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September 2012 - Vol 4, Issue 9
In This Issue
Feature Story: Kissed by a Giraffe
Featured Photo: Pictorial View of Western Americana....Featuring Nadine Levin
Linda's Feed Bag: Stuffed Eggplant Boats
In the News: Romance and Reality of the West in Images Spanning 125 Years
Show Dealer Spotlight: Bruce Haener - Artist and Creator of Bits and Spurs
Who's Who at High Noon: Checking in on Katie Gill and the fabulous Buckarettes
Expressions: Reel Cowboys of Western Cinema, by Gary Eugene Brown
Upcoming Events: Don't miss these upcoming Western and Native American events

Feature Story
Photo of the author kissing a giraffe Kissed by a Giraffe 


By Linda Kohn Sherwood       


He was tall and lanky.  Sweet, really, with those big, round, glistening eyes. And he came to my window to get what was his. I was in his home, visiting him and his wide family of distant cousins eating, frolicking, protecting, running and surviving throughout the plains of Tanzania and Kenya. He came to my window to get a kiss and a treat. Ok, maybe just a treat - the kiss was his price to pay.

The staff at the manor warned us that these were not pets. The giraffes were patient with us humans because they were rewarded for their behavior, but make no mistake. Walk up to a giraffe and startle it in any way and its kick could send you flying through the air or worse. Lions knew better. Do you read my words? I was on the same playing field as lions. But safer. Stay in the jeeps, they warned. These wild animals don't recognize you as a threat because you are not walking and are shaped like a jeep. Ok, I accept being shaped like a jeep just this one time. But the lions did get close, brushed the jeep as they walked by, perhaps to let me know this was their home.

Featured Photography by Nadine Levin

A cowboy

The photo this month is by Nadine Levin - Biding His Time

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. In the days of Wild Bill Hickok, Abilene, Kansas saw shootings almost daily, such as the wild gunfight in a local bar when one gunman refused the drink of another. Another gunfight occurred when one drunken cowboy rode his horse atop a pool table.

2. Among Native North Americans of the Plains culture, a coup, war honor, was awarded for striking an enemy in such a way that it was considered an extreme act of bravery. Generally, coups were awarded according to the degree of difficulty and danger involved; the most extreme, such as striking an armed enemy with the bare hand, counted highest. Killing an enemy, wounding him, scalping him, or stealing his horse or gun-all these were coups of value. Recital of the deeds was an important social function, and a warrior with many coups held a high status and was honored at feasts, ceremonials, and in the tribe. After warfare had ceased, coups became transferable property, passing from the old men to the younger, who needed coups to acquire warrior status in the tribe.

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

Empty Saddle
Empty Saddle Graphic

All is well this month.

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Linda's Feed Bag
   High Noon logo
Stuffed Eggplant Boats 


Want your children (or spouse) to eat and love vegetables? Make 'em pretty!

4 servings:
2 small eggplants
½ lb ground meat (Your important decision is which meat to use. We love pork because it has more flavor, but suggest you add one seeded jalapeno pepper for some spice. You can also use spicy sausage, which has the meat and flavorings built in.)
2 Tb butter
1 medium onion finely Delicious Eggplant Boatschopped
1 small carrot finely chopped or shaved (mostly for color)
1 large tomato, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp tomato paste
2 Tb freshly chopped parsley
¼ tsp fresh minced oregano
Bread crumbs - handful
Feeling reckless? Add 3-4 Tb pine nuts to the onion mixture
Salt and Pepper
* Parboil halved eggplants in salted water for 10 minutes (or when tender). Remove from water and drain. Dry them well.
* In a frying pan, sauté onion, carrot and garlic in butter. Turn up the heat and add ground meat so it's a little crispy, then add diced tomato, tomato paste, parsley, oregano.
* Scoop out insides of eggplants with a spoon, leaving 1/2"-3/4" shell all around.
* Chop up inside pulp, add to onion mixture (and pine nuts). Sauté 3-5 minutes.
* Stir in enough seasoned bread crumbs to make a moist but not stiff filling.
* Salt and pepper to taste.
* Spoon into eggplant boats and bake 350° for 20-25 minutes or until very hot.

Serve with rice and a little yogurt if you're feeling edgy!

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.

Consignments Being Accepted
Consignments being accepted for Jan 2013 Auction  

What High Noon Can Do For You
High Noon Benefits Ad  

In the News

Romance and Reality of the West in Images Spanning 125 Years 

Photo of James Nottage

National Museum of
Wildlife Art one of 10 museums simultaneously hosting show


Jackson Hole, Wyoming - August 2, 2012 - Iconic imag es of the American West taken by more than 50 photographers spanning more than a century of real-time issues and conditions will be on display as "National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West" opens in 10 national venues, including the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, on October 27, 2012.

The largest simultaneous U.S. museum opening of its kind, the exhibition includes 75 photographs that stand alone as both fine art and journalistic moments in the history and culture of the Western U.S. The National Museum of Wildlife Art is spearheading the unprecedented event along with nine of its associates in the Museums West consortium and the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C. The exhibition will be on display at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole from October 27, 2012, through April 28, 2013.

Selected from among thousands in the National Geographic Image Collection, they are the work of photographers ranging from such well-known names as William Henry Jackson and Ansel Adams to contemporary photographers William Albert Allard and Bruce Dale.

The following is a list of the 10 participating museums:
· Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, Georgia
· Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming
· Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis, Indiana
· Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma
· National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
· National Geographic Museum, Washington, D.C.
· National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
· Rockwell Museum of Western Art, Corning, New York
· C.M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, Montana
· Stark Museum of Art, Orange, Texas
A dedicated website, featuring exhibition images, photographer interviews, interactive features and more will be available online at www.photographsofthewest.org as the exhibition opening date approaches.
A companion book to the exhibition, National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West: Capturing 125 Years of Majesty, Spirit and Adventure (National Geographic Books, October 2012), features more than 180 photographs, including rarely published and never-before-seen images.
The exhibition is organized by the National Museum of Wildlife Art in collaboration with the National Geographic Society and Museums West. Presented by the Mays Family Foundation.

Left, Monument Valley from the National Geographic exhibition (© Bruce Dale/National Geographic Stock);
right, cover of companion book (© William Albert Allard/National Geographic Stock)

Show Dealer Spotlight

Photo of Bruce Haener

Bruce Haener 

An Artist and Creator of Bits and Spurs
Los Osos, California 



by Jayne Skeff


As is so often the case with contemporary artisans working and creating the new legacy of heritage arts, they didn't start out that way. And, so is the case with Bruce Haener, creator of some of the most exquisite bits and spurs you will find today.

"I grew up in San Diego and was an art major in college but didn't see that as a profession that would make much money so I became a carpenter and did that for most of my life." From the time he was a kid, Bruce always loved history and he really loved horses - everything about them - and in 1971, he met and married his wife Cindy, who just happened to own horses. Well done Bruce!

Along the way, he began to be a bit of a collector of early spurs and bits but designing them and creating them hadn't even entered his radar - he was a carpenter, not a bit maker.

Who's Who at High Noon

Photo of Katie Gill and the Buckarettes

Checking in on Katie Gill and the fabulous Buckarettes...  

by Jayne Skeff


So, since we haven't had the honor of hearing their music at High Noon the past few years and we miss them dearly, we thought it was time to check in on these fabulous women who really know how to do that rare and collectible western swing.

Well, turns out they've been very busy with quite the exciting life. When Katie answered the phone for our scheduled noon interview, she had just woken up from only three hours of sleep. Sounding a bit groggy at first, she sprung to life quickly when she started to talk about the Buckarettes and her new venture, JeezLaweez - but we'll get to that in a minute.

For Katie Gill, her life is entirely about her music and she lives it to the fullest. When asked what's the news on the Buckarettes, her excitement in her response was infectious. "Well, I don't want to speak too soon BUT, it looks like the Buckarettes will be guests at next September's Blue Grass Festival in Ireland - all expenses paid, can you believe that?" WOW, now that's exciting! Ireland has chosen the Buckarettes to bring the best of American Blue Grass to their country. "This is so exciting for all of us and particularly for Amy [Blackburn], our violin and fiddler player because she also plays incredible Celtic fiddle!"

In the very near future however, their dance card is full so to speak, or so will be the cards of the people who attend their concert. They're booked pretty much solid through the fall at Cowboy festivals, conventions in Santa Fe....and the list goes on.

But here is more news about our famous cowgirl. (She's not always a cowgirl, she interjects). Turns out Katie Gill is quite the rock 'n roller and classical music devotee (or maybe Diva should be the word). Just last year, she, Amy Blackburn of the Buckarettes, and Nancy Harvin (another extremely talented gal who does vocals, bass, spoons and the occasional kazoo solo) formed Jeez Laweez. One look at the home page of their website (www.jeezlaweezmusic.com) and you know this is music you just have to listen to.

From Bach to Bowie, these gals crank it out, referring to their music as post-menopausal folk-rock at its finest. And, apparently, New Mexico thinks so, too, as Albuqerque, The Magazine, did a feature story on their performance for the current August 2012 issue. Now that's quite impressive for a group of post-menopausal rockers. In addition to performing rock classics from Petty and Clapton, they also write their own music, which is just fabulous. "Little White Lies" is getting rave reviews across YOUTUBE but the writer here is partial to "Psycho Killer."

Katie commented on how much she and the Buckarettes miss performing at High Noon. It was very special for them, bringing so many more wonderful people into their lives. But between the Buckarettes new-found international fame and Katie and Amy's second group, Jeez Laweez, we'd be lucky to be able to book them for just a song!

Could we at High Noon be more proud and excitied for them? Likely not! You women rock and croon like no one else!

For more info on Katie Gill and the Buckarettes, visit their website at www.buckarettes.com and for a peak at the fabulous divas and music of Jeez Laweez, visit www.jeezlaweezmusic.com 

YOUTUBE videos from Jeez Laweez: 

The Buckarettes at Loma Colorado Library, Rio Rancho, NM - 2 
The Buckarettes at Loma Colorado Library, Rio Rancho, NM - 2

Little White Lies 
Little White Lies

Jeez LaWeez Psycho Killer 
Jeez LaWeez Psycho Killer

Photo of Gary Brown on Horsebak
Reel Cowboys of Western Cinema
A Century of Silver Screen Heroes on Horseback
No. 6 in the series

By Gary Eugene Brown

This cowboy star didn't follow the typical career path of early western leading men who preceded him, in that he was neither a working cowboy nor a classically trained, stage actor. His biographer, the late Edgar M. Wyatt, provided the following description: "Actor, artist, athlete, inventor, musician, designer, scholar, scientist, engineer, sportsman, soldier, acrobat, businessman, preacher - Fred Thomson was more than a cowboy." He truly was!

Photo of Fred Thomson FRED THOMSON

Contrary to a studio's desire to glamorize their western star by claiming he was born astride a horse in El Paso, Frederick Clifton Thomson's birthplace was Pasadena, California. Born to Reverend Williell and Clara Thomson on February 26, 1890, Fred was the third of four boys. After high school, he attended nearby Occidental College, a Presbyterian university. Fred went on to excel in football, baseball, was Captain of the Track and Field team and became Student Body President.

Upon graduation, Fred was invited to Chicago (1910) by the AAU to compete with the best athletes for the title of "World's Greatest All-Around Athlete". Fred participated in 10 (Decathlon) events against 15 other world class athletes. Winning the meet, he was hailed by the newspapers: "Thomson Champion of United States"; "Westerner Wins World's Honors"; Thomson All-Around Champion Athlete"; and the LA Times headline: "He Did It, All Right". Fred would go on to win the AAU All Around Athlete title on two more occasions. Fred however, declined to participate in the 1912 Olympics, as he was enrolled in Princeton Theological Seminary, following in his father's footsteps to become an Ordained Minister. As such, he didn't have time to adequately prepare for the summer games, plus he'd have to halt his preaching to the less fortunate at Peck Memorial Chapel in Washington DC. However, Fred continued to participate in Track and Field Events, time permitting, and eventually would break the Decathlon record. Fred even passed the total points, legendary Jim Thorpe accumulated in the Stockholm Olympic Games.

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

Upcoming Events


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

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

NOW Until November 4, 2012  Bolo Tie Exhibit at the Heard Museum  Phoenix, AZ
NOW Thru November 30, 2012 
Birds and Beasts in Beads: 150 Years of Iroquois Beadwork  Howes Cave, NY
September 9-15, 2012 
High Roller Reining Classic  Las Vegas, NV 

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  

September 27 - October 1, 2012  River City Rodeo & Stock Show  Omaha, NE  

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 19-21, 2012  Gilla Valley Cowboy Poets & Music Gathering  Safford, AZ 

October 20, 2012  Buckaroo Bash  Indianapolis, IN

October 20-21, 2012  Calabasas Pumpkin Festival  Calabasas, CA 

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

October 27, 2012  Dia de Los Muertos  Hollywood, CA 

October 27, 2012  American Bucking Bull Finals  Las Vegas, NV 

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

November 2-4, 2012  Cave Creek Wild West Days  Cave Creek, AZ 

November 3 - January 6, 2013  Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure  Indianapolis, IN 

November 7-17, 2012  American Paint Horse Association World Championship Show  Fort Worth, TX 

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

November 9-12, 2012  Chiles & Chocolate  Phoenix, AZ 

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

December 6-15, 2012  National Rodeo Finals  Las Vegas, NV 

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
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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