March 2012 - Vol 4, Issue 3
Familiar Faces and Friends
By Don Hedgpeth
"Studyin' Bob" Scuddy once said. "Every day of my life I am forced to add another name to the list of people who piss me off." I don't get out and around people as much as Bob does. My list is a lot shorter than his, but I do have one, and those that are on it know who they are.
I don't make friends easily, not the kind that really count. It has always been difficult for me to be polite around people who talk a lot, but have nothing to say. And I am impatient with pettiness and pretension. Casual acquaintances generally consider me cantankerous, and I can live with that. I would much rather sit by myself on my porch and listen to the birds sing, than to engage in idle chitchat that passes for convivial conversation. Nothing gets my goat like the pinhead who phones only to ask, "What's going on?"
But in spite of all my social shortcomings, and to my surprise, I am fortunate to have some really good friends, and they have added immeasurably to my life. A friend, for me, is someone you can count on in the good times as well as the bad. Back in the wild times, the highest compliment one cowboy could give to another was to say: "He will due to ride the river with." Cowboys still honor the implication of those words from back when trail outfits had to cross flood-swollen rivers bounded by boggy banks on both sides.
Those I would ride the river with are scattered from Alberta down to Texas and over Arizona. Next to family, there is nothing I treasure as much as my friends. Some have gone on to glory, but just remembering them is still a comfort. I feel no need to advertise for replacements. I'll get by just fine with them that are left.
Penned by Don Hedgpeth, our resident renaissance cowboy: historian, author, art expert, poet. He also sings and plays traditional cowboy songs and recites a few poems he has written. Don lives with his wife of nearly 50 years, Sug, and they, together, can be found at poetry and art gatherings, or at home in Medina, TX.
He does not have, nor shall ever have a computer. He has no cell phone nor typewriter and still writes longhand. He is wary of mechanical things getting between him and his muse. Books by Don Hedgpeth: Howard Terpning: Spirit of the Plains People Desert Dreams, the Western Art of Don Crowley The Texas Breed: A Cowboy Anthology From Broncs to Bronzes: The Life and Work of Grant Speed Under Western Skies: The Art of Bob Pummill Bettina: Portraying Life in Art Remember Me To Them That Ride By
|Featured Photography by Steve Bundy|
The photo this month is by Steve Bundy - Costilla Cattle Drive
My goal is to capture and preserve the vast landscapes, crumbling buildings, rusting forgotten cars and evidence of diverse cultures that I find along the way between southern California and northern New Mexico - giving them new recognition, preserving them as they erode, before they melt back into the earth. When people view my images it is my hope that they see beyond my vision and experience their own feelings and emotions. Hopefully through my eyes they might gain a new perspective and see their world in a new and expanded way.
|Did You Know?|
|1. Blackfoot Proverb: What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
2. The town originally called Canyon Lodge, Arizona, was often used as a battlefield between the Navajo and Apache tribes. Located half way between Flagstaff and Winslow, the area was later recognized as an ideal place to cross Canyon Diablo by white settlers. When the National Trail Highway was renamed Route 66, the town's name was changed to Two Guns, after a local resident named Henry E. Miller, who called himself "Two Gun Miller." After I-40 bypassed Two Guns, the town died a quick death, and is now one of the hundreds of ghost towns spotting the Western landscape.3. Penny Dreadful
is a slang term for cheap, lurid fictional magazines that incorporated the same kind of literature as the dime novels. Later generations would call them pulp fiction.
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|Linda's Feed Bag|
Ingredients2 Heads garlic, separated into cloves, unpeeled (Yes, we mean the BIG head that's full of little cloves - 2 of THOSE)
1 Bunch rosemary
2 Blood oranges, cut into wedges
1 Large fresh Chicken, about 5˝lb (not frozen)
4 Tb Sliced butter
˝ Bottle sparkling wine (Use Brut, the dry variety)
1 Bottle of dry white wine (optional)
For the gravy˝ Bottle dry sparkling wine
2 Tb butter
Small handful fresh tarragon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
PreparationPreheat the oven to 300˚F
Scatter the cloves of garlic (still in their skins) into a roasting tin. Scatter half of the rosemary and half of the blood orange on top.
Insert the remaining orange and rosemary into the cavity of the chicken and gently slide slices of the butter under the skin, being careful not to pierce it.
Place the chicken breast-side up on top of the garlic in the roasting pan.
Pour over half a bottle of sparkling wine and cover with aluminum foil
Transfer to the oven and roast for 1˝ hours.
After 1˝ hours cooking time, carefully remove the foil and, using tongs, turn the chicken upside down and baste with the meaty juices from the pan.
Cook the chicken for a further 20 minutes to brown the underside, before turning the chicken back to the original position.
Baste the chicken again. Turn the oven up to 350˚F and cook until the chicken is browned all over - you will know when the chicken is cooked as the juices will run clear when the chicken is pierced with a skewer.
When the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken from the pan and leave to rest in a warm place.
Gravy:Remove the garlic skins, rosemary and blood oranges with a slotted spoon and discard - if any soft garlic clove remains in the skins, carefully slip the soft garlic clove out of the peel and into a clean pan. Pour the cooking juices into the pan along with all the soft garlic cloves.
Add the other half of sparkling wine to the pan. Simmer over a medium heat. Open a bottle of the dry white wine to have on hand when the volume begins to diminish and add if more liquid is needed (otherwise you may want to drink a glass or two while cooking), and sprinkle in the tarragon. Leave the gravy to simmer gently until reduced by half. Just before serving, whisk in 2 Tb of butter.
Meanwhile, carve the chicken into generous portions.
Serve the chicken with the gravy and perhaps wild rice and chopped vegetables. Oh, and finish that bottle of wine.
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.
Roger and Kate Jack
Far View Out West
by Jayne Skeff
"I was born too late, I should have been born a 100 years ago so I could have been a real cowboy," says Roger Jack...and Kate concurs.
At the forefront of this effervescent couple's desire, is that the legacy of the American West be sustained and live on for generations to come. "It worries all of us that none of the younger generations have the interest or desire to learn about and own pieces of our Western and cowboy heritage. It was such an important part of our history and it just can't be forgotten," implores Jack. "We have to protect that bridge that connects the generations and if we want to preserve these values, we all have to get involved."
And protecting that bridge is how Kate and Jack became so integrally involved in the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City where they live. "We lived here when the Hall of Fame was first coming to fruition and have watched it grow and expand its reach in so many important directions to attract and sustain interest on all levels," says Kate. "They really are trying to be the bridge this country needs - they best reflect the nucleus of who we are," says Jack.
But where did it all begin for these two individuals so committed to helping build that bridge? Well it began in a completely unrelated world. Jack was a tennis pro at a country club for years and Kate worked there as well. Not so cowboy.
Now Roger had always loved cowboys, growing up with a family heritage of farming and ranching. But Kate was not really born to the passion of collecting. She rather romantically envisioned herself riding across the range on horseback, inspired by the Roy Rogers era of television.
But they stumbled into the world of Western collecting together and it changed their lives. Moving on from their country club careers, for over 20 years they operated a target gun business, where the Western connection occurred. "Back in the day, we'd attend target gun events where we would meet people collecting and trading antique and collectible guns. And that was where it started!" recalls Jack. "I became interested in the Winchesters and Colt Single Actions and began collecting them." Guns lead to saddles, saddles lead to chaps, reatas, art and then sculpture. "If you see our house, it's like a museum itself. We live in what we sell."
Again that word museum, which is what bridged them to the Cowboy Hall of Fame. (actually called the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, but often shortened to as the Cowboy Hall or the Cowboy Museum). They realized the Cowboy Hall was a larger version of their own home-museum and had to get involved. "It's been so exciting to watch the Cowboy Hall develop to host the Prix De West art show and now the TCAA (Traditional Cowboy Artists of America) and CAA (California Artists of America) event. And the people involved are just wonderful and truly passionate about what they do."
Kate and Roger have been married now for 22 years and have four children and six grandchildren. When asked the big question, "So, are any of your children interested in the world of Western Americana?" Both Kate and Jack jump in with "Well... not really. But our daughter who lives in New York, a Vice President with Sephora, has one of our horsehair-on-hide pillows sitting on her very contemporary red sofa in her Manhattan apartment so maybe there's hope."
Hope, commitment, the love of history, cowboys and the West and, in addition to the people who are involved, is what inspires Jack and Kate to continue to be at the forefront of the task to ensure this legacy lives on for many generations to come. We at High Noon feel very fortunate to have them in our lives and know that their passion and energy is out there doing something so important. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts and cheer them on for keeping the cowboy spirit alive.
Kate and Roger Jack
Far View Out West
|Who's Who at High Noon|
Jim and Kay Butler
"If there is one constant in our whole culture, it's that things change. If you don't change, you're going backwards and that's how we've tried to live our life."
by Jayne Skeff
And what a life Jim and Kay Butler have had. And, hands down, they are two of the most genuine and happy individuals you will ever meet or have the honor of getting to know.
"Kay was the first girl I ever dated and now we've been married 54 years." We both dated other people while we were away at different colleges but that grass just wasn't as green. So here we are today, all these years later, we are like neck and ears," said Jim. For Kay, "We've had a fairy tale life and it doesn't get any better than this. We are so blessed to have four successful wonderful children, nine grandchildren and now one great-grandchild." Family and friends - that is what is most important to Jim and Kay.
Jim was born a cowboy, raised on the ranch in Trenton, Texas that he and Kay still live on today. Down to 400 acres, which they can manage, they still raise cattle and Kay raises miniature horses, which were due to foal at the time we were chatting. "Looks like about 22 coming!" Jim said. Oh wow, that's quite a foal indeed.
"We've never been the 9 to 5 kind of people. We've never had real jobs. We've run cattle then got into the auction business in a big way," said Jim. "No, we haven't worked 9 to 5, we've worked more like 24/7," says Kay. It's their auction business that has taken them around the world in the most exciting way. Specializing in equipment and parts liquidation, their service has them in demand in England, Saudi Arabia, Alaska, Brazil... the list goes on. "It's been an incredible adventure and we have met the most amazing people."
But when it comes to the people they treasure most in their life, you can hear their smiles beaming through the phone as they talk about everyone associated with the Western world. Kay admits she's a cowgirl by marriage and her passion for what they collect is really more about the friendships she's developed along the way.
"These are the most amazing true friends you will ever know. We have built everlasting friendships. Everyone in this business (the Western business that it) is genuine and not ego driven. They would give up their left arm if you needed it," says Jim.
Jim and Kay have spent their "fun time" trading and collecting Western memorabilia with over 800 pieces of livestock memorabilia in their personal collection. It's their passion for bits and spurs that really got them into this world and in the Hall of Fame
with the NBSSCA
In a great recollection about first meeting Linda and Joseph over twenty-two years ago, they both recall thinking, "Oh, these are just California kids and we wish them good luck, but..." "Well, look at them now. They have sure created something beyond anyone's expectations and we are so proud of them and just love them. What they do is the best in the world. When I first met Joseph, I remember thinking he could be that guy in the song 'I Wish I had been a Cowboy' but look at Joseph now," says Jim with a great laugh.
"I also remember Linda had a pretty rough road at the beginning being a woman in this world of cowboys. But boy, she proved herself, she's an amazing woman," further recalls Jim.
Now Kay and Jim may say they are retired but this weekend they are off to auction an estate in East Texas and planning a major equipment sale in the near future with buyers coming in from around the world... No, they aren't retired. But, according to Jim, "I spend most of the time now sitting next to the fire and if I'm not there, I'm just on my way back."
They were inspirational, supportive and true friends to High Noon
from the very beginning and represent what is at the core of who we strive to be: role models, stalwarts, examples of integrity and just pure fun.
Jim & Kay Butlerbutlertrn@skytex.net
|A Little Cowboy Poetry|
This month, we present cowboy poetry by Russell Petter...
30 Years Ago
Thirty Years Ago,
At the the Cash Grocery store,
The young man behind the counter said,
"I know You!,...we met back in '42!"
The old Grandpa replied,
"I know You and your Grandpa too!"
"What would you like today?"
the old Grandpa said,
"Make it simple, just like our Grandpa's did,
Give me a cold Big Red, a moon pie,
some red Rhine cheese, a sleeve of saltines,
a link of summer sausage,
and a six pack of Schlitz."
The man sacked it up,
as Grandpa pulled out six bits.
"This your son?"
"Yes Sir,....We're about to go fishing.
By the way, you can keep the change,"
and we all laughed,
as we walked to the old pick up truck.
Thirty years later,
at the Cash Grocery store,
I saw the young man behind the counter,
I said, " I know You,...we met back in '72!"
He said," I know You,...and your Grandpa too!"
"What would you like today ?"
I said," Make it simple,...
just like our Grandpa's did,
give me a cold Big Red, and a moon pie,
some red Rhine cheese, a sleeve of saltines,
a link of summer sausage,
and a six pack of Schlitz."
The man sacked it up,
as I pulled out six dollars,
"That your son there?"
"Yes Sir,...we're about to go fishing!"
By the way, you can keep the change."
And we all laughed,
as we waked to the old pick up truck.
Today, I drove by the old store,
Thinking how history repeats itself
every thirty years or so,
as my son and I walk in the door,
The young man behind the counter said,
" I know you,and your Grandpa too!"
And we all began to laugh.
And we all began to laugh,
just like it was thirty years ago.
|Roaming Range Reporter|
As we close our series of Gary Brown articles for Smoke Signals, we thank Gary for his passion, his opinions and the beautiful words he used to deliver them to us. ---Linda Kohn Sherwood, editor
Article 5 in a Series of 5:
Top 10 Memorial Silent Westerns Worthy of Watching (second half)
(The first half can be found in February 2012 Edition of Smoke Signals)
By Gary Eugene Brown
There are five other films that are worth watching, provided you've gotten over your bias regarding the silent era westerns. These are not full-length films (ninety minutes or more), however the quality and entertainment value are there nonetheless.
The Tole Gate (1920) - Another film by William S. Hart which is perhaps his finest role. The Toll Gate is a film of revenge and redemption, like many of his films. Bill starts out as an outlaw, but by the end is convinced by either a mother, sister, or pretty school marm to reform his ways and go straight. The story line is still relevant today, as one eventually has to pay for his past transgressions. You must "pay the fiddler" when the dance is over.
The Great K&A Train Robbery (1926) - There was only one Tom Mix. Larger than life, he personified the western hero, perhaps not the way he really was, yet perhaps the way he should have been. Mix was and still is the symbol of the cowboy film star, "an idol of a million boys." This is one of his best movies that have survived. It has non-stop action, fearless stunts, and humor. It was filmed on location in the Royal Gorge area of Colorado.
Riders of the Purple Sage (1926) - This was based upon Zane Grey's finest novel, and it too stayed true to the novel. Filmed in the Alabama Hills of Lone Pine, California, it is one of Tom Mix's rare serious roles. Mix portrays the vengeful Lassister, one of many who played the famous Grey character on the silver screen. However, the film was not as popular with Mix's fans as it lacked his signature non-stop action and was almost totally void of humor. It is a fine movie nonetheless.
Thundering Hooves (1924) - One of the best cowboy stars of the '20s was Fred Thomson. Almost forgotten today, he was number two in the box office behind Tom Mix and was about to pass him in popularity when, unfortunately, this former national decathlon champion died of tetanus at only age 31. This one surviving, complete film demonstrates the agility of Thomson, who was as acrobatic as the famous Douglas Fairbanks Sr. One wonders what could have happened to his career if Thomson survived and entered the sound period as the number one cowboy film star.
The Roping Fool (1925) - This is a testimony to the roping skills of probably the most beloved man of the 20th century. Will Rogers was unequalled in history as a roper and this semi-documentary film verifies the fact. See it for yourself. There is a humorous story line of Will's being obsessed with roping. His arch-nemesis is "Big Boy" Guinn Williams who went on to star in silents as the hero, and later as a sidekick. With Will being a vaudeville performer, famous movie star, honorary Mayor of Beverly Hills, champion roper, humorist, newspaper columnist, noted speaker, aviation pioneer, and goodwill ambassador to the world, if he died today in a plane crash, with instant main stream and cable TV news and the internet, people would be glued to their TVs. In 1935, the world was in complete shock, while sitting in their living rooms in front of their family radio.
Honorable Mention - There were other films that played an important role and helped pave the way for the western cinema. The Squaw Man (1914), based upon a famous play, was directed by a young Cecil B. DeMille. It supposedly was the first major film made in Hollywood. In 1917, John Ford directed his first feature film Straight Shooting starring Harry Carey, Sr. and co-starring a young Hoot Gibson. James Cruze filmed the first major western extravaganza The Covered Wagon (1923) that told of the settling of the West. Even though it seems more dated in its appearance compared to the highly recommended films, it has many memorable scenes portraying the hardships that the early pioneers had to endure. It is worth a "look-see" as a recreation of the migration West, and could have been an actual documentary, as some of the people in the film were actual participants in the earlier wagons west movement. Due to the immense success of The Covered Wagon, Cruze went on to direct The Pony Express in 1925. It was not close to the same production values of Cruze's earlier film, but is a historic film nonetheless.
With hope, this article will encourage you to venture forth and discover for yourself some of these mostly forgotten gems. They will help you fill the void before the next western film of some quality plays in your local theater. Film historians are aware of their existence, however the masses are not.
In closing, remember the saying "Silence is golden." In this case, it surely is.
© 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/
|Send us your stories...|
|NOW Until March 18, 2012 Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition Los Angeles, CA
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 April 8, 2012 Pueblo to Pueblo: The Legacy of Southwest Indian Pottery Oklahoma City, OK
NOW Until May 27, 2012 Cowgirls with a Camera Wickenburg, AZ
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 April 12-15, 2012 Columbia River Cowboy Gathering Kennewick, WA
April 13, 2012 Desert Rose Society Event-National Cowgirl Museum Ft. Worth, TX
April 19-29, 2012 Fiesta San Antonio San Antonio, TX
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 18 - October 2, 2012 100 Years, 100 Ranchers Exhibit Wickenburg, AZ
May 19, 2012 An Evening with the Cowboys Santa Barbara, CA
May 22-27, 2012 Bishop Mule Days Bishop, CA
May 28-29, 2012 21st Annual Chuck Wagon Gathering & Cowboy Festival Oklahoma City, OK
June 8-10, 2012 Red Earth Native American Cultural 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
June 28 - July 4, 2012 Prescott Frontier Days Prescott, AZ
July 19-22, 2012 California Rodeo Salinas Salinas, CA
August 3-5, 2012 The Great Southwestern Antique Show Albuquerque, NM
August 9-11, 2012 29th Annual Antique Ethnographic Art Show Santa Fe, NM
August 12-14, 2012 34th Annual Antique Indian Art Show Santa Fe, NM
August 16-18, 2012 15th Annual National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo Kanab, UT
September 19-22, 2012 Rendezvous Royal Cody WY
October 19, 2012 Buckaroo Bash Indianapolis, IN
Send event submissions to SmokeSignals@highnoon.com
Don't Fret About the Future - Invest in the Past!
Smoke Signals blows your way from High Noon Western Americana of Los Angeles, CA, producers of
the High Noon Antique Show & Auction held each January in Mesa (Phoenix), Arizona since 1991.
Our magazine was founded in 2010 from our desire to share thoughts and facts with and from our High Noon family. We write about what we know (cowboy and Indian artifacts), highlight dealers and collectors, their thoughts and memories. We also love to feed our readers with great recipes. We offer free western music, a look at factoids intrinsic to our interests, give you insight into the newest books and tell you what is going on across the United States.
And hopefully we educate along the way.
Linda Kohn Sherwood, Editor
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