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May 2012 - Vol 4, Issue 5
In This Issue
Feature Story: Ode to Mom (and/or Grandma)...The History of Aprons
Featured Photo: Pictorial View of Western Americana....Featuring Nadine Levin
Linda's Feed Bag: Stuffed Mushrooms
Show Dealer Spotlight: Larry Peck
Roaming Range Reporter: Red Steagall; Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival
A Hearty Congratulation: Steve DeFurio and Melanie Gluck Get Married
A Little Cowboy Poetry: ...and Song by Ron Soodalter
Expressions: Reel Cowboys of Western Cinema, by Gary Eugene Brown
And Furthermore...: Rodeo Clown Reunion at Sheridan, WY
Upcoming Events: Don't miss these upcoming Western and Native American events

Feature Story

Photos of Linda and Joseph with their mothersOde to Mom (and/or Grandma)...
The History of Aprons    


Anonymous, but sent to you all from  

Linda Kohn Sherwood and her friend Dina         


Remember making an apron in Home Ec? Remember Home Ec? If we have to explain "Home Ec" you may delete this. I just don't have the energy anymore. Read on.



I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few and because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons required less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven. A "Medium" was size 14-16.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the autumn, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

The Government would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron. I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron - but love...

Top - Linda Kohn Sherwood with her mother, June, 1951.
Bottom - Joseph with his mother, Syvia, August 1961


Featured Photography by Nadine Levin

Mother and child riding







The photo this month is by Nadine Levin - Riding with Mom

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 Mother's Day.




Did You Know?

1. Silver Print is a generic term referring to all prints made on paper coated with silver salts. Most contemporary black and white photographs are silver prints.

2. During the days of the Oklahoma Land Runs, "Sooner" stories became instant Oklahoma lore. On the day of the first run, for example, one man was found working on land sprouting 4" high onions. When asked how this could have happened, he praised the rich soil, claiming that he had planted those onions "just fifteen minutes ago." 

3. Santa Clara is one of the eight Northern Pueblos, famous for its red and black pottery, mostly carved.

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

Empty Saddle
Empty Saddle Graphic

Jim Nicholls
High Noon Family Dealer
Jerry Ann Portwood Taylor
Trick Rider and Performer
Working Cowgirl

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Linda's Feed Bag
High Noon logo
Stuffed Mushrooms

1 lb. whole mushrooms, preferably white, one-mouthful size
1 small onion, very finely chopped
1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
4 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. parsley, very finely chopped
3 Tbsp. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
3 Tbsp. breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Instructions:Platter of delicious stuffed mushrooms
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Wash the mushrooms and dry thoroughly.
Remove the stems and chop very finely.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the stems, onion and garlic. Saute for about five minutes.
Remove from heat and empty into a mixing bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, parsley, cheese, salt and pepper, and mix and/or chop well.
Stuff the mushroom caps and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle olive oil over all the mushrooms, then place in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes.
Allow to rest a few minutes before serving at room temperature.

Serve as hor d'oeuvre or as side vegetable. Make lots!


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.

What High Noon Can Do For You
High Noon Auction Ad 

Show Dealer Spotlight

Photo of Larry Peck

Larry Peck 

"I've made a living looking people in the eye since I was nine years old..."            

by Jayne Skeff


...which was when he started trading horses with his father and he's been trading ever since. "I've always hated bosses and never wanted one so I haven't had a real job in 45 years but I think I've done okay without one."

It was Larry's horse trading career that led him to the rich world of collecting and trading bits, spurs, saddles and, most important, meeting his fabulous wife Cindy. But let's go back to the bits and spurs first. As Larry recalls, "When you're trading with the cowboys as I did, you always have to throw something in or get something extra in the deal. This is how I accumulated quite a plunder and when I stopped trading horses in the 80s, I looked around and realized I had over 100 head of horses and a plunder of bits and spurs. The horses needed food and water, the bits and spurs didn't." And so, Larry Peck, bit and spur expert and trader was born. "I guess I've learned a few things about bits, spurs and saddles over the past 65 years. I'm partial to Ortega but I also have real appreciation for the work of Adolph Bayer, one of the original Texas spur makers."

By 1990, Larry decided to start taking his "plunder" and try selling it at a show. The first show he did was Western Heritage in Abilene in 1990. "It was amazing," he recalls and has been doing shows ever since. He still does about 20 shows a year but would love to start cutting back a bit but we're guessing he probably won't.

Larry Peck and wife, CindyNow back to how Larry met his lovely wife Cindy. He, in fact, was still doing a bit of horse trading in Texas in the early 1990s and a gal was bringing about six horses over from Nevada for trade. He recalls the truck pulled up to his ranch and out popped two women, one of which was Cindy, who had come along from Las Vegas for the ride. "You just never know when the love of your life is going to pop out of a truck..." And so, as they say, the rest is history. They traveled back and forth between Texas and Las Vegas visiting each other until one day, Cindy just moved to Texas and they've been together ever since.

"She didn't know a thing about saddles, bits or spurs but when she went to a show with me for the first time, she decided she wanted to start collecting and trading. I told her absolutely not! I didn't need to be competing with her," he says with a laugh. So Cindy decided to go another route and begin collecting things that would appeal to the feminine side of the Western world. She began collecting and selling Beacon Blankets which then led to a whole collectible design line that today, has made her both an expert and author in the field. Go Cindy!

The word "plunder" is a great word and Larry uses it with great skill. He, through his tenacity, diligence and sincere caring has parlayed his "plunder" to presidency - President of the NBSSCA for 2012, a role he is very honored to have.

Larry Peck has been a driving force is building and preserving the awareness of the heritage of the works by the masters of years past but is also the biggest advocate of the contemporary masters creating these works of art today. "Today's bit, spur and saddle makers are true artists and what they create are works of art. I have had the opportunity to see this first hand at many shows when I've sold and I've seen these makers sell their works to people you know don't have a horse. They buy them as art pieces for their mantles in their homes."

As President of the NBSSCA, Larry has several goals he is committed to achieving. "In the beginning, the NBSSCA was just a small group of guys trading among ourselves but now we've grown to over 1500 members and things have changed and splintered a bit which is natural. I want to reinstate the strong cohesiveness in the organization, bring all the groups together because we will have more impact as a group than as individuals.

Key to Larry's mission is to do everything he can, along with all members of the NBSSCA, to ensure that show promoters are successful. "Shows are our lifeline. We have to do everything we can to support promoters of these events whether it be consulting and supporting in advertising, publicity, scheduling or location selection." To that end, he has already assembled a special advisory group of long time promoters and makers to do just this. Linda Kohn Sherwood was very honored to have been chosen as a member of this special advisory board.

"The country needs to be educated and see both the historic and contemporary works so that this heritage and our future can be preserved and shows are our primary way of getting our message to the people."

It's Larry's humor but his genuine soul that comes through in everything he does and says. This is really evident when he's asked about his children. He just beams at the success of his two sons, Ryan and Randy and his daughter Kathy.

Ryan, taking a completely different route than his father, finished his masters degree in Texas then, much to dad's dismay, headed for Hollywood to become an actor. Terrified at this thought, Larry called Linda and Joseph who came to the rescue and had Ryan safely stay with them until he could get his feet on the ground. That didn't take long as Ryan has been contracted by an agency, is off on his own and recently appeared in the TV show The Mentalist and is beginning work on a major motion picture that will start filming soon.

He refers to Randy as his jet-setting banking son who currently holds the position of President of two banks, one in Arizona and one in New York. His daughter Kathy, the proverbial apple of daddy's eye, lives a wonderful life in her hometown of Oklahoma City.

Roaming Range Reporter
Photo of Red SteagallRed Steagall to be Honored with The Boss of the Plains Award in June

by Jayne Skeff  

Each year, The National Ranching Center in Lubbock, TX, selects one individual to receive the coveted Boss of the Plains Award and this year's award will be given to a man who has enriched all of our lives with his music, his storytelling, and his ongoing contributions to the Western way of life. "I am truly honored by the recognition from the National Ranching Heritage Center and the Ranching Heritage Association," said Red Steagall winner of this year's award. "I have great respect for those that have preceded me in receiving this award and I feel privileged to have my name listed with them. Preserving our rich ranching history is very important to me, and the National Ranching Heritage Center does a marvelous job preserving and perpetuating that history."

Steagall, who was born in Gainesville, Texas in 1938, began bull riding as a teenager but music would eventually become his true passion as a songwriter and performer whose music crossed all cultures. He is best known for his Texas Swing dance music, which has been well known internationally for some 40 years. He has performed for heads of state including a special party for President Ronald Reagan at the White House in 1983. Steagall made three overseas tours for the United States Information Agency to the Middle East, the Far East and South America. Those of us who are old enough will remember him from TV shows including Hee Haw as well as many of the movies he produced including Big Bad John. Steagall also spent many years in Hollywood as a music industry executive where he discovered the likes of Reba McEntire and we all know what that did for her career! Today, many of us enjoy his show on RFD-TV In The Bunkhouse with Red Steagall.

He has spent a lifetime promoting and helping to preserve the western lifestyle and we at High Noon would like to extend our personal congratulations to Red for being honored with this year's Boss of the Plains award. The award, which was created by the National Ranching Center in 1999, recognizes those individuals who have provided outstanding support of the Center. On Saturday, June 1, 2012, at the event befittingly called Texas Wines and Rhymes, Red Steagall will be presented with a bronze sculpture of a rancher astride his cowhorse created by award-winning artist Don Ray of Channing, Texas. The Stetson Hat Co., creator of the original Boss of the Plains hat, has contributed the use of their hat and name to further honor these individuals who have lead the way in supporting The National Ranching Center.

The National Ranching Center is the country's only institution dedicated to preserving the history of ranching in this country. As part of Texas Tech University, the museum spans some 14 acres and displays the evolution of ranch architecture and culture from the late 1700s through the early 1900s. (www.depts.ttu.edu/ranchhc/home.htm)

Steagall's work has been honored in the past with 8 Wrangler awards for his music and induction into both the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and the Texas Trail of Fame in Ft. Worth.

Congratulations again to Mr. Red Steagall! His long-time friend and supporter, Mrs. Anne Marion, owner of the 6666 Ranch in Guthrie, Texas, is sponsoring this year's award event. For information on attending the June 1, 2012 award gala Wines and Rhymes to honor Red Steagall, please call (806) 742-2498.


Photo of Santa Clarita festival highlightsSanta Clarita Cowboy Festival

On April 19-20, 2012, the Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio just outside of Los Angeles came alive with the annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival. The western streets were filled with thousands of visitors wanting to experience the West as it used to be while listening to live music on three different stages and shopping from purveyors of everything Western.

For those of you headed to Denver for the Denver Old West Show and Auction, make sure to check out local performing artist Jon Chandler (www.jonchandler.com). His music is a deep reflection of his Western heritage and is wonderfully captivating. He performs monthly at the Olde Town Pickin' Parlor in Arvada (CO).

Top Photo: High Noon's own "T" joins Al Shelton on stage to sing "You Are My Sunshine."

Bottom Photo: The wild wonderful Western world of the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival which was held April 19-20 just outside of Los Angeles.

A Hearty Congratulation
Wedding photos of Steve and MelanieCongratulations, Steve DeFurio and Melanie Gluck 

High Noon Congratulates
the newest couple in
our High Noon Family.
Our very talented catalog
photographer Steve DeFurio
married Melanie Gluck
last weekend.

Together with Myron Beck
and his wife Mary
(Myron Beck Photography),
Joseph, Linda, Danny,
and Theresa give the
couple big hugs!

A Little Cowboy Poetry
Photo of Ron Soolander

This month, we present a cowboy song
submitted by our resident poet, author,
carver, classic guitarist, among other
fine traits...Ron Soodalter...

The Buckskin Nag         

The Buckskin Nag is a Canadian Cowboy song from the beginning of the last century - for those who forgot that the Canadians made cowboys, too!
Now, I been twistin' broncos ever since I hit the trail,
And I guess I know a cayuse from his nostrils to his tail.
It was down on the old Bow River, in the year nineteen and one,
That I was twistin' broncos for F.A. McCue and Son.
McCue, he had a buckskin nag, not worth two bits to keep.
He had a black stripe down his back, and wool just like a sheep.
He wasn't much for saddles, and it damn near kills the boss
To have to pay ten dollars, just to bust that two-bit hoss.
When I climbs aboard him, he so naturally takes to the air
That every time we go aloft, he tries to leave me there....
Until at least we went so high, the lights in Gleichen* shone,
And there we parted comp'ny, and he came down alone.
Now, I been twistin' broncos ever since I hit the trail,
And I guess I know a cayuse from his nostrils to his tail;
But I'll sell my chaps and saddle, set my long-shank spurs to rust,
'Cause now and then you'll find a horse yours truly cannot bust.
[*Gleichen (pronounced "Glee-shun") is a tiny hamlet of some 400 souls 90 km east of Calgary, Alberta. It used to be bigger, until its second fire, in 1912, convinced most of the locals to move to Calgary.]

The Buckskin Nag performed by Ron Soodalter
The Buckskin Nag performed by Ron Soodalter
We bring you Ron Soodalter, live, singing the song above. Click and sing along with him!

Ron Soodalter

Photo of Gary Brown on Horsebak
Reel Cowboys of Western Cinema
A Century of Silver Screen Heroes on Horseback

By Gary Eugene Brown

This is number 2 in a series of brief bios of those popular, cowboy movie leading men from William S Hart to Kevin Costner, idolized by youngsters who attended the Saturday afternoon matinees. I was one of them.


Contrary to a studio publicist, Tom Mix, the "Idol of every boy in the world", wasn't born in El Paso, Texas, nor did he fight in the Boer War, wasn't a Texas Ranger and didn't ride alongside Pancho Villa in the Mexican Revolution. However, the fascinating life he lived didn't need embellishment.

And Furthermore....
Photo of a rodeo clown
 Rodeo Clown Reunion to Rendezvous at Sheridan

The laughable, photographable band of former rodeo clowns, bullfighters and barrelmen will arrive in Sheridan, Wyoming, for their Rodeo Clown Reunion, July 11th through the 14th during the annual Sheridan WYO Rodeo. These laugh-getters and cowboy-savers will stir up the town with their colorful costumes and individual make-up along with their strange sense of humor.  In addition to signing autographs, performing and joking with the spectators at the rodeo, they will also be attending various venues in and around Sheridan during the week.

Many of these characters come from an era when a rodeo clown had to 'do it all'.  A rodeo hired him to fight bulls during the bull riding event, but otherwise, he was there to entertain the spectators, which included acts, often involving animals, and an array of spontaneous humorous antics. This often required the rodeo clown to travel with a trailer chocked full of props and animals.

Today's rodeo has changed and rodeo clowns are specialists. The bullfighters  are hired to protect the riders during the bull riding and distract the bull, and the barrelman works the barrel during the bull riding. The barrelman, or a funnyman is often hired to entertain the audience with jokes and ridiculous antics during the rest of the performance.

The Rodeo Clown Reunion is held to honor these former rodeo performers and let them know how much they are appreciated for their many years in the arena. For the community these men, and one woman, will entertain and visit with fans and share stories about days gone by. These 'characters' from yesteryear had one of the most paradoxical professions around. They come in all sizes and shapes but one common thread runs through their lives - they have the ability to see the ridiculous in all kinds of situations.

The Reunion began in 1974 in Roseburg, Oregon, and is held on a 'sometimes' annual basis or every-other year at a PRCA rodeo somewhere in the country. Be sure and put this rodeo and Reunion on your "to do" list for July.  It is a great photo opportunity and lots of fun for everyone.

The Honorees will arrive from around the nation, including New York, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, California, North and South Dakota, Montana, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon and Colorado. The Reunion is truly a great photo opportunity for everyone. You won't want to miss it. For information regarding the Rodeo Clown Reunion contact Gail Woerner at 512-266-1001 or email: rodeogal@airmail.net. For information regarding tickets to the Sheridan WYO Rodeo call 307-672-9715 or go to their website:  www.sheridanwyorodeo.com.

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

Upcoming Events

NOW Until May 27, 2012 
Cowgirls with a Camera  Wickenburg, AZ   

NOW Until July 8, 2012  Arizona's Pioneering Women: Early Women Artists (1905-1945)  Prescott, 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  

May 10-12, 2012  Western Heritage Classic Event  Abilene, TX  

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

May 18, 2012  International Museum Day  Wickenburg, AZ 

May 18 - October 2, 2012  100 Years, 100 Ranchers Exhibit  Wickenburg, AZ 

May 19, 2012  An Evening with the Cowboys  Santa Barbara, CA

May 19-20, 2012  The California Strawberry Festival  Oxnard, CA 

May 22-27, 2012  Bishop Mule Days  Bishop, CA 

May 25-26, 2012  John Wayne Birthday Celebration  Winterset, IA 

May 28-29, 2012   21st Annual Chuck Wagon Gathering & Cowboy Festival  Oklahoma City, OK 

May 31 - June 2, 2012  A Gathering of Guns at the Memphis Film Festival  Olive Branch, MS 

June 8-9, 2012  Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibit  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 11-14, 2012  Rodeo Clown Reunion  Sheridan, WY 

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

July 28, 2012  Day of the Cowboy & Cowgirl at the Autry  Los Angeles, CA 

July 28, 2012  National Day of the American Cowboy Celebration, Malibu Dude Ranch  Milford, PA 

August 1-4, 2012  5th Annual Wild West History Association Roundup  Prescott, AZ 

August 3-5, 2012  The Great Southwestern Antique Show  Albuquerque, NM 

August 3-5, 2012  Oregon Jamboree  Sweet Home, OR 

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    

August 24-26, 2012  Vaquero Heritage Days  San Juan Bautista, CA 

September 6-9, 2012  20th Annual Western Design Center  Jackson Hole, WY 

September 6-9, 2012  United Tribes International Powwow  Bismark, ND 

September 13-15, 2012  Crow & Cheyenne Indian Art Symposium  Billings, MT 

September 19-22, 2012  Rendezvous Royal  Cody, WY

October 6-7, 2012  Will James Society 20th Gather  Elko, NV 

October 19, 2012  Buckaroo Bash  Indianapolis, IN

October 25-28, 2012  10th Annual Southeastern Cowboy Festival and Symposium  Cartersville, GA

November 30 - December 2, 2012  Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival  Monterey, CA

December 6-16, 2012  Country Christmas  Las Vegas, NV 


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
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Mission Statement

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 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