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July 2012 - Vol 4, Issue 7
In This Issue
Feature Story: The Will James Society
Featured Photo: Pictorial View of Western Americana....Featuring Nadine Levin
Linda's Feed Bag: All Star Berry Tart
In The News: Old West Artifacts Bring Big Dollars at Auction
In The News II: Fiesta Preludio Honors the Rich Western Heritage of California's Santa Ynez Valley
Show Dealer Spotlight: Tony Cirone and Cirone Studios
Expressions: Reel Cowboys of Western Cinema, by Gary Eugene Brown
Roaming Range Reporter: National Day of the Cowboy
Upcoming Events: Don't miss these upcoming Western and Native American events

Feature Story
Photos of Will James and Alice ConradtThe Will James Society:
History and Heritage

Renewing its Purpose, Goals and Dedication


By Sharon DeCarlo       


The Name Will James strikes a chord with most people. Artist? Author? Cowboy? No matter what the note, the name is familiar. 24 books from the pen of Will James has compelled little children to dream of becoming a cowboy (or cowgirl of course), sparked their imagination and peppered it with images he drew and tales he spun.

Curiously, Will was born Joseph Ernest Nephtali Dufault in Quebec, Canada in 1892. Still in his teens he left in 1910 and traveled to the United States with a new name, William Roderick James. He soon became everything he dreamed of becoming, the quintessential western cowboy! He drifted and worked for several western cattle ranches, worked as a stuntman in movies and served in the U.S. Army from 1918 to 1919. While in the Reno area he met and married his true love, Alice Conradt. With Alice's encouragement he sold his first writing, Bucking Horse Riders in 1922. Smokey the Cow Horse (1926) won the coveted Newberry Medal for Children's literature in 1927 and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, given by the University of Wisconsin, in 1965. Smokey was written at Will and Alice's ranch in Washoe Valley located about 30 miles south of Reno, Nevada, where his cabin still stands today. More wonderful, self-illustrated cowboy books followed, 24 in all.

Featured Photography by Nadine Levin

Buffalos on the plain

The photo this month is by Nadine Levin - Where the Buffalo Roam

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 July.



Did You Know?

1. Annie Oakley's sharp shooting abilities made her one of America's first female "super-stars."

2. Santo Domingo is one of the eight Northern Pueblos, best known for heishi bead necklaces formed from turquoise and shells; also unique, traditional pottery and some silversmithing.   

3. A nondescript range horse, Cayuse is probably derived from the ponies of the Cayuse Indians of northwest North America.

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

Empty Saddle
Empty Saddle Graphic

Paula Wright
Owner, Capriolas

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Linda's Feed Bag
   High Noon logo
All-Star Berry Tart 


4th of July may be over, but patriotism is never out of date! Let's celebrate the beauty of our country and our freedom!  

Fill this tart shell with a rich pastry cream and arrange fresh berries on the top in a star shape for a dessert that's perfect for a summer evening barbeque.

Yield: 8 ServingsBeautiful Berry Tart
We have included the HOMEMADE version and SHORTCUTS (faster, time-saver version)


Homemade: 1 homemade pie crust in pie tin that has removable bottom - Our High Noon kitchen prefers graham cracker crust.
Shortcut: Storebought pie crust (but you will need to move it to a tin that has a removable bottom)

  2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  2 tablespoons cornstarch
  1/2 cup sugar
  2 cups milk
  2 large egg yolks
  3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Shortcut: Use Vanilla Jell-O Instant Pudding

  1 cup apricot jam
  1 tablespoon lemon juice
  2 pints fresh blueberries
  2 pints fresh raspberries

Follow package instructions to fit crust into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, and bake until light golden.

Make pastry cream: Mix flour, cornstarch and sugar in a bowl. Add 1/3 cup milk; beat until smooth. Whisk in yolks. In a pan, bring remaining milk to a simmer. Whisking constantly, pour hot milk into yolk mixture. Pour back into pan and bring to a boil, stirring. Boil for 2 minutes, whisking. Remove from heat; beat in butter and vanilla. Pour into a bowl; press plastic wrap directly onto surface of pastry cream. Chill 1 hour.

Finish tart: Stir jam, lemon juice and 2 Tbsp. water in a pan over low heat until jam melts; strain. Remove crust from tart pan; brush with jam glaze. Spread the chilled pastry cream evenly, filling the crust.

Arrange raspberries in center, forming a star. Fill in remaining surface with blueberries. Brush tart with remaining glaze.



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
Denver Old West Show and Auction Ad  

In The News

Jessie James Reward Poster

Old West Artifacts Bring Big Dollars at Auction 

DENVER, CO - An original 1881 reward poster for the arrest of Frank and Jesse James was among the highlights at Brian Lebel's June 23rd, 2012 Denver Old West Auction, causing a spirited bidding war between a phone bidder and a floor bidder, before ultimately selling for $56,050* on the phone. Also creating a bidding buzz was the rare cabinet card photo of Black Bart, which sold for $48,875 after a flurry of in-house bids. The evening auction opened to a standing-room only crowd of over 350 people.
As is customary for Lebel's auction, Old West artifacts were among the top sellers throughout the night. An extremely rare Buffalo Bill's Wild West parade flag sold on the floor for $46,000 to the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame. The Parker shotgun belonging to Frank Butler brought an impressive $37,375. A relic revolver embedded in a chunk of wood from the tree that grew around it, ultimately brought $10,925 in a bidding war that encompassed floor, phone, internet and absentee bidders. Badges also did extremely well, with a Pueblo, Colo. Marshal
badge realizing $19,550 and a Texas Ranger presentation badge selling for $25,875.Buffalo Bill Parade Flag

The top seller of the night was Edward Borein's watercolor, "Charros in Mission Courtyard," which brought $80,500 after a phone and floor bidding war. A pair of original Molesworth club chairs brought $29,500 and $23,600 to an internet bidder and a phone bidder, respectively. Native American artifacts are always good sellers at Lebel's auction, and this year included a Nez Perce pony beaded dress that brought $26,550; a collection of Navajo finery that realized $37,375; and a rare and important ledger drawing by White Bull of the killing of Custer, which fetched $34,500.

Brian Lebel said of the sa
Molesworth Club Chairle overall, "as is always true, great items brought great prices. The western collectibles market is made up of some very savvy collectors and dealers, and they will pay what it takes to own the best." As for some items that sold at bargain prices, Lebel stated, "bargains are an inherent part of what makes auctions so exciting." The sale overall realized over $1.5 million dollars with a sales rate of over 92%.

In addition to the auction was Lebel's weekend Denver Old West Show, which hosted a record-breaking 239 dealers and occupied the entire Denver Merchandise Mart Expo Building. Despite the fires raging in Colorado and the oppressive heat-wave in Denver, attendance was strong and both dealers and shoppers were all smiles all weekend. Friday afternoon's general admission opening saw a crowd of eager shoppers that was larger than any Friday in the event's history.

For more information about the event, visit denveroldwest.com, facebook.com/denveroldwest, or call 480-779-9378. Next year's Denver Old West Show & Auction will be June 21-23, 2013.

* All prices include buyer's premium

In The News II

Si and Karen Jenkins, Honorees

Fiesta Preludio Honors the Rich Western Heritage of California's Santa Ynez Valley 

By Jayne Skeff

Anyone who lives or has spent any time in California eventually makes their way to Santa Barbara. But tucked just outside this beautiful city is the uniquely historic town of Santa Ynez located in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley, today known for its wineries, ranches and resorts. Stepping back, however, this picturesque valley is steeped in centuries of history beginning with the pre-Columbian era where the Chumash Indians thrived, followed by the Spaniards who settled the valley, then the Americans and the great Western Expansion.

The Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum and Parks-Janeway House is an amazing place that, since 1961, has captured and preserved this multi-cultural heritage that has such a lasting impact on the region. The Museum's collection includes documents, artifacts, historic photos and special exhibits chronicling the valley's history. The Parks-Janeway Carriage House is home to one of the finest collections of authentic horse-drawn vehicles - those important vehicles that opened the West to modern civilization. In a conversation with Chris Bashforth, Director of the Museum, she commented that, "Our amazing collection is comprised of both the sex and sizzle of the carriages and the glitzy saddle and tack makers such as Bohlin, Visalia and Loomis, who followed."

Flamenco DancersTwice each year, the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum hosts a fundraiser to ensure the legacy of centuries past lives on for all to enjoy. Coming on Friday evening, July 27th is the Museum's exciting event appropriately entitled Fiesta Preludio. Translated plainly Prelude to the Party, Fiesta Preludio kicks off the following week's Old Spanish Days Fiesta in neighboring Santa Barbara.

For over 30 years, the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum has hosted this kick-off event to benefit the Museum, an evening that begins with entertainment by renowned Flamenco dancers followed by a lovely dinner and cocktails. El Presidente, Honorary Chair of Santa Barbara Old Spanish Days, will be a special guest speaker. And we are proud to announce that Si and Karen Jenkins, founders and owners of Jedlika's Saddlery, will be honored for over 50 years of their support. Congratulations from all of us at High Noon to Si and Karen!

Another highlight of the evening will be the live auction where guests will have the chance to bid on a number of fine lots including two-nights hotel and guest passes to High Noon's 2013 Show and Auction, a Vineyard Hike & Brunch with winemaker Lane Tanner of the Sierra Madre Winery and a two-night stay at LA's Luxe City Centre Hotel with tickets to the Autry National Center, the Grammy Museum, and the Petersen Automotive Museum.

The event will begin at 5:30 pm on Friday, July 27th and will be held in the beautiful courtyard of the Museum. Tickets are $75 per person and all proceeds from this event will go to benefit the exhibits, lectures and school programs provided by the Museum.

For more information, to buy tickets to this event, and to register to bid for the auction, please call the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum at (805) 688-7889 or visit: www.santaynezmuseum.org

1. Fiesta Preludio 2012 honors Si & Karen Jenkins, Jedlika's Saddlery, for over 50 years support of the Museum and Santa Barbara Rodeo.
2. A Flamenco Dance Troupe will open the festivities on Friday, July 27th at the Fiesta Preludio.

Show Dealer Spotlight

Photo of Tony Cirone

Tony Cirone 

Cirone Studios, Windsor, Connecticut

"My posters are my own version of a herd of cattle - I get them, get them ready and take them to market."

by Jayne Skeff


Tony grew up in Hartford, Connecticut and recalls spending his childhood watching Cheyenne (his hero then) on the black and white TV his father had bought and playing cowboys and Indians with his siblings in the streets of Hartford. "The buildings were our mountains, the streets were our dusty trails... I always wanted to be a cowboy!"

But, life in New England took a different turn and Tony, who was born to art, went on to earn his Masters degree Fine Arts and spent 35 years as both Professor and Head of the Art Department of Asnuntuck Community College in Connecticut. "That was a dream job and life for me. I founded and developed the department, its programs, spending all those years working with such talented students. I'm retired now but still teach part-time because I still love it so much."

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

By Gary Eugene Brown

Over hundred matinee idols have ridden across the silver screen. Many had been hired men on horseback in a prior life. However, there were a few thespians, city born and bred, who rode as though they were one with the horse. One of the best is featured in this months' continuing series.


Charles John Holt was born on March 31, 1888 in New York City, the son of an Episcopal Minister. The family moved to Winchester, Virginia where Jack was raised. He considered becoming a lawyer; however after being kicked out of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) for painting school colors on a statute of George Washington, he drifted west. Jack prospected for gold in Alaska, was a railroad engineer, worked on a ranch in Oregon and became a surveyor, which brought him to California. A movie based on Bret Harte's story (Salomy Jane) was being filmed in 1914. Jack learned the production was being held up because they couldn't find a stunt double willing to jump a horse across a 25 - 30 foot hole on a narrow bridge. Jack, according to his mother, years later, said her son was "horse-mad all his life" and he knew no fear, so he agreed to do the stunt and lived to tell the tale. This is where his film career began, as a stunt man.

Roaming Range Reporter
NCOC LogoThis year's National Day of the Cowboy will be celebrated all over the United States

Smoke Signals highlights one of the many events to be held July 27, celebrated at Redlands High School in Redlands, California - Under the Cowboy Moon - An Evening with Belinda Gail and Dave Stamey.

Redlands High School's historic Clock Auditorium will be one of the select places to celebrate the National Day of the Cowboy. Two of Western music's most talented artists - Belinda Gail and Dave Stamey - will be performing with proceeds from the concert benefitting the Redlands High School Historic Mural Project.


Belinda Gail is a vibrant and natural entertainer with a dynamic and captivating voice. She stirs the emotions and visions of the West in the heart of every audience she embraces and is truly America's Western Sweetheart. Belinda's has garnished awards from the Western Music Association, Academy of Western Artists and Album of the Year. Dave Stamey, who is also performing, has been called the Charlie Russell of Western Music. His Vaquero Song was one of the great Western songs of all time and he also has been recognized by the Western Music Association and Academy of Western Artists. He has delighted audiences in twenty states, and finds that he prefers this to being stomped by angry horses. 


Wherever you may live, be sure to celebrate the National Day of the Cowboy and keep the Cowboy Spirit alive!


Tickets are $30 per person, available online at http://rhs.redlandsusd.net/, or by calling the RHS Finance Office at 909-307-5500, ext. 30128 or visit J R Sanders at www.jrsanders.com

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

Upcoming Events

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

NOW Thru September 17, 2012  Extraordinary Animals Revisited  Phoenix, AZ 

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

NOW Thru November 30, 2012  Birds and Beasts in Beads: 150 Years of Iroquois Beadwork  Howes Cave, NY
July 11-14, 2012 
Rodeo Clown Reunion  Sheridan, WY 

July 13-15, 2012  Taste of Dallas  Dallas, TX 

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

July 27-29, 2012  77th Annual Durango Fiesta Days  Durango, CO  

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 

July 28-29, 2012  Oxnard Salsa Festival  Oxnard, CA 

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

August 1-5, 2012  Old Spanish Days  Santa Barbara, CA 

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 11-12, 2012  Auction in Santa Fe  Santa Fe, NM 

August 11-13 & 17-19, 2012  The Santa Fe Show - Objects of Art  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 15-16, 2012  Fiestas Patrias California  Los Angeles, CA 

September 19-22, 2012  Rendezvous Royal  Cody, WY

September 21-23, 2012  2012 International Iroquois Beadwork Conference  Howes Cave, NY  

October 5-7, 2012   20th Annual Will James Society Gather  Elko, NV 

October 12, 2012  Traditional Cowboy Arts Association 14th Annual Sale & Exhibition  Oklahoma City, OK 

October 12-13, 2012  Cowboy Artists of America 47th Annual Sale & Exhibition  Oklahoma City, OK 

October 13-14, 2012  The Golden California Antiques Show  Glendale, CA 

October 19, 2012  Buckaroo Bash  Indianapolis, IN

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

October 31 - November 4, 2012  Heber City's Cowboy Poetry Gathering & Buckaroo Fair  Heber City, UT  

November 9-11, 2012  28th Annual Vaquero Show & Sale  Santa Ynez, CA 

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

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

January 26-27, 2013  High Noon Western Americana Antique Show & Auction  Mesa, AZ  


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
Newsletter Submissions: smokesignals@highnoon.com
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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