High Noon logo
January 2012 - Vol 4, Issue 1
In This Issue
Feature Story: The Beautiful Baskets of Northwest California
Featured Photo: Pictorial View of Western Americana....Featuring Nadine Levin
Linda's Feed Bag: Moroccan Lamb - or you can call it Fantastic Lamb Stew
Bits & Pieces: High Noon 2012 Dealer Update from "T"
Recommended Reading: Peace Medals - Negotiation Power in Early America
Our Inner Cowgirl: Amy Hoban...California Wear...She has a Passion for Fashion
Dealer Spotlight: Jim Hislop - Wisenheimer and Cowboy Collector Extraordinaire
A Little Cowboy Poetry: Poetry by amy elizabeth
Roaming Range Reporter: Western Cinema in the Golden Age (Article 3 of 5)
Upcoming Events: Don't miss these upcoming Western and Native American events
Feature Story
Photo of a trinket basketThe Beautiful Baskets of Northwest California   


By Mary Lou Walbergh   



The livin' was easy, and the art was superb. From the late 1800s, the tribes of the far Northwestern California created baskets unmatched for beauty anywhere in the world. It has been speculated that this was possible partly because the climate was fairly benign, the rivers were teeming with salmon, the woods full of deer, and the oaks loaded with acorns. This allowed for a culture in which talented women were able to weave long hours every day, honing their skills to a level which is not possible in these complicated modern times, and creating baskets of rare beauty.

These baskets are known, collectively and informally, as Hupa, because the local trading post was located in the town of Hoopa (incorrectly spelled by the whites who named it) but actually there were six tribes living and weaving baskets within that tiny space: Hupa, Yurok, Karuk, Tolowa, Whilkut and Wiyot. They all spoke different languages, and indeed, those languages derived from three different base languages: Hokan, Athabascan, and Algonquin.


PHOTO ABOVE: A small trinket basket by Elizabeth Conrad Hickox. The swooping knob, intricate design, and use of quill and fern are hallmarks of her distinctive style.  


  >>



Featured Photography by Nadine Levin

Single cowboy on horse in a blizzard





The photo this month is by Nadine Levin - Blizzard Ride  

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 January.



Did You Know?

1. Pemican was an easily carried food substance on the frontier. Formed by pounding the choice parts of the meat very small, dried over a slow fire or in the frost, and put into bags made of the skin of the slain animal, into which a portion of melted fat is then poured.

2. A supply center or store, Road Ranches were often located on the major trails headed westward, that supplied the wagon trains with provisions.

3. Referred to as healers, Medicine Men, or Medicine Women by their tribes, they have also been called "Shamans" by people of European descent, though this term was not used by the Native Americans. These many healers' primary role was to secure the help of the spirit world, especially the "Creator" or "Great Spirit," for the benefit of the community or an individual.

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

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Linda's Feed Bag
High Noon logo
Moroccan Lamb  


Or you can call it Fantastic Lamb Stew with Noodles. Make some of this delicious stew and share it with your friends.

8 to 10 servings
Tangine of Moroccan Lamb Stew
Large pinch of saffron threads
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder cut into 2-inch pieces
3 large red onions, sliced -inch thick
Two 2-inch cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1- teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1- teaspoons ground tumeric
Kosher salt
cup salted water

1- pounds vermicelli or angel-hair pasta broken into 3-inch lengths
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
cup golden raisins
2/3 cup blanched sliced almonds (in 1-2 tablespoons of butter)
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1- teaspoons ground cinnamon

In a small skillet, toast the saffron over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Crumble the saffron threads and cover with 2 tablespoons of water over lamb and let sit for a couple of minutes.

In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Quickly, with high heat, brown the lamb. Remove from pan.  Brown the onions with cinnamon sticks, ginger, pepper, tumeric and 2 teaspoons of salt. Add the lamb back in, along with cup salted water, cover and cook over moderate heat until lamb is tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (It's so important that the lamb be tender, and how long it cooks will depends on your lamb. Occasionally take a piece and see if you can stick a fork in it easily - that's when it's ready!)

Blanche the almonds.

Prepare the noodles al dente adding a pinch of salt and oil into water.

To serve, pour the lamb mixture over the noodles. Right before serving, add the raisins and almonds on top, then sprinkle sugar and cinnamon combination.


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 TheresaAuction AdHigh Noon 2012
Dealer Update 
from "T" 

Howdy Dealers,

We're excited about the upcoming show and auction and seeing you, our High Noon family once again in just a few short weeks!

As you're reading this, our decorators are loading your walls, showcases, lights and other goodies on their trucks, and will soon be headed to Mesa. A copy of our official, approved 2012 floor plan has been included in your confirmation packet (a large white envelope), which was just shipped to you a few days ago via the USPS.

If you're traveling and won't be around to receive your packet prior to our event, I'd be happy to email the contents of the packet to you, just give me a call at the office or shoot me an email...whichever is most convenient for you.

Happy Trails to you until we meet again in Mesa!


In the News - HIgh Noon Show and Auction
High Noon Show and Auction Ad

Recommended Reading

Photo of book

Peace Medals -
Negotiation Power  

in Early America  

Edited by Robert B Pickering  


Pickering explores and explains the myth and the controversy that has followed peace medals throughout history. His challenge was to extract the stories from beautiful and symbolic, artistically designed circular plates, which were worn around necks portraying supernatural, political and religious power. Disks made of silver, copper, brass or bronze, these small pieces of medallic art portray powerful imagery of symbols and men. They have been collected as early as 900 AD, adding serious numismatic support with accompanying provenance, whether true or lore.

Peace medals, as they have been called since the late 1800s, specifically point to the American government's relationship and distribution to the Native American leaders. Mr Pickering raises many questions about what is genuine, what is official, what is fake, and what is the fundamental definition of a medal. He further investigates why they were made and how they were used. Although you may not find all the answers in this beautifully photographed and carefully researched book that accompanied the same-named exhibition at the Gilcrease Museum, perhaps taking the journey with Mr Pickering and asking the questions may be enough.

Contributing Authors: John W Adams, Bruce W Arnold, George J Fuld, Frank H Goodyear III, Duane H King, Skyler Liechty, Tony Lopez, Robert B Pickering, F Kent Reilly III, Barry D Tayman

Published by the Gilcrease Museum Tulsa, Oklahoma in conjunction with the exhibition Peace Medals: Symbols of Influence and Prestige in North American

Sold by the Gilcrease Museum and distributed through the University of Oklahoma Press
Our Inner Cowgirl

L to R Cowgirls: Paulette Bishop, Amy Hoban, Theresa Verrier

Amy Hoban 

California Wear - She has a passion for fashion     
by Jayne Skeff


"I have a passion for fashion, and you can quote me on that," was one of the opening statements in our interview with Amy Hoban, designer of drop-dead gorgeous western inspired skirts, shirts, and jackets. All hand-made right here in America. That's very important to her.

"I've always loved Western and, being from California, there's always been a place for it. Many people assume my clothes are vintage but they're not." Amy's fashions are inspired by beautiful vintage works and by her love of TV shows like The Big Valley, and the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show. Amy's love of Western has filtered down to her children who are befittingly named Cody and Cassidy she comments with a smile.

"I've always had a passion for fashion but it wasn't until I moved to Santa Fe about 20 years ago that I realized I loved designing as well." New to Santa Fe, she and some girlfriends decided to go to the famous Buckaroo Ball but could find absolutely nothing appropriate to wear. So, Amy designed her own outfit, dripping in fringe and beads. It spun heads at the ball and got the attention of Santa Fe fashionista Jane Smith who immediately told Amy she wanted to feature her skirts in her shop. Amy was a bit taken aback and said, "These are really expensive to make because they are all hand made one at a time." Undeterred, Jane Smith pursued and within short order, Amy's skirts were in her shop. The second woman to purchase one just happened to be Christie Brinkley who wore the skirt for her fashion shoot in the second issue on InStyle Magazine! "I call it dumb luck," says Amy "but it certainly set my path. I got validation for my designs early in the game and that was just great."

Since that first skirt and the Christie Brinkley episode, Amy has kept creating and designing the richest vintage inspired Western clothes for both women and men. She admits she met resistance at first to people who thought her work was vintage but were then corrected that they were new. "What I tell them is that without good new stuff, there won't be any good old stuff!"

Amy's clientele runs from Los Angelenos who wear one of her spectacular fringe shirts with a pair of skinny jeans and heels to the board members of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.

"Because I am so inspired by and love vintage Western, I am often asked to reproduce a vintage piece but I won't do that. That's something I'm very proud of. I will create a piece to complement it or create my own original design inspired by that piece but all of my work is original."

We look forward to seeing Amy and her beautiful vintage inspired Western fashion creations at High Noon this month and we also look forward to seeing Amy herself!

To chat with Amy about owning one of her designs, she'd love to hear from you at (818) 760-1829.

Photo Above: L to R Cowgirls: Paulette Bishop, Amy Hoban, Theresa Verrier

Dealer Spotlight
Photo of Jim HislopWisenheimer and Cowboy Collector Extraordinaire

Jim Hislop
"I was going to save the world
one city at a time"    

by Jayne Skeff

Two years ago when Smoke Signals was just in development, Linda Kohn Sherwood thought it would be so neat to be able to find out who the people really were behind the ones we know in their High Noon booths. We've had a lot of fun doing this but interviewing Jim Hislop really exemplified what behind the booth really means.

"I've always had a theme to what I wanted to do. When I was a boy, I wanted to be a pirate but Dad didn't think that would work out too well. Then I wanted to be a cowboy which I was for a while until I realized the horses (mine was named Pig) were really just trying to kill me. Then I thought about being a surfer but Dad really didn't think that would work out well living in the middle of Texas. One thing that wasn't on the list was joining Lyndon Johnson's party in Southeast Asia. But, I did that too."

The story about Jim's draft experience is really quite something. In 1966 he got the letter and dutifully showed up in San Antonio. At that time, all draftees queued up in a line and, one after another, you either went to the right which was the Army or the left which was the Marines. Well at Jim's turn, he went to the left and encountered a gunnery sargeant who took one look at all 6 foot 5 inches of him and said "Boy, in about 4 weeks, you are going to be on point in the jungles of Vietnam and I can tell you that looking at you, I give you a life expectancy of about 3 weeks. What I suggest you do is step out of line and go over to the Air Force and the Navy where you have a chance of survival." Jim was a bit offended at the time but then quickly realized he "somehow knew I was an idiot so I went and joined the Air Force. He saved my life." And the stories keep unfolding from there.

While Jim was always trading and collecting from boyhood on, marbles, comics, you name it, he also always loved the cowboy world but it wasn't until years later that it became his livelihood. The road to Cowboy collecting took several detours along the way.

Tenacious? Oh yes. Jim actually calls himself mercenary at heart. Jim was the youngest City Manager in the history of Texas. At the old age of 28, he became the City Manager of Round Rock, a position he held for five years until two politicians actually got on the city council. He quickly resigned. The games of politics - definitely not his thing. "I was going to save the world one city at a time - then the politicians jumped in and I jumped out."

Then in the early 1980s, he decided to start an oil company. He had several accounts, mainly towns and school districts that would buy oil from him. Problem was that he had $10,000 but needed $5 million to really run with the big dogs at Exxon. "They wanted to be paid each week about $4 million but I was net 30 from the cities and towns. It was a problem and Exxon just didn't have a sense of humor." Okay, check oil baron off the list.

Then he decided to get into real estate development and moved to Dallas where things were exploding. "It was crazy there at the time. There were so many developers, everyone was stepping on everyone else and anyone with a pick-up truck called themselves a developer." He rode the Dallas development wave until the late 80s then said, "I'm done with this." Always in the back of his mind was his love for Cowboy collectibles and antiques. He started going to gun shows and general line antique shows as those were the only options at the time to buy and sell cowboy stuff. Then he met Joseph, Linda, and Brian Lebel and knew these would be the events that would really solidify his cowboy livelihood endeavors. And that's what he's been doing since the late 1980s and loving every minute of it.

"For myself, I collect steer horns, old ones. I have furniture and mounts made from them which fill my house." When asked how his wonderful wife Kat feels about the furnishings he replies, "She's real tolerant." Another note on the family side - he has two grown daughters but no grandkids yet. 'They're too mean to have kids!" he comments with a belly laugh.

Jim loves what he sells and what he collects. He's particularly partial to the finest Navajo rugs and the really good marked leather pieces. "It's the story behind these pieces that I really love. Heck, make a story up about the pieces, I don't care - it just adds character to the piece."

Jim is passionate about this country, understanding the richness of our Western heritage and the artifacts that remain to tell the story.

You can contact Jim at thekatbirdseat@aol.com

A Little Cowboy Poetry
This month, we present cowboy poetry by amy elizabeth...    

Ranch Wife   

The dogs lie sleepin' at the foot of the bed,
All the horses are stirrin' waitin' to be fed.
The darkened sky with a mere hint of change,
Sprinkles a haze that blankets the mountain range.

The roosters call before the coffee's brewed,
While the hens yet to bicker in their constant feud.
Stumbling from my bed, a lil' stiff an' sore,
The dogs underfoot as they scurry for the door.

The sun now peeks from the mountain's top,
It's time to throw hay an' start shovelin' the slop.
The broodmares whinny an' the donkeys bray,
Out yonder are the fillies nickerin' while they play.

A flock of pigeons are all in a row atop the gate,
An' one lonely raven scours the sky callin' his mate.
The barn cat is usually nowhere to be seen,
But last I saw she was hardly the picture of lean.

They say a ranch wife works way to hard,
Her face weathered, hands calloused and scarred.
But they fail to see that everything has a price,
They'll never find heaven on earth without some sacrifice.

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

High Noon logoAnd don't forget to check out
Amy's book of cowboy poetry,
Trail of Trials
available at Amazon.com.    


Roaming Range Reporter
Photo of Gary Brown on Horsebak
Article 3 in a Series of 5:

Silent Westerns is a Misnomer 


By Gary Eugene Brown

The first significant film ever made just happened to be a western -
The Great Train Robbery, by Edwin Porter in 1903. From then until 1929 and the advent of sound, there were scores of western movies made, however, they were not known in the film industry as "silent westerns"...they were simply called "western photoplays," or cowboy motion pictures. The term "silent film" is a name coined later by historians after the release of "all-talking" pictures. In fact, most of the early pioneers in the film industry felt that sound was not a positive thing. Films of the late teens and twenties were shown throughout the world. No sound meant any difference in languages was not a real problem. All they needed to do was change the dialogue cards to reflect the native language of the audience. Also, early sound attempts were failures because the technology to do so was still in the formation stage.

Audiences at some of the initial sound film showings actually booed because of the stilted dialogue, often due to "mike fright" on part of the actors and/or the lack of sound quality equipment in the evolving technology. Also, the studio's major investments in plant facilities were designed for shooting several movies simultaneously, side-by-side, since there was no problem with overriding noise from other sets that would affect the finished product. As such, there was no need for constructing costly sound stages.

Thomas Edison, pioneer in the motion picture film industry, when once asked what he thought about the advent of sound in the moving picture industry, still in its infancy, supposedly replied, "Sound.....sound....why spoil the illusion"! The great Italian film director Federico Fellini remarked much later, "if there were more silence, if we all kept quiet....we could understand something." Perhaps, they had a valid point, as spoken dialogue, if overdone, can detract from the objective and mood of the story. The great director John Ford felt that the less dialogue, the better. After all, it was the story line, character development and background locations that were more important.

The western was the perfect vehicle for the early film industry in that dialogue was not as important as it was to melodrama. Riding, roping, fighting, hangings and stampedes required minimal dialogue, if any at all. Also, there were plenty of 30-dollar-a month working cowboys who came out to Hollywood with the possibility that they could earn that much in one day if they would take a fall off a horse. Heck, they often did that as part of their daily work for a dollar a day.

The real, not reel, cowboys that came further west were the likes of rodeo cowboys: Art Acord, Hoot Gibson and Yakima Cannutt, wild west show performers aka Tom Mix, Will Rogers, Ken Maynard and Buck Jones. Other working cowboys such as Jack and Al Hoxie, Lane Chandler, Wally Wales, Gary Cooper and "Big Boy" Williams found their way to Gower Gulch, the hangout for cowboys waiting the casting call for film work.

However, other early cowboy film stars came from various backgrounds. Stage actors like William S. Hart and Harry Carey Sr. always wanted to be cowboys, had experienced western life first-hand as young men, and knew what a real cowboy looked and acted like. Bronco Billy Anderson was a male model from the Big Apple, and Tom Tyler, Neal Hart and Buddy Roosevelt were some of cinemas first stuntmen. George O'Brien worked behind the scenes as part of the film crew on Tom Mix films as did Marion Morrison, aka John Wayne. Fred Thomson was a three times National Decathlon Champion and a war veteran. Jack Holt, father of cowboy film star Tim Holt, was just a bit actor in pioneer Hollywood melodramas, but also a great polo player. Tim McCoy was a military commander with the National Guard in Wyoming. These were the cowboy actors that paved the way for the western stars of the next generation like Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Tex Ritter, among many others. Hollywood was the Mecca for cowboys during the Golden Age!

2010, Gary Eugene Brown; all rights reserved. A version of this article appeared in September, 2010 in Movieguide magazine.


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 magazine (2011).

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 4) Top 10 Memorable Silent Westerns Worthy of Watching


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

Upcoming Events

NOW Until February 19, 2012  21st Annual Trappings of the American West  Prescott, AZ
NOW Until March 25, 2012 
The Cowgirl Who Became a Justice: Sandra Day O'Connor  Fort Worth, TX
NOW Until March 30, 2012 
Envisioning the West  Oklahoma City, OK

NOW Until September 2, 2012  Bolo Tie Exhibit at the Heard Museum  Phoenix, AZ

NOW Thru November 2012  Many Mexicos: Vista de la Frontera  Tucson, AZ 

January 20-22, 2012  Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering  Golden, CO 

January 21, 2012  The Story of The Visalia Stock Saddle with Griff Durham  Santa Barbara, CA 

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

January 28 - April 8, 2012  Pueblo to Pueblo: The Legacy of Southwest Indian Pottery  Oklahoma City, OK 

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

February 3-5, 2012  20th Annual Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering  Sierra Vista, AZ 

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

March 10-11, 2012  Antiques, Objects & Art L.A.  Glendale, CA 

March 10 - May 27, 2012  Cowgirls with a Camera  Wickenburg, AZ 

March 18, 2012  Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition  Los Angeles, CA 

April 20-22, 2012  2012 Cowboy Culture Celebration  Dublin, TX 

April 26-28, 2012  Gathering of the Nations Powwow  Albuquerque, NM 

May 12 - July 1, 2012  Howard Terpning: Tribute to Plains People Exhibit  Los Angeles, CA 

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

July 19-22, 2012  California Rodeo Salinas  Salinas, CA

August 16-18, 2012  15th Annual National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo  Kanab, UT    

September 19-22, 2012  Rendezvous Royal  Cody WY  


Send event submissions to SmokeSignals@highnoon.com 



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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