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February 2013 - Vol 5, Issue 2
In This Issue
Feature Story: High Noon 2013 Show and Auction in Mesa, Arizona
Featured Photo: Pictorial View of Western Americana....Featuring Nadine Levin
Linda's Feed Bag: Prairie Brats from Louis Katz
Roaming Range Reporter: TCAA Presents Its Emerging Artists Awards
Our Inner Cowgirl: Nadine Levine - Photography that Evokes Emotion
Expressions: Reel Cowboys of Western Cinema, by Gary Eugene Brown
Upcoming Events: Don't miss these upcoming Western and Native American events

Feature Story
High Noon gets CAUGHT UP at the  
Arizona Antique Show and Auction   

A weekend of record rainfall in Phoenix did not deter Western enthusiasts, collectors, and those passionate about Western American history from attending the 23rd annual High Noon Western Americana Antique Show and bidding with fervor at the High Noon Western Americana Auction.

Held January 26 and 27, 2013 at the Mesa Convention Center and adjacent Marriott Hotel, the show saw record crowds fill the halls throughout the weekend and dealers reported very strong sales. The High Noon Auction also saw a record number of bidders reporting a new high in Internet registered bidders indicating a global reach and desire for the great American West. Overall, the High Noon Auction earned just over $1.8 million on the 308 lots offered with most lots going for within or over estimates. And, as always, there were a few surprises along the way...

Featured Photography by Nadine Levin

Beautiful landscape photo

The photo this month is by Nadine Levin - Heading Home

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 February. Read her story below in Our Inner Cowgirl






Did You Know?

1. A device with a V-shaped notch to aid in pulling off boots, the bootjack is especially useful at times when the wearer has difficulty bending over, such as when wearing stiff or heavy clothing.

2. Likely derived from the German word for whip, Gerte, a Quirt is a weighted, short-handled whip with a leather popper or lash at one end and a hand loop at the other. Not very useful when applied to the rider's horse, it is more useful for moving cattle when working within a herd.

3. Mike Fink was a keel boatman along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and an expert marksman. However, he loved his drink and was a known brawler. One of his favorite games was to shoot a mug of brew from the top of some fellow's head. However, on one night in 1823, he had drank so much that it didn't matter how good his shooting skills were. This time he missed and killed the guy who was wearing the mug on his head. In no time, the dead man's friends retaliated by killing Fink. For whatever reasons, his legend was being told for decades along with the likes of Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill.

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
Prairie Brats

From the upcoming Hell In a Handbasket cookbook by High Noon's own Louis Katz (a collection of recipes that require little if any talent, practically no money, and ingredients you can find at home, the grocery store, or in your neighbor's pantry):     

2 bratwursts
3 potatoes
1 apple
BBQ sauce
Tabasco sauce
Garlic salt
Olive oil

Slice the potatoes and throw them into a gallon bag. Add olive oil and garlic salt. Seal the bag and shake it up real good.

Oil and preheat your cast iron skillet, then toss the potato mix into it. Add pepper and generous amount of Tabasco. Stir occasionally to avoid burning the potatoes. Set a timer for 15-20 minutes.

Cut the bratwurst into slices and set aside. Cut the apple into bite size pieces and add to the bratwurst slices.

After the first timer goes off, set another timer for 12 minutes. Add bratwurst and apple to a second preheated pan. Pour in generous amount of BBQ sauce and stir.

Check on your potatoes as the brats and apple cook on a medium fire. Did you forget to stir them? Don't!

Stir the bratwurst and apple occasionally. Keep an eye on the BBQ sauce so as not to scorch.

When the second timer goes off, your meal is ready. Enough for 2 if you're lucky. Make more next time.

Serve with root beer, chilled.


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.

Roaming Range Reporter I

The National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame  
treated their Board of Directors  
to a wonderful day, ending with the
SWExpo & Livestock Show RODEO  
at the Will Rogers Coliseum in Ft Worth, TX.

It was National Breast Cancer PINK night  
and was spectacular!!

Now THAT'S Texas hospitality!!!!


Roaming Range Reporter II
Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA) presented its Emerging Artists Awards
for the first time

The Award Winners

Award winners Cnley Walker and Matt Litz

In conjunction with the High Noon Western Americana Show and Auction, the TCAA hosted an invitational competition for emerging artists in saddle making and silver smithing. Several of the nation's best artists competed for these two coveted awards. The respective winner in each category was announced by TCAA President Scott Hardy at the start of the High Noon Auction.

Winning the TCAA Emerging Artist award for Silver Smithing was Matt Litz from Iowa Park, Texas and Conley Walker won the Emerging Artist Award for Saddle Making.

Our Inner Cowgirl

Photo of Nadine Levin

Nadine Levin   

Photography that
Evokes Emotion


Several times throughout the year, when Smoke Signals pops up on your screen, you may be immediately captivated by the visually rich photograph that greets your eye. This photograph immediately transports you from whatever you're doing into the romantic world of the beautiful American West. It's also very likely that Nadine Levin is the eye behind the lens that created the image before you. (As a matter of fact, check out her photo Heading Home in the Featured Photography section of this newsletter). For Nadine, life, and her photography, is about "savoring the ordinary, not just the extraordinary." What she captures with her lens, however, transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary.

"I've been taking pictures since I was a young girl. I always loved cameras and taking photos." It wasn't until after the birth of her first son some 28 years ago that Nadine began really learning the craft. "I was taking so many pictures and we were traveling so extensively around the world with my husband at the time, that I finally decided to take photography classes and learn everything I could about lighting and even developing my own photos. People would suggest to me that I should become a professional photographer, but at the time my two sons were my entire focus. My life was entirely devoted to raising my boys and taking a lot of pictures along the way."

Nadine, while East Coast born and raised, has always been a cowgirl at heart. Her passion for the West runs deep. "I grew up riding English (the hunter/jumper thing) but I didn't play with Barbie dolls, I was watching Bonanza. My Mom found an old picture of me dressed up like a cowgirl when I was very little - I guess I was born to it."

Nadine, and her current husband Alan (a man who is unquestionably a cowboy at heart) live the Western lifestyle just outside of Washington D.C. in Maryland. Their home and ranch is designed, both inside and out, to rival the finest in Jackson Hole. They've brought the richness of the West to the East, complete with a Western barn filled with horses wearing Western saddles.

Yes, passion for the West runs deep for both she and her husband. That passion has also led them to be very involved as sponsors of the TCAA show at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. "Being involved with these organizations has enriched our lives to such a great extent."

It's not often that passion becomes profession, but for Nadine she feels so lucky it has turned out that way. With both her sons, Mac and Josh, now grown and on their own, her life is entirely about capturing a time and place in history that will never again be repeated. This is how she views photography - they are virtual snapshots of a time and place that will never occur again.

While Western photography is where the fire in her soul really lies, her world travels are evidenced in her expansive portfolio of life and nature around the globe. All of her photos evoke emotion, whether it makes you smile or inspires a story, they captivate your imagination. "All of my photography is real and completely natural. You see what I saw through the lens at that moment. There is so much trick photography out there but my work is completely organic."

Nadine is also passionate about "savoring the ordinary, not just the extraordinary." "This was really a result of surviving an illness very few people survive. I can't explain it but after that experience, I began noticing things, simple things and their beauty, that I never noticed before. That experience also enriched my life in an unexpected way and it's a fundamental part of what I hope my photographs convey." Nadine did comment though, that a few times her photography has allowed her to photograph the truly extraordinary. "I shot a Space Shuttle launch once. Now, that was extraordinary," she recalls.

High Noon is honored that Nadine Levin and her photography is part of our family and of Smoke Signals. Her work transports us from our computer screens to a place we would all rather be. Rich and evocative - that's what her work is about.

For Nadine, she loves her profession now but what she loves even more is when people "get" what her photos are about. "It is so validating for me when someone looks at one of my photographs and exclaims, 'WOW!' That's the best part for me."


Photo of Gary Brown on Horsebak
Reel Cowboys of Western Cinema
A Century of Silver Screen Heroes on Horseback
No. 11 in the series

By Gary Eugene Brown

Our cowboy hero was one of the most interesting of all those who preceded or followed him. His background included being a rancher, cowboy poet, US Army General, authority on Indian lore, cinema technical advisor, circus performer, Emmy Award Winner, the fastest draw of the cowboy matinee idols, married a foreign beauty who was investigated by the FBI, and became one of the big five B Western film stars (Mix, Jones, Maynard, Gibson and McCoy). Contrary to most reel cowboys, he didn't want to give a horse costar billing.....they were only a beast of burden. Film historian William K. Everson said he "brought to the screen a sophisticated, suave personality: and an approach to Westerns that was unique. His military bearing was a constant part of him, even showing through on the screen regardless of the role he was playing." "He was a credit to Westerns. Not only was he a good actor and a great showman, he was also a gentleman." His name:

Photo of Tim McCoy TIM McCOY

Timothy John Fitzgerald McCoy came into this world in Saginaw, Michigan on April 10, 1891. His parents both migrated from Ireland to "Amerikay." Like many Irish emigrants, his father became a police officer and rose to the rank of Chief of Police of Saginaw. Due to his father's position, he was able to introduce Tim to the legendary William F Cody, after a performance of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Later he was also able to see the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West Show. Tim would hang around the stockyards and watch cowboys break wild horses. The boss wrangler, noticing the dreamy eyed youngster watching them, gave Tim a lesson on throwing a catch twine (rope). Tim McCoy in his interesting autobiography - Tim McCoy Remembers the West recalled: "My experience inside that corral made me acquire a certain respect for the cowboys who daily stood in the midst of rearing, galloping, and half-wild horses. And while it was clear to me that a cowboy's life was fraught with danger, I still thought it would be a most exciting profession." The die was cast. Tim at age 18 (1909), left St. Ignatius Prep School, Chicago, IL, without his parents' knowledge and headed West on a train bound for Omaha to learn to be a cowboy. As an aside, award winning western singer/songwriter RW Hampton wrote a moving, autobiographical song "Born to be a Cowboy". Like Tim McCoy, they were not born and raised on a ranch; however they were born to be a cowboy and cowboys they would become.

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

Upcoming Events
NOW Thru February 17, 2013  Family Traditions: The Art of John, Terri Kelly & Bill Moyers  Cartersville, GA

NOW Thru February 17, 2013  Through Navajo Eyes  Prescott, AZ 

February 7-14, 2013  San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo  San Antonio, TX 

February 14-17, 2013  Spirit of the West Cowboy Gathering  Ellensburg, WA 

February 21-24, 2013  13th Annual Saddle Up  Pigeon Forge, TN

February 22, 2013  Buffalo Bill's Birthday Celebration  Cody, WY

February 23, 2013  Hopi Farming in Harmony  Los Angeles, CA 

February 23-24, 2013  29th Annual Marin Show  San Rafael, CA

February 24 - April 11, 2013  An Enduring Legacy - Photos of the Otoe-Missouria People  Oklahoma City, OK

February 25 - March 17, 2013  Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo  Houston, AZ 

February 25 - August 25, 2013  Dreams & Visions: The American West and the Legacy of Imagination  Tulsa, OK

March 1-3, 2013  3rd Annual Cache Valley Cowboy Rendezvous  Hyrum, UT

March 1 - June 2, 2013  2nd Annual Cowgirls with a Camera Exhibit  Wickenburg, AZ 

March 8-9, 2013  50th Annual Fort Worth Show of Antiques  Fort Worth, TX

March 9, 2013  Guitars! Roundups to Rockers  Indianapolis, IN

March 9-10, 2013  Antiques, Objects & Art L.A.  Glendale, CA

March 20, 2013  Old Bags Luncheon  Fort Worth, TX  

April 18-21, 2013  Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival  Santa Clarita, CA

May 3-5, 2013  Genoa Cowboy Festival  Genoa, NV

June 21-23, 2013  Brian Lebel's Denver Old West Show & Auction  Denver, CO 

July 12-14, 2013  3rd Annual Will James Roundup  Hardin, MT 


Send event submissions to SmokeSignals@highnoon.com 



Don't Fret About the Future - Invest in the Past!

High Noon Western Americana
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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