western cinema as a boy growing up in the 1940s in Republic, Missouri. His grandfather would take him to a double feature cowboy movie every Saturday afternoon. For a quarter, he would get the price of admission, popcorn and a soda pop.
In 1974, he was asked to lead a parade in Chowchilla, California. When he told rodeo champion and team roper Dan Branco that parades were for elected officials, Dan replied, "I thought you'd enjoy riding a horse, leading several hundred of Corriente cattle down Main Street to kick off the Chowchilla Fair Western Stampede
." Gary rode in the parade and in turn, bought a horse. He has owned horses ever since.
Gary, needing a hobby to relieve the stress of being Police Chief
in San Clemente, California (1978), started collecting memorabilia on the legendary, cowboy movie star Tom Mix
, who had been his father's boyhood hero. That experience led to his acquiring a collection of vintage cowboy movie posters, an extensive number of original autographed portraits of heroes of the silver screen (on display at his son Jordan's coffee shop - Mavericks
in Visalia, California), a large library of western films and reference books plus numerous western art, saddles and spurs.
In 1990, he helped Lani Hernandez establish the Visalia Fall Roundup
cowboy poetry event that still is in existence. In 1995, he was founder of the Rogue River Roundup
in Ashland/Medford Oregon which ran for three years. That led to his assisting the City of Santa Clarita in creating their annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival
at the historic Gene Autry Melody Ranch, where he also performed along with a group - Cowboy Jack & the Rogue Valley Wranglers. People seemed curious watching the Police Chief of Ashland, Oregon, spout rhyme and meter, while his colleagues crooned cowboy tunes.
Gary had his own weekly radio for four years at station KRRM 94.7 FM; Grants Pass, Oregon, The Rogue River Roundup
. He played cowboy music and poetry and had guests such as Don Edwards, Tom Russell and R.W. Hampton. That led to his being an Executive Producer for four albums with the award winning cowboy singer R.W. Hampton. The first album, Ridin' the Dreamland Range
, a tribute to western film, won the Academy of Western Artists
album of the year in 1997. The fourth album (Troubadour
) is a chronicle of the history of the cowboy from his Celtic roots to today's hired man on horseback.
In 1999, Gary was the founder of the Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival
. The event is a fan favorite and has included the finest in western music and cowboy performers. In addition, he once again became DJ Cowboy Jack
and hosted Radio Ranch
on the local PBS FM station. He also formed the musical/poetry group Cowboy Jack & his Monterey Amigos
. Gary retired as Police Chief in Old Monterey in 2001.
Today, in his retirement years in Visalia, California, Gary books cowboy music and poetry performers at Mavericks Coffee House
. Now in its 8th season, performers the likes of Ian Tyson, Michael Martin Murphey, Waddie Mitchell and the Sons of the San Joaquin have performed in the close, intimate setting. Mavericks have the reputation among western entertainers as being the place to perform.
Gary also lectures on the Reel Cowboys of Western Film
, which highlights the careers of the most significant cowboy cinema stars and/or those who have an interesting tale to tell. He has published articles on the life of Tom Mix, Western Cinema of the Golden Era, and the Greatest Silent Western films. He has portrayed William S. Hart twice at his home in Newhall where he recited Hart's farewell speech from his last film, Tumbleweeds
, as well as Bill's poem Pinto Ben
. Gary also did a one-man show on William S. Hart for the Aurora, Illinois Historical Society
. In addition, he's written a western screenplay, Pay the Fiddler
, an adaptation of a 1920s Bill Hart film.
You can catch him most mornings at Mavericks where he enjoys eavesdropping on old boys who come in and see the autograph collection and hear one say to the other..."Hey Earl, come and see these old pictures...do you remember Hoot Gibson...he was my boyhood hero!"
A popular man with many interests, Gary Brown is known by many as the founder of the Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival
He's also an expert on the subject of early Western cinema and a collector of cinema art and memorabilia. He has been invited to speak on the subject and has written about it, including recent articles in Movieguide
(2010) and American Cowboy
We're pleased to present to you a series of his articles "Western Cinema in the Golden Age," and "Top 10 Memorable Silent Westerns Worthy of Watching," versions of the Movieguide
magazine articles, first published on his website: http://www.cowboypoetry.com/
Coming Up Next: (Article 2) Gary's thoughts on cinema and some of the great cowboy actors.
|Send us your stories...|
| Upcoming Events|
|NOW Until November 20, 2011 The Bowie Knife: Icon of American Charter Exhibition Oklahoma City, OK
NOW Until January 8, 2012 Jingle Rails - Great Western Adventure Indianapolis, IN
NOW Until March 25, 2012 The Cowgirl Who Because a Justice: Sandra Day O'Connor Fort Worth, TX
NOW Until March 30, 2012 Envisioning the West Oklahoma City, OK
November 10-13, 2011 17th Annual Cowpoke Fall Gathering Loomis, CA
November 11-12, 2011 Mesa Old West Days Mesa, AZ
November 12-February 19, 2012 21st Annual Trappings of the American West Prescott, AZ
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
December 7, 2011 We Pointed Them North Art Show & Event Fort Worth, TX
January 2, 2012 Celebrate Trigger and the Roy Rogers family in Pasadena's Tournament of Roses 123rd Rose Parade Pasadena, CA
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
February 17-19, 2012 Spirit of the West Cowboy Gathering Ellensburg, WA
February 21, 2012 Mardi Gras New Orleans, LA
February 23-26, 2012 12th Annual Saddle Up Pigeon Forge, TN
April 26-28, 2012 Gathering of the Nations Powwow Albuquerque, NM
May 19, 2012 An Evening with the Cowboys Santa Barbara, CA
May 28-29, 2012 21st Annual Chuck Wagon Gathering & Cowboy Festival Oklahoma City, OK
June 16-17, 2012 Plains Indian Museum Powwow Cody, WY
June 22-24, 2012 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!
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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