It takes less time to do a thing right, than it does to explain why you did it wrong. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
 It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. — Henry David Thoreau
Charm is the quality in others that makes us more satisfied with ourselves.
— Henri Frédéric Amiel




 The big news today is that on Friday, January 23, 2015, Virginia became the 9th state to pass the National Day of the Cowboy in perpetuity. This is the result of the work of a very recent NDOC volunteer, Darrell Wyatt of Amelia, Virginia. His sponsor for the bill was VA Delegate, Tommy Wright, so if you would, please take a moment to let Delegate Wright know you appreciate his support and that of the Virginia legislature which passed the bill unanimously.  

 On that same note, the community of Amelia, Virginia is hosting its first National Day of the Cowboy celebration on July 25, 2015. I am honored to be the Grand Marshal of their inaugural event and invite you to attend if you can make it.

 Also on January 23, 2015, WA Senator Sharon Brown, introduced the National Day of the Cowboy bill in the Washington Senate. They have not voted on it as yet, but she did sponsor it as a permanent bill. You might recall that Washington has passed it twice previously as a resolution. In Texas, the NDOC bill is being sponsored by Representative Joe Pickett so it seems Texas will also soon be joining the growing list of states deeming the 4th Saturday in July as a day to celebrate this culture and its heritage. Representative Tom McKee will again be sponsoring it in the Kentucky legislature. If you live in KY, TX or WA, it's important to let your representative know that you support this bill.

 HATCH Poster Series

We just received the 2011 National Day of the Cowboy Hatch poster. It is quite stunning and because of the colors we used, already looks vintage. Thanks to Peter Hiller, this poster features Jo Mora's iconic "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" image. The theme is "Wrap Your Heart Around," and the colors are bright pink and bright yellow. The GoFundMe project enabled us to go back and create a poster for the one year we were missing in our series. A special note of gratitude goes to original Byrds' member, Chris Hillman, for offering to sign a limited number of the Sweetheart posters for us. The posters signed by Chris will go very quickly (3 sold within the first 2 days of the project) so send an email to if you hope to own one.  

Cowboy Keeper Awards

We are currently accepting nominations for the 2015 Cowboy Keeper Awards. These awards go to people, organizations, and projects which support the preservation of our cowboy and pioneer heritage.

 NDOC Flags

If you're planning to order a National Day of the Cowboy flag this year, we do currently have some in stock so there's no wait time. The sale of the flags helps us keep our work moving forward and it brings attention to the national campaign. NDOC belt buckles make great prizes for your NDOC event winners too.


There were well over 50 NDOC events held last year and we want to see that number continue to grow. Also, many of the annual events, saw a huge leap in attendance, which is so very gratifying to those of us who've been working on this for the past 10 years. If you're planning an event of any size, please remember to send the details to so we can support your efforts by posting your event on our calendar. Of course, we're happy to post other western style events too, so send them along as well.

 Newsletter Sponsorship

We now have 4,000 names on our newsletter list and we'd like to revive our official NDOC News which we used to send 10 times per year. We need a newsletter sponsor in order to do that, but you would need to commit to sponsoring 6 issues at a time at a sponsorship rate of $65 per issue which is what the news service charges us. Keep in mind that the 4,000 names we have are people who personally signed up for the news and who are very interested in all things western. Any sponsors would receive prominent placement in each issue. Please contact if you'd like to receive this kind of exposure for your product or business at such a very minimal rate!


I'm proud to say our membership base also continues to increase. If you've not already joined, we hope you'll think about doing that. It's still only $20 for an individual membership which includes a membership card and a limited edition membership pin. We also have many other levels of support available, including a lifetime membership and a corporate membership.  


Another way you can help us raise revenue, but at not cost to you, is if you are an Amazon shopper, shop through AmazonSmiles and chose the NDOC as your charity. Then, each time you make a purchase, Amazon will donate a percentage of that sale to us.

 We're expecting to make tremendous headway this year as more and more people learn about this effort and decide to support it in some way. I want to again thanks again to all of you for your continued support and interest in this important campaign to protect and preserve cowboy traditions and pioneer history.

July 25, 2015 - 11th Annual National Day of the Cowboy. Don't forget to celebrate!

 Hats off to the cowboy,Bethany

Bethany Braley, Executive Director & Publisher
National Day of the Cowboy 501(c)3

PO Box 25298

Prescott Valley AZ 86312-5298
Like us on Facebook National Day of the Cowboy


        11th Annual National Day of the Cowboy - July 25, 2015

The 2014 Hatch poster features the art of Oklahoma's Tyler Crow. The 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 National Day of the Cowboy Hatch Show Prints are $20 each + $5.50 S&H for one poster; any 2/$38,  3/$56, and 4/$75 + $6.50 S&H to one address. Artist hand-signed 2009, 2012, 2013 & 2014 posters are $35, + $5.50 S&H. 

Order your National Day of the Cowboy Flag before the next National Day of the Cowboy - July 25, 2015.

2014 numbered Gist NDOC belt buckles are $140 each + $10 S&H.

Become a Supporting Member - We need your involvement to secure permanent passage of the NDOC bill in every state. 


30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Focuses on
the Next Generation of Rural Westerners

Elko, Nevada—The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is turning 30 in 2014, and the nation’s greatest celebration of the American West, its people, culture and traditions, will turn its focus to the future of the region. Between January 27 and February 1, in Elko, Nevada, the Gathering will present poetry, music, fine western gear, films, workshops, dances and discussions with a clear focus on encouraging the next generation and working together to ensure the sustainability of the occupational and artistic traditions of the rural West.

The theme of the 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is Expressing the Rural West—Into the Future! Through performances of poetry and music, thought-provoking films and fruitful discourse, artists and audiences of all ages will share their art and their opinions on meeting the challenges of rural life in the modern West. In particular, the next generation of cowboy artists will present their work and discuss their brand of ranch life—with one hand on the reins and the other on the cell phone.

More than 50 poets, musicians and musical groups from the U.S. and Canada will perform on seven stages at four different venues. The 30th Gathering line-up includes cowboy poets Baxter Black, Paul Zarzyski, Waddie Mitchell, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Joel Nelson, Doris Daley, Pat Richardson, Randy Rieman and many others. Music is as integral to the Gathering as poetry; the musical line-up includes Ian Tyson, Michael Martin Murphey, Riders In The Sky, Don Edwards, Dave Stamey, Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys, Caleb Klauder Country Band, Martha Scanlan and more. Scroll down for a full list of participating artists and their hometowns. Visit for full bios.

Special guests this year include renowned animal welfare advocate, professor and author Temple Grandin, who will deliver the keynote address, and Stephanie Davis and her Trail’s End Ranch Radio Show, broadcasting poetry, humor and wisdom from a fictitious radio station on the range. A special exhibition will celebrate the new renaissance of western artistry among young gearmakers and visual artists.

The Gathering also features hands-on workshops in traditional western arts such as rawhide braiding, cinch-making, hat-making, silverwork, Dutch-oven cooking and more. It also offers three western dances, film screenings, panel discussions and open-mic poetry and music sessions. Tickets to the 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering can be purchased at, by calling 775-738-7508, toll-free 888-880-5885, or by stopping in to the Western Folklife Center’s ticket office, 501 Railroad Street, Elko. Western Folklife Center members can purchase tickets beginning at 9:00 am Pacific Time, September 3, 2013, and non-members can purchase tickets beginning Thursday, October 3.

The 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is produced by the Western Folklife Center and supported by NV Energy, Barrick Gold of North America, Nevada Humanities, Nevada Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Elko Convention and Visitors Authority, the City of Elko, The Bretzlaff Foundation, WESTAF, The Reno Rodeo Foundation, and many more foundations, businesses and individuals.

The Western Folklife Center is dedicated to exploring, presenting and preserving the diverse and dynamic cultural heritage of the American West. We celebrate the wisdom, artistry and ingenuity of western folkways through exhibitions, educational programs, national radio and television programs, research and preservation projects, our website, and our premier event, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. We nurture connections among rural and ranching cultures globally, exploring universal themes in working traditions and artistic expression, which we believe are vital links to the past, present and future of the American West.

Photos available on request.


30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Poets and Musicians

Brigid Reedy and Glenn Ohrlin at the 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Photo by Charlie Ekburg.

Brigid Reedy and Glenn Ohrlin at the 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Photo by Charlie Ekburg.

Gary Allegretto, Los Angeles, CA
Amy Hale Auker, Prescott, AZ
Mike Beck, Monterey, CA
Baxter Black, Benson, AZ
Dave Bourne, Agoura Hills, CA
Jerry Brooks, Sevier, UT
Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys, Opelousas, LA
Walt, Bimbo" Cheney, Spring Creek, NV
Doris Daley, Turner Valley, AB, Canada
John Dofflemyer, Lemon Cove, CA
Carolyn Dufurrena, Winnemucca, NV
Don Edwards, Hico, TX
Richard Elloyan, Dayton, NV
Dick Gibford, New Cuyama, CA
Gillette Brothers, Crockett, TX
DW Groethe, Bainville, MT
Wylie Gustafson, Conrad, MT
Gary Haleamau Family Band, Las Vegas, NV
Kristyn Harris, McKinney, TX
Barry & Joe Hertz, Calgary, AB, Canada
Brenn Hill, Clinton, UT
Yvonne Hollenbeck, Clearfield, SD
Linda Hussa, Cedarville, CA
Chris Isaacs, Eagar, AZ
Caleb Klauder Country Band, Portland, OR
Ross Knox, Midpines, CA
Marley's Ghost, Washington, California and Montana
Deanna Dickinson McCall, Timberon, NM
Waddie Mitchell, Twin Bridges, NV
Michael Martin Murphey, Pueblo, CO & Red River, NM
Joel Nelson, Alpine, TX
Rodney Nelson, Almont, ND
Dale Nystrom, New Rockford, ND
Glenn Ohrlin, Mountain View, AR
Lisa Quinlan, San Acacio, CO
Vess Quinlan, San Acacio, CO
Henry Real Bird, Garryowen, MT
Brigid Reedy, Boulder, MT
Pat Richardson, Merced, CA
Riders In The Sky, Nashville, TN
Randy Rieman, Dillon, MT
Martha Scanlan, Birney, MT
Frank Schweighart, Brashear, TX
Trinity Seely, Alcova, WY
Sean Sexton, Vero Beach, FL
Georgie Sicking, Kaycee, WY
Jesse Smith, Cora, WY
Dave Stamey, Orange Grove, CA
Gail Steiger, Prescott, AZ
Trail's End Ranch Radio Show with Stephanie Davis, Bozeman, MT
Ian Tyson, Longview, AB, Canada
Jessie Veeder, Watford City, ND
Paul Zarzyski, Great Falls, MT


Western Folklife Center • 501 Railroad Street • Elko, Nevada • 89801 • 775.738.7508



Six recipients honored with 2013 Cowboy Keeper Award®

In 2006, the National Day of the Cowboy nonprofit began a tradition of formally recognizing individuals, organizations, and projects that contribute significantly to the preservation of pioneer heritage and cowboy culture. The six 2013 Cowboy Keeper Award honorees are R.J. Vandygriff, American Chuck Wagon Association, Phil Spangenberger, New Mexico History Museum, Bob Fox, and the late Mary Ann Goodnight.


Phil Spangenberger is not only a western history expert and meticulous re-enactor, but a man who embodies the ethos and persona of the cowboy in his everyday life. He is internationally recognized for his expertise and knowledge of the world of the "Old West." Fellow Spirit of the West Rider, Brent Slutsky, declares, “If you’re making a documentary, writing a story, or need to know how it was in the older days of the cowboy, Phil is the man to see as a reliable source of accurate information, be it guns, ammo, tack, clothing or the feel of the cowboy lifestyle.” Indeed, as Marshall of the “Spirit of the West Riders,” 20-plus years in the Tournament of Roses Parade, Phil’s charge is to bring to the world a group of riders accurately and colorfully depicting our Old West, by ensuring every horse and rider displays authentic period dress and tack.


Another riding pal, Larry Brady, says of Spangenberger, “I have known, worked, and ridden with Phil for over 20 years and I’m here to tell you if you want it done right, you call on Phil Spangenberger as your technical advisor.” As a man who has coached A-list actors on wardrobe, deportment, and gun skills, he also produces American Adventure Wild West Shows, known to excite crowds worldwide with horsemanship, gun handling, and Californio lancing, while he wows ‘em, riding and shooting, guns in both hands and the reins between his teeth. On the History Channel Old West re-enactments, he works his magic, both on screen and behind cameras. He has unlimited knowledge of firearms, period clothing, horses and tack; from the time man first used a gun to today’s modern Old West clones. He has devoted his life to the lore, legend and reality of the American Cowboy past and present. He is an award winning horseman and a prominent consultant on authenticity and gun coaching in the movie industry, recognized with the prestigious Golden Boot Award in 2005. Phil has helped immortalize the Cowboy, as a professional writer in books and magazines, serving as Black Powder Editor for Guns and Ammo magazine and currently serving as Executive Editor for the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association’s™ Rundown. He provided the inspiration for the sport of Cowboy Mounted Shooting™ with his Wild West Show mounted shooting demonstrations, has been inducted into the Cowboy Mounted Shooters Hall of Fame, and has served as a member of their Board of Directors since its inception in 1994. These are but a few of Phil Spangenberger’s accomplishments that have contributed significantly to the immortalization of the Cowboy.


Award winning singer, songwriter, poet, actor, playwright, and genuine real-deal cowboy, R.J. Vandygriff, hails from Lipscomb, Texas. He grew up riding horses and strumming a guitar and includes bareback and saddlebronc riding on his resume, as well as rodeo clown and bullfighter stints. As an actor, R.J. had a recurring role as Ranger Mike for seven years in the hit series ''Walker, Texas Ranger,'' and has appeared in movies and numerous regional and national commercials. He’s performed his songs and poetry for Americans from shore to shore, and in Canada and Europe. His tour offerings include a highly acclaimed, one-man, one-act musical comedy, ''The Cowboy Ain't Dead Yet!'' which has taken on legendary status in its own time. In it, R.J. plays one of the most fascinating character to ride through history; the American Cowboy. As cowboy Joe Texas, R.J. tells the true story of the cowboy from the 1860s to present time, through songs, poems, and stories. Renowned cowboy poet and author, Baxter Black, declares the play, “The best one man show since Churchill swam the English Channel."  R.J. also offers Cowboy 101, a concert/lecture on the life of the cowboy. He frequently performs concerts featuring cowboy songs, poems, and stories. R.J. was the winner of a 2004 Will Rogers Award, and the 2012 Wrangler Award for Outstanding Original Composition. He’s been described as both a soulful balladeer and a comedian of impeccable timing. R.J. has been selected for the Texas Commission of the Arts 2014 Touring Roster, where he’ll be showcasing The Cowboy Ain't Dead Yet!, as well as another of his entertaining programs, Cowboy ABCs.


Colorado Public Radio’s Western Belle, Barb Richhart, said it this way, “Consider R.J. Vandygriff for the Cowboy Keeper Award! His one-man play is a delightful and positive portrayal of cowboy way of life. As evidenced in his music and stories, R.J. is an extraordinary example of the Cowboy Code he lives by. The quality and tone of his writing, singing and teaching make him a guiding light to old and young alike.” RJ is proof positive of the good news we always love to hear, “The Cowboy indeed, Ain’t Dead!”


In 1996, at an Amarillo, Texas, chuck wagon competition, a group of Old West enthusiasts and wagon masters talked about an association whose mission would be to preserve the heritage of the chuck wagon and the story of its use in the short, but significant, era of the cattle drives. In 1997, by-laws and articles were adopted and the American Chuck Wagon Association was born. It has since expanded to a world-wide organization preserving the American past through competitions, demonstrations, charity and school events, and participating at variety of other venues. Today, there are members in 31 states, as well as in Canada, Germany and Switzerland. Current President, Wayne Calk, proudly describes the ACWA this way, “We hold the spirit of western heritage in high esteem and want others to experience that same feeling, so we banded together with a common goal to preserve and share a heritage that the pioneers helped create.”


The chuck wagon is the central element used by the chuck wagon cook to focus on preserving the spirit of the Old West.” Chuck wagon cook-offs are by no means the only way enthusiasts portray the cowboy spirit. Members gather at locations around the country, cooking the chuck wagon way for service men and women and their families. There are also ACWA individuals who provide wagons and fare for the Wounded Warriors Program. Others take wagons or Dutch ovens to schools and provide school children with a living history demonstration. Members participate in various museum functions, parades and cowboy days. Association members recognize that youth are our future and support numerous activities directly involving young people, even including them in their cooking crews at cook offs. Another way they involve and educate youth is with demonstrations where host wagons share their camps with students, telling them the history of the chuck wagon and trail drives. The ACWA offers a scholarship to selected individuals each year and they honor a young cook with the Rookie of the Year award.


On Memorial Day weekend 2009, thousands of people lined the streets of Santa Fe, New Mexico, waiting for a first glimpse of its New Mexico History Museum. A 96,000 square-foot building, the museum significantly expanded New Mexico’s ability to share stories that made the American West. The museum’s main exhibit, Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now, attempts to do that by sweeping across five centuries, telling tales that include a rich cache of information about cowboys, trail riders, and outlaws.


On April 14, 2013, a new exhibit, Cowboys Real and Imagined, opened. The exhibit impresses upon visitors the myriad details of what was (and is) a dangerous and often low-paying job. It begins with the Spanish Vaqueros and the introduction of horse culture to the American Southwest, and carries them through the role cowboys played in healing our divided nation after the Civil War. Cowboys Real and Imagined includes rare archival footage, oral histories, musical performances, and a programming series that includes screenings of classic western movies filmed in New Mexico. The exhibit anchors the cowboy story in the Land of Enchantment, a place that helped give birth to the real thing. The goal is to capture and convey the many images of the cowboy—from itinerant hired hand to outlaw, movie star, rodeo athlete and radio yodeler. It includes cowgirls and cowboys who are Spanish, Mexican, African American, Native American, and Anglo, and in the end, emphasizes that true blue cowboys and cowgirls still ride the open range.


California PRCA legislative consultant, Bob Fox, works closely and continuously with the California Cattlemen’s Association, the Farm Bureau, the California Veterinary Medical Association, American Quarter Horse Association, Friends of Rodeo, and other western and rodeo related organizations, to diffuse legislation that would restrict the use of livestock in rodeo, and to provide accurate information that addresses and dispels some of the myths advanced by animal rights activists. He works tirelessly to educate legislators and the public about the welfare of rodeo animals in an effort to promote and protect the sport of rodeo.


Along with other supporters, Fox also represented the National Day of the Cowboy bill in the California Legislature and protected it from unwanted modifications when it went to committee to be considered for permanent passage. After working with other NDOC volunteers to successfully guide California into becoming the second state to pass the NDOC in perpetuity, Fox continues to support the national crusade by promoting display of the NDOC flag at an untold number of rodeos and western related events in California and Nevada, including the California State Fair Rodeo. He often arranges to have rodeo royalty carry the NDOC flag at major rodeos and he provides NDOC details to rodeo announcers around the country in the form of scripts to be shared with the public. Fox also enlisted a campaign volunteer in Nevada, providing him with pertinent NDOC information, in order to secure a proclamation from the Governor of Nevada in 2012. Bob Fox goes out of his way to ensure the NDOC receives photos of the flag flying or being presented at these rodeos and that the NDOC organization receives positive publicity in quality publications such as Pro Rodeo Sports News, thus helping others to learn about the campaign and furthering the NDOC mission to preserve pioneer heritage and promote cowboy culture.


The late Mary Ann Dyer was fourteen when her family left Madison County, Tennessee, and moved to Texas. After her parents died, she worked as a schoolteacher and raised her five brothers. In 1870, at age 31, she married legendary Texas rancher, Charles Goodnight. In 1876 the Goodnights and another couple established the vast JA Ranch in the Texas Panhandle, still the oldest ranch enterprise in the Panhandle. When the other couple left the area, Mary Goodnight (Molly) became the only woman on the ranch, which occupied the entire Palo Duro Canyon (1,500 ft deep, 10 miles across, and nearly 100 miles long).


As surrogate mother, sister, friend, homemaker, and nurse to the area's cowboys, Mary Ann Goodnight soon became known as “Mother of the Panhandle.” Experiencing long periods with little companionship, Molly's life centered on the traditional chores of ranch life, however, her interests quickly extended to protecting baby buffalo left to die after commercial hunters ravaged the Plains herd. Through rescuing and raising orphaned buffalo, Mrs. Goodnight helped establish the Goodnight buffalo herd, which became well known throughout the world. Goodnight devoted herself to saving baby buffalo of the southern herd of bison. She is credited with saving the herd from extinction and her orphaned buffalo produced the Goodnight buffalo herd. Today, the State of Texas owns the descendants of the Goodnight’s rescued animals and cares for them at Caprock Canyon State Park. In September 2011, 80 descendants of that great southern plains bison herd were released to roam an initial 700 acres of grasslands in the park, where from a safe distance, visitors can see these indigenous animals in their native habitat. These bison are the only vestige of a herd that once numbered an incredible 3.5 – 4 million strong. Now, as the official Texas State Bison Herd, they are being restored to their native habitat, fulfilling Mary Ann and Charles Goodnight’s vision of saving this herd of pure Southern Plains bison from certain extinction.


The artist image chosen for the 2013 Cowboy Keeper Award is “The Weathered Wheels,” the work of gifted watercolor and acrylic Canadian artist and author, Val Moker. Phil Spangenberger, R.J. Vandygriff, Bob Fox, the American Chuckwagon Association, the New Mexico History Museum, and the late Mary Ann Goodnight, are the outstanding recipients of the 2013 Cowboy Keeper Award. All six honorees have demonstrated a heartfelt, effective commitment to the preservation of pioneer heritage and cowboy culture. The National Day of the Cowboy tips its hat to each of these highly deserving recipients. 


Hats off to the cowboy,


Bethany Braley, Executive Director & Publisher
National Day of the Cowboy 501(c)3

PO Box 25298

Prescott Valley AZ 86312-5298
Like us on Facebook National Day of the Cowboy


              9th Annual National Day of the Cowboy - July 27, 2013

Esteemed recipients of the 2011 Cowboy Keeper Awards announced
     The National Day of the Cowboy 501(c)3 and its Board of Directors have chosen eight individuals and organizations to receive its 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award. Selection for the annual award is based on the level and significance of contributions to the preservation of pioneer heritage and cowboy culture. Inspired by artist Joelle Smith, the award was conceived in support of the NDOC’s mission to increase awareness for and celebration of the annual National Day of the Cowboy resolution.
     The 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award recipients are; Westernaires, a mounted precision drill organization comprised of Jefferson County, Colorado, youngsters age 9 to 19. Since its founding in 1949, Westernaires has provided training to youth in western riding, precision drills, and horse care. Members develop qualities such as self discipline from years of weekly training to achieve promotion to the organization’s top teams, a respect for teamwork through riding week after week with fellow horsemen working together to execute a well polished performance, a sense of responsibility from caring for horses, and intense community pride through the cultivation if a shared appreciation for western heritage.
     Successful Florida rancher and Cracker cowboy, Pete Clemons, is a famed former rodeo star who for over 50 years has been the owner/operator of the Okeechobee Livestock Market which became Florida’s premier cattle market under his leadership. He is held in high regard for his friendliness, honesty, and genuine desire to help people. In the early 1980s, he served as chairman of the Florida Beef Council and, for the last 40 years, Clemons, who at 81 still lives life in the saddle, has served as a board member or officer of the Okeechobee County Cattlemen’s Association. Pete Clemons is considered by many to be the best-known and best-loved cattleman in the entire State of Florida.
     In 1975, multi-Cowboy Hall of Famer and legendary calf roper, Cleo Hearn, designed and founded his historic Cowboys of Color Rodeo to highlight the cultural diversity of African American, Native American, and Hispanic rodeo cowboys and cowgirls while providing family fun for all. His National Finals brings together top ranked Indian, Black, and Hispanic participants to compete and exhibit in bull riding, calf roping, and other traditional rodeo events, providing history lessons with the entertainment. Cultural elements abound, such as an Hispanic female drill team riding sidesaddle, and tuxedoed riders strutting Tennessee Walking horses to BB King music. Cleo's organization aims to engage and educate young people, thus there are performances and stories about Mexican charros, Indian traditions and Buffalo soldiers between events. Hearn, himself half African American and half Indian, was the first African American to attend college on a rodeo scholarship, and in 1970, was the first African American to win the calf-roping event at a major rodeo. He’s competed at all major rodeos for 36 consecutive years, joining the Rodeo Cowboy Association in 1959, and he has a star on the Texas Trail of Fame. Throughout his career he’s won ribbons, trophies, buckles, saddles and thousands in cash prizes. Cleo Hearn and his Cowboys of Color Rodeo represent the largest, most significant, multi-cultural rodeo circuit in the country.
     America’s favorite cowboys,” Riders in the Sky, have been entertaining and educating audiences with their musical talent and comedic flair for over 30 years. Two-time Grammy winners, for the Riders, there is only one way and, “It’s the Cowboy Way.” Ranger Doug, Too Slim, Woody Paul, and Joey the Cowpolka King, have over 5,400 concert performances under their hats and have starred in their own TV and radio shows. They are beloved members of the Grand Ole Opry (since 1982) and they brought western music to the White House. Billboard magazine's Jim Bessman counts Riders as “one of the most historically significant acts in the history of American music." Mission Control even played their cut "Woody's Roundup," to wake up NASA's own riders in the sky. 
     Tom Bishop Sr.'s father arrived in Canada a Scottish orphan filled with dreams of the frontier. A city boy with no skills, he nearly starved homesteading Canadian winters in a sod dugout hut. When he saw Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, he knew it was what he wanted to do, so he began to put on Wild West shows at local fairs. Tom Bishop Sr. has continued his father's traditions and has taken his own Wild West shows to the next level, one of many ways he preserves pioneer heritage. Tom’s father was one of five founding members of the Western Horsemen’s Association of Ontario, which Tom has continued to support throughout his own life. In the 1960s Tom and his wife, both expert trick riders and trick ropers, traveled to England to perform at the “Canadian Way of Life” Exhibition. Tom went on to produce rodeos and eastern Canada’s only Wild West shows, inspiring many others to rodeo or perform. A horse coordinator for TV and film, he provides the horses and wagons for Canada’s TV show “Murdoch Mysteries.”  Tom owns over 50 wagons and carriages he's preserved. He was one of the original Canadian stuntmen when the film industry came to Canada in the 1950s, and has doubled many actors. Recently nominated “Entrepreneur of the Year” for the Niagara region, people there are fascinated by his one-of-a-kind lifestyle. Said to personify “Code of the West” tenets, Tom Bishop Sr. is characterized as tough but fair, firm but quiet, and well respected by all. A modern day cowboy, he represents the second generation of a Canadian family devoted to maintaining the tradition of Wild West shows.   
     Nevada’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, a week-long celebration of cowboy and ranch life, features contemporary and traditional arts arising from lives lived caring for land and livestock. Showcasing the finest cowboy poetry and western music, it also includes workshops in arts such as rawhide braiding and saddle making. During the gathering, Elko overflows with cowboys and cowgirls, poets, musicians, artisans, rural people and city folk, those new to these historic genres and those already captivated by them. Produced by the Western Folklife Center, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering was started in 1985 by a group of folklorists and poets. It is now an annual ritual for thousands who value and practice the artistic traditions of ranching heritage and are concerned about the present and future of these traditions. Hundreds more cowboy poetry gatherings have taken root over the last 27 years as the Elko Gathering revitalized a literary art that remains a vital part of the lives of ranchers and cowboys. In 2000, a U.S. Senate resolution recognized the cultural value of this art form and the event responsible for its renaissance, by naming the Elko Gathering the “National” Cowboy Poetry Gathering. 
     California rancher, cowgirl, and pickup “man,” inducted into both the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, Bertha Kaepernik Blancett is said to have been set astride a horse at age five and told to ‘stay aboard’ and keep the cattle out of the garden. She became an expert horsewoman and saddlebronc rider and in 1904, at age 25, was the first woman to ever ride a bucking bronc in the open men’s division at Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. She was such a force in early rodeos that in 1914, she came within 4 points of winning the Pendleton Round-Up’s “All Around Cowboy” title. In 1915, the Round-Up committee changed the rules so cowgirls could only compete for second place. She married cowboy Del Blancett, whom she met while performing for the Miller’s 101 Wild West Show. It is said of Bertha Blancett, “There wasn’t a horse she could not nor would not ride.”
     Dubois Main Street works to promote and preserve the unique cultural and western heritage of Dubois, Wyoming, by fostering and supporting activities such as their annual 3-day National Day of the Cowboy event. The organization goes all out to involve the whole community in celebration. Their heritage based event, now in its third year, offers something for everyone, including horse clinics, a cowboy parade, family activities, equine theater with roman riders, rodeo, a presentation about early women in rodeo, mutton busting for young cowboys and cowgirls, cowboy storytelling, lessons and demonstrations in western crafts, an art gallery walk, a barbeque by local restaurants, country dancing, celebrity look-a-like contests, the National Day of the Cowboy flag, concerts by local musicians, and a western costume contest for local merchants with National Day of the Cowboy  buckles and flags as prizes. Dubois Main Street delivers on its promise to its growing legion of NDOC attendees, “Join us and you’ll experience the cowboy way and see his imprint on the forging of this country."
    The National Day of the Cowboy organization is honored to spotlight the efforts and accomplishments of these eight exceptional 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award recipients. Each one represents a powerful element in the preservation of pioneer heritage and an energizing force in the ongoing expansion of the world’s cowboy culture.      The image for the 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award is the work of legendary artist, Till Goodan, whose authentic renderings of the West are easily recognized by all. In addition to the framed award, Dusty Hart donated eight bronze ‘let ‘er buck’ sculptures derived from vintage molds he unearthed which were created by his late grandfather, William Hartnell.
      Past Cowboy Keeper recipients include U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, U.S. Senator Craig Thomas, Cheyenne Frontier Days Committee, Old Cowtown Museum, Dorothy Wood, Julie Ream, Margo Metegrano, Dakota Livesay, Doc Stovall, Don & Sharon Endsley, Scott O’Malley, Kathleen Collins, Michael Martin Murphey, and the Desert Cowboys. The 2011 Cowboy Keeper Awards will be presented throughout the year, including one on July 23, 2011; the 7th Annual National Day of the Cowboy.


National Day of the Cowboy News - June 2010

From the Publisher 

Not long after arriving in sunny Arizona, my family moved across the street from South Mountain Park, the largest municipal park in the United States. It was there that my dad sometimes rented horses for us on beautiful Saturday mornings at one of the two riding stables, the Ponderosa and the South Mountain, near the park entrance. Back then, the rustic character of the park included a classic old trading post build from mountain rocks, picnic ramadas, incredible desert plants, a bar and grill ominously dubbed “Scorpion Gulch,” well worn hiking trails displaying ancient petroglyphs, and boundless room to ride horses freely wherever one wanted.
Sadly, my father passed away in March. He was barely 83. One of the pictures mom displayed at pop’s memorial service was this image of dad from one of our Saturday trail rides. Seeing the photo reminded me of how much I loved those hours of riding with pop in the park. I realized as I gazed at the photo though, that although I had learned to ride from dad, I have no idea where he learned to ride himself, or what led him, a young transplant from a Michigan city, to wear cowboy boots and a Stetson hat at every opportunity. All I know for sure is that he took us to local gymkhanas and to our first rodeo, and that he loved horses and he took us kids horseback riding as often as he could. Although my dad was a carpenter by trade, he was a Cowboy at Heart, and teaching us to ride was his personal contribution to the preservation of this wonderful part of our heritage. 
Cultural Tragedy
It was devastating to receive the news that Dusty Rogers found it necessary to permanently close the Roy Rogers - Dale Evans Museum. He locked the gates on December 12, 2009 and auctioned off parts of the family collection at the High Noon Show and Auction in January. More of the collection will be auctioned at Brian Lebel’s auction in Denver, Colorado, in June, never again to be viewed or enjoyed in its entirety. This tragic loss should be a wake up call to all who believe the current cowboy culture and its rich history need to be protected for current and future generations. It's heartbreaking evidence that preservation cannot be taken lightly, nor can it be viewed as a hobby or simply an engaging way to pass the time.
The closing of such a significant American museum was disturbing in itself, but consider this recent piece of alarming information gleaned from the USDA - The first year I gathered statistics for Senator Thomas for the Cowboy resolution was 2004. That year, the USDA stated there were 800,000 ranches contributing to the economy of every county in the country. Checking on the data for the 2008 resolution for Enzi and Giffords, the USDA told me there were then 727,000 ranches. When I called for numbers for the 2010 resolution, the woman I spoke with told me we were down to 656,000 ranches in America. This drastic decline is shocking to me. Something has happened to nearly 150,000 cattle ranches in only six years. Have they been absorbed by other ranches? Sold off to developers? I don’t know the answer, but I do know I hear many stories about ranchers fighting for (and losing) their water rights or losing their land and their grazing rights. If we continue to lose 30,000 ranches per year (and remember this is just ranches, it does not take into account how many farms we’re losing), that means we’re on track to see all ranches vanish from the American landscape in less than 25 years, and we’ll be importing virtually all of our beef from other countries.



What's New?

Guitar Fundraising
The winning bid for our autographed 1970 Hummingbird guitar came from Terry “T-bird” Arnold. Our thanks to guitar donor, Kip Calahan, all the generous signers, and to Brian Lebel, who donated a spot for us at his Old West Show & Auction so we could auction the guitar and further advance the quest for a Cowboy Day. And thanks of course to T-Bird who called in his bid all the way from Texas. Lots of interested folks stopped by to check out the guitar, enjoy the photos of the celebrity signers, and pick up information about the pursuit of permanent status for a National Day of the Cowboy.
We now have a second guitar! A new Yamaha acoustic was donated to us by singer/songwriter Jeff Connors. Jeff is one of Chuck "The Rifleman" Connors’ sons. This guitar has been signed by country superstar and CMA award winner, Jamey Johnson, Michael Martin Murphey, The Quebe Sisters Band, Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel, Johnny Bush, Joe Stampley, Johnny Lee, Jon Chandler, Gary McMahan, Jeff Connors, Billy Joe Shaver, Joyce Woodson, Leona Williams, Ron Williams, Mandy Barnett, Eddie Stubbs, Dale Watson, Bryan Kennedy, Deryl Dodd, Juni Fisher, Jeff Griffith, and Larry “Murder on Music Row” Shell. We have pictures of many of them signing it too, although a few times the camera choked when we needed it most.
We’ll be at the Old West Show and Auction in Denver again this year, June 25-27, to auction this guitar. I’ve heard gold album artist Jamey Johnson’s signature is worth $300 on a photo alone! Stop by our table at the show to see the guitar and signers’ pictures and to and say “hello.”  If you'd like to bid, but can't make it to the show, email, subject: "Guitar bid." Include your name, a phone number where you can be reached that day, and your maximum bid amount. Bidding for this fundraiser guitar starts at $750. Email bidding will close at 1PM on Sunday June 27, 2010.  
The winning bidder will receive the autographed acoustic guitar, a soft guitar case, photos of many of the celebrities as they signed it and a Certificate of Authenticity verifying the signatures.
The NDOC Organization
Eddie Kilroy, an American radio personality of iconic stature and a well respected Texas horse rancher to boot, joined the Board of Directors of the National Day of the Cowboy nonprofit organization. “I don’t believe we could have asked for a better addition to our board,” observed Corene Schwab, the NDOC’s vice-chairman and CEO of AhHa Entertainment, regarding Eddie Kilroy’s election.

Kilroy and his wife, Elizabeth, set up a ranch in Texas as their home. They have a tremendous love of horses and their entire ranch is dedicated to enjoying them. Away from the ranch, they lead an active life, enjoying riding, exploring, working cattle, roping, ranch rodeos, and anything equine. As busy as he is, Eddie Kilroy is excited about working with the National Day of the Cowboy organization and looks forward to making a contribution to its continued success. When asked why he wanted to be a part of the organization, he didn’t hesitate to answer, “America’s Cowboy was a major factor in the early days of our country and still is, and I wanted to be a part of the National Day of the Cowboy’s effort to have cowboys recognized and honored for their contributions and lifestyle. Cowboys are my heroes!”
Desert Cowboys Express 
The Desert Cowboys Express event, honoring SFC Russell Anderson and our Desert Cowboys aboard the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, and the Wild Rags & Wranglers Dinner which we had planned in the spring, have both been postponed to a yet to be determined date in 2011.



International Cowboy

The NDOC flag is in Lebanon
One of our wonderful spokespersons, Hotshot Johnny Tuscadero, is putting together the largest rodeo to ever take place in the Middle East. He's working on the event along with the El Rancho Dude Ranch in Lebanon. The great news is, thanks to Hotshot, a National Day of the Cowboy flag will be flying there! Can't wait to see the pictures Hotshot sends back to us. This means the flag is now flying in 5 countries outside the USA.
Hotshot Johnny who also happens to be the SASS 2010 World Champion Gun Spinner, puts in a lot of hours at the El Rancho Dude Ranch, just outside Beirut. He tells us they’re looking for a dude ranch or community in American interested in celebrating the National Day of the Cowboy with them simultaneoulsy via big screens. Contact Hotshot if you can help him find a partner for El Rancho. 

We’ve got volunteers looking for Cowboy Day sponsors in Portugal, Canada, Lebanon, and Australia. Also, thanks to the staff at the PRCA, we learned about a cowboy magazine published in Italy entitled, “American West.” Its publisher, Fabrizio, put us on his mailing list and we’ve got copies in hand, and although we can’t read Italian, it’s easy to see it’s a cowboy publication about all things western here in the states and in Italy as well.  
Western collector, Master Gardener, and friend of the NDOC, Bob Priddle, sent us pages from his old collectible Rawhide cowboy comics, all the way from Wales. Each page is framed in a red mat and is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity. What a great way to preserve some of these iconic examples of cowboy lore.
The Wild West in the Middle East!
(by Hotshot Johnny)
Bethany here at the NDOC asked me to put some words down about my recent adventures, cowboyin' in the Middle East. So... let me give you a little news from the Perpetual Motion Ranch.
My travels have taken me all over this beautiful globe. The rock we're on is an amazing place and everywhere ya go, people love
cowboys. For the last 9 months I have been performing at a ranch outside Beirut in Lebanon. Yeah, I know! Wild, huh? Lebanon is
a beautiful place with great people, friendly and welcoming in every way. It is kind of party-central for the Middle East during the summer, almost doubling in size as tourists come from all over Arabia, Europe and Asia.
The ranch I work on is up in the green mountains about 40 Minutes from Beirut. As you go north from Beirut on the coast, it looks like California - beach towns and green covered mountains. El Rancho Western Park is a working ranch with horses and cattle, a resort with luxury camping and bungalows and a theme park with steak house, games and entertainment. All this rolled into over one hundred acres of mountain terrain. And it is more of a ranch than many of the ranches I've worked at in the states. Producing raw-milk cheese, quail and quail eggs, chicken eggs, doing trail rides, arena shows, rock climbing, archery, paintball, dinner shows, etc. I was hired to do a show and quickly became Entertainment Director, helping them develop the venue as a tourist attraction. Last summer we produced a popular 3 day Wild West Festival and this summer we are adding a 5 day rodeo to the festival. The Cedar Stampede will be the 1st rodeo in the Middle East, ever. For a region that has such a long and rich tradition and history with horses, this proves to be an amazing prospect.

Contrary to what you might see on the news, Lebanon is a fun place, safe and friendly. If there are any riders out there that would like to compete in a once in a lifetime rodeo experience, please get a hold of me and I'd be happy to give you more info. In fact, depending on yer skill level, we might even take care of your expenses here in Lebanon if you can get yourself here.

The Cedar Stampede Rodeo & Wild West Festival is August 18 - 22, 2010. We are inviting riders from the USA, Europe and anywhere else to come. If you can swing the travel cost we will take care of you. Come early and prep on our horses and compete in the 1st western rodeo in the Middle East!
You can learn more at and email me at I will also be performing at End of Trail if you can stop by. See ya down the trail on the Perpetual Motion Ranch folks.
Ain't it the truth
“There is very little difference between working cowboys in Arizona or Canada. The international border does not matter. Sure there is different horse gear used in different parts of the country, but they are all cowboys at heart.” Canadian cowboy, singer, songwriter, and performer, Ian Tyson.



Western Mercantile

Kick it up a Notch! 
National Day of the Cowboy 2010 
Florida artist, Jim Harrison, created the graphic for our 2010 Hatch Show print. Jim’s graphics captured our attention while we were on the website for the 2010 Elko Poetry Gathering, as Jim created the art for their 2010 event poster. We’ve had such great luck finding wonderful artists willing to create images for our Hatch posters each year, beginning with Jennifer Ward 2006, Teal Blake 2007, Zane Mead 2008, and Christina Holmes 2009. 
Jim has also offered to sign and number the first 25 posters that come off the press. If you’d like to place an advance order for one of the signed posters, they will be $25 each plus $5.25 S&H. Orders for the signed posters will be filled in the sequence in which they are received. The theme for 2010 is “Kick it up a Notch.” The piece  will be in deep purple and metallic silver. They’ll be in stock on June 30, but you can place your order today by emailing
Last year Christina Holmes provided art for the first NDOC poster to have more than one original image. Jim Harrison is blazing a new trail too, by creating our first poster with a color separated image.
With phone bills, internet services, web-hosting, business cards, membership pins, printing, brochures, and event fees, it costs a minimum of $10,000 a year to keep this effort going. But, if you’re not of a mind to make a tax deductible donation to help with expenses, consider purchasing one of our Hatch Show Prints (five of which feature the original art of western artists from five different states), or the custom made Montana Silversmiths NDOC Buckle, a print of Cowboy Keepers, or an NDOC flag or Rockmount’s National Day of the Cowboy silk tie. We have our signature red white and blue bumper stickers in stock again too which make an economical way to help us keep going and at the same time tell the world the cowboy will have his day. 
Enter To Win 
In an effort to generate operating funds, we’re offering 150 tickets to enter a drawing for a Set of the National Day of the Cowboy Hatch posters, 2005 - 2009. That’s five fabulous NDOC posters, four of which feature original art. Tickets are a donation of $10 each (less than the price of one poster). The drawing will be held as soon as 150 tickets are sold.
Email if you'd like to make a donation to enter the Hatch drawing.



Cowboy Keepers

Cowboy Keeper Awards 2009
The outstanding recipients of the 2009 Cowboy Keeper Award were Dakota Livesay, Publisher of Chronicle of the Old West, Margo Metegrano - the extraordinary force behind the Bar-D Cowboy Poetry website, and Fort Worth’s Texas Trail of Fame Organization.
Dakota Livesay, a writer, historian, western promoter extraordinaire, and on-air radio personality, is aptly described by some as “a one-man Old West reality show.” Among his endeavors Dakota publishes Chronicle of the Old West, a monthly newspaper comprised of actual 1800’s articles, which he developed in an effort to teach people about the real cowboys versus the ‘reel’ cowboys.
Award recipient Margo Metegrano is a beloved and dedicated trailblazer in the promotion of cowboy poetry. Through her website,, thousands of visitors learn about cowboy poetry or submit their own work. Margo is the site foreman, headquartered at the mythical BAR-D Ranch, a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, a non-profit she created and directs in California.

Fort Worth’s Texas Trail of Fame organization was established to honor those who’ve made a significant contribution to the Western way of life. The TTF created a trail of bronze markers throughout the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards District, placed there “to form an imposing glimpse of a wide reflection of North America’s Western Heritage, encouraging visitors to reflect on the lives and deeds of the men and women who made indelible marks on the trails of history, as well as to focus on the ambitions of the current generation of pioneers.”

“She’s a Hand,” the art for the 2009 Cowboy Keeper Award, is the work of renowned Oregon artist, the late Joelle Smith, whose exquisitely impressive renderings of the West she loved so much, graced the cover of Western Horseman Magazine three times. Another of Joelle’s renderings, “Bustin the Paint,” is featured on the NDOC tie designed by Steve Weil, President of Rockmount Ranch Wear. Margo Metegrano also used this art for her 2010 Art Spur contest on the Cowboy Poetry website.

A special thanks to Dr. Buck Montgomery and the generous folks at SASS and WWPAS who arranged for us to present Dakota Livesay with his award at their annual convention in Las Vegas. What a wild time we had! Having Hotshot Johnny and Dr. Buck riding shotgun over our presentation was very reassuring. If you’ve not been to a SASS convention, you’re missing out on costumes, characters, parties, vendors, performers, workshops, and so much more. We’re proud to be SASS member #85767.
2010 Cowboy Keeper Awards
Artwork chosen for the upcoming 2010 Cowboy Keeper Award is “Simple Things’ by Kansas artist, Jim Clements. Clements’ stated desire to ‘honor the spirit of the west in all of his paintings” is evidenced in this quietly inspiring work. The five winners of the National Day of the Cowboy’s 2010 Cowboy Keeper Award will be announced on July 24, 2010, the Sixth Annual National Day of the Cowboy.
If you don’t know about WWPAS, it’s the "Wild West Performing Arts Society," an organization dedicated to keeping the heritage of the performing skills of the old west alive, like trick roping, gun twirling, knife throwing – in other words, all the exciting stuff. Will Rogers and Buffalo Bill would be proud of this group, as would every Cowboy who has stood around a campfire on the range and cracked a whip or spun a gun. Don and Sharon Endsley’s Great American Wild West Show showcases all of this action in their Buffalo Bill Cody style old west extravaganza which I catch every year in Denver during the National Stock Show.
Renowned spur maker, Bill Adamson has been working to bring attention to the life and story of Crockett Spur Founder, Brice Crockett…There’s a dedicated group of folks in Texas working on enhancing the Chisholm and Western Trails now that Congress has deemed them as National Historic Trails….Congratulations to the poised and beautiful Taryn Brady (sister of NDOC spokesperson Kelsee Brady Bradshaw). Taryn won Ms. Rodeo Arizona and Runner-up to Ms. Rodeo America. Taryn and I had lunch together two years ago at the Gilbert Days Rodeo in Arizona where I was captivated by her intelligence and grace. 
“Kill Nashville Pop” 
Well, that’s about preservation too. The fearless leader of this Facebook page, Larry “The Rev” Shell, believes country music made Nashville what it is today (not the other way around), so he and his organization are trying to get the powers that be in Music City USA, to not only acknowledge that fact, but to actually honor it and promote it. In the process, KNP, with 2,000 members and growing, has chosen the NDOC as their Cause on Facebook and we’d like to thank its members for the donations they’ve sent to us. While we’re on this subject, perhaps it’s time we hung some of Shell’s “Kill Nashville Pop” banners at the big rodeos and ‘country’ music festivals. Didn’t they book Western and Country performers at those events once upon a time?
(“Today’s ‘country and western’ is neither of either.” Don Edwards).

If you’ve not seen “Dirt the Movie,” a documentary that covers the relationship between the earth’s living soil and that of the human race, make it a point to view it. 



Volunteer Ranch Hands

Desert Cowboys Express Volunteers 
Ed Ellis, John Thomas, Larra Atwater, Diane Tribitt, Julie Ream, Fred Hargrove, Debra Goodman, Dakota Livesay, SFC Russell Anderson, and many others, worked hard to bring the pieces together for the Desert Cowboys Express, scheduled to take place on the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad on Memorial Weekend. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the DCE had to be postponed, but it will be rescheduled for the 2011 season on the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad.
Volunteer Lacee Muller created a new NDOC Facebook page for us.
Larra Atwater, owner of Atwater Hay and Livestock, and a former CFO, keeps all of our accounting, IRS reports, and corporate filings.
Thanks to all the dedicated NDOC volunteers, without whom this effort could not continue to grow.



Western Connections & Bunkhouse Culture

Tin Pan South 2010
Thanks to 2009’s stellar performances by Joyce Woodson, Murphey, Juni Fisher, and Jon Chandler, Western music was invited back to NSAI’s renowned Tin Pan South songwriter festival. The 2010 songwriter round of Campfire Cowgirls & Cowboys featured Joyce Woodson, Juni Fisher, and Ray Doyle. Murphey hoped to complete the circle again this year, but his schedule logistics made it impossible to work that out.
Songwriters are not paid to perform at TPS, so we and the songwriters appreciate Stellar Oilfield Services’ Terry Arnold of Texas, Pam Nance of North Carolina, and Ohio’s Paula Bondy for donating to the songwriter round on behalf of the National Day of the Cowboy. We believe it’s important for cowboy music to be represented at Tin Pan South because the more people exposed to quality cowboy music, the more people will take an interest in pioneer history, events, organizations, and preservation.
New Music
Gary McMahan, Fred Hargrove, Juni Fisher, and Ray Doyle have all released new CDs you’ll want to add to your music collection. Check out Ray Doyle’s music video “Emigrant Trail” on YouTube too. How did he get it to look so real?
New Books
Can't wait to get a copy of the new book all about cowboy china, by Corinne J. Brown, coming in the fall. Come and Get It -The Saga of Western Themed Dinnerware, includes images of some extremely rare patterns. Author John O. Baxter stopped at the National Day of the Cowboy to sign copies of his new book, Cowboy Park, published by Texas Tech University Press. It’s about the years when steer roping was illegal (yup – against the law) in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. John Conley’s new book, Heart of a Cowboy - Vol I, is slated to be released in September. John included a chapter about the National Day of the Cowboy - Bless his Cowboy heart! Moonlight Mesa Publishing out of Wickenburg, Arizona, is set to release a book on Casey Tibbs.
More Cowboy Culture
Did you notice all those Rockmount shirts in Crazy Heart? Jeff Bridges, as Bad Blake in the movie, alternately channels Waylon and Kristofferson in his role as a country singer who’s veered way off track (no pun intended). It’s eerie watching him do that, but it certainly brings back fond memories of the days when country music was, well, still Country.
Melody Ranch Studio
Julie and Bob Ream took me on my first visit to Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio, the movie lot where many Gene Autry westerns were filmed, as were western TV staples like The Lone Ranger, and Annie Oakley. Monogram Studios made 750 westerns there before they sold the ranch to Gene Autry in 1952. Since 1915, when the studio was first opened for business, a long string of hard riding shoot-em-ups have been produced there. Iconic cowboy actors, including William S. Hart, Tom Mix, Roy Rogers, Bill Boyd, and John Wayne filmed their westerns at MR until 1962, when a fire swept through Placerita Canyon, destroying the main western street. Gene maintained the rest of the ranch for his horse Champion until the horse passed in 1990. He then put the ranch up for sale and the Veluzat brothers purchased it.
Thank goodness Melody Ranch has since been brought back to life with the restoration of that famous western street. Melody Ranch Studio features a massive western town with interiors in the saloon, bank, jail, general store, hotel, church, school, livery stable, and theatre. Bob and Julie and I shared our saloon table with ranch owner, Renaud Veluzat, and friends Nokie and Judy Edwards (Nokie was lead guitarist for The Ventures). Out on the street, under the California moon, dinner guests watched High Noon. Imagine what fun we all had eating dinner and watching High Noon in exactly the same spot the movie was filmed over 50 years ago! 




Bull rider supports the cause
Singer-songwriter and former professional bull rider, Jeremy Larsen, is the first Cowboy to join the NDOC at the Round-up Captain level. We met up with Jeremy in Santa Clarita, where he insisted on paying his membership dues in front of Gene Autry (well, the bronze of Gene) at the Autry National Museum in Griffith Park, Los Angeles. True to his new membership title, Jeremy has already rounded up new members. We’ve come to realize that it’s cowboys with a commitment like his who will be the mainstay of this effort. We want to thank Jeremy for his enthusiasm and dedication to the cause, and thanks to our good friend Lucky, for telling Jeremy about the NDOC.

AZ Sun Mercantile adds to list of benefits

Ron Southwick, from Arizona Sun Mercantile is offering a 10% discount on his products to NDOC members AND he donates 10% of his eBay sales to us, in an effort to encourage more folks to become supporting members. Ron and his wife, Carol, make leather hatbands, knife sheaths and holsters. They also offer old west style men’s and ladies’ clothing and anything you might need to be an active member of SASS or WWPAS.


Swing Riders

Allen Wilkenson is our Boot King!
We had a great weekend at the NBSSCA show in Waco, Texas, thanks to founding member, the Boot King, Allen Wilkinson. Allen donated one of his reserved spots for our use. While we were at the show handing out information about the NDOC and the Cowboy Day campaign, Allen introduced us to Jeff Trammel, just as Jeff was about to host the grand opening celebration of the new Western Heritage Gallery in Denton, Texas. Thanks to Brett Jones, Jeff Trammel, and Allen, we had a table at that event too. I can testify firsthand that if you’re looking for really fine, unique, or rare cowboy collectibles, you’ll want to make this gallery a frequent destination. It started with over 5,000 square feet of cowboy “everything,” including art, boots, books, clothes, hats, jewelry, spurs, furniture, saddles and dishes, and it’s been such a success - they’ve already expanded!  
Abbie Caplin of Abbie Caplin’s Frontiers in Payson, Arizona donated a table for us at Red Steagall’s Cowboy Camp in the Fort Worth Stockyards. It’s critical for us to be at as many events as possible to spread the word about the Day of the Cowboy campaign, but many times we can’t come up with vendor fees or travel expenses necessary to participate, so we really appreciate backing from friends like Abbie, Jeff, Brett, Brian, and Allen.
Cowboy Code advocates
Dakota and Sunny Livesay now offer a certificate to anyone willing to make a formal commitment to living by the Cowboy Code. Dakota tells us thousands of people have already requested the document and it’s now hanging on the walls of barns, homes, offices, classrooms and even prison cells, around the world.
Cowboy Flag Update
Thanks to Brenda and Jim Pense in Washington, the National Day of the Cowboy flag flies proudly in twenty-six states. We’re finally over halfway to our goal! We need someone from just twenty four more states to throw their hat in the arena to reach fifty. If your state is not on the flag list, consider becoming state number twenty-seven and order your flag today. Don't be left out in the pasture! We’ve also sold a flag in Lebanon and we’re thrilled to report that renowned Colorado equestrians, the Westernaires, will now be carrying a National Day of the Cowboy flag during their shows. Don’t forget if you do have the Cowboy Flag, send a picture of it flying.
Watch the video on YouTube of the ceremony at which U.S. Congresswoman Giffords returned the NDOC space flag to us.
Elizabeth Trevino is a winner
Texan Elizabeth Trevino held the winning ticket for “Longhorn Buddies,” the painting donated to us for fundraising by New Mexico artist Zane Mead. Elizabeth is the wife of Texas performer Justin Trevino and declares she’s never won anything in her life. She made the trip from Brady, Texas, to the National Day of the Cowboy office in Fort Worth to pick up her treasure in person. (Pic of Elizabeth)


In This Issue

National Day of the Cowboy News - June 2010

What's New?

International Cowboy

Western Mercantile

Cowboy Keepers

Volunteer Ranch Hands

Western Connections & Bunkhouse Culture


Swing Riders

NDOC Spokespersons

Empty Saddles

On the Trail

Gene Autry's Cowboy Code
1.  The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
2.  He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
3.  He must always tell the truth.
4.  He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
5.  He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
6.  He must help people in distress.
7.  He must be a good worker.
8.  He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
9.  He must respect women, parents, and his nation's laws.
10.  The Cowboy is a patriot.
National Day of the Cowboy Resolution
Cowboy Day Resolution
Whereas pioneering men and women, known as cowboys,
helped establish the American West;
Whereas the cowboy embodies honesty, integrity, courage,
compassion, respect, a strong work ethic, and patriotism;
Whereas the cowboy spirit exemplifies strength of character,
sound family values, and good common sense;
Whereas the cowboy archetype transcends ethnicity, gender,
geographic boundaries, and political affiliation;
Whereas the cowboy is an excellent steward of the land and
its creatures;
Whereas the cowboy lives off the land and works to protect
and enhance the environment;
Whereas cowboy traditions have been part of the American
culture for generations;
Whereas the cowboy continues to be an important part of the
economy, through the work of approximately 656,000
ranchers in all 50 States, and contributes to the wellbeing of nearly every county in the Nation;
Whereas annual attendance at professional and working
ranch rodeo events exceeds 30,000,000 fans, and the
rodeo is the 7th most watched sport in the Nation;
Whereas membership and participation in rodeo and other organizations that promote and encompass the livelihood of
the cowboy spans race, gender, and generations;
Whereas the cowboy is a central figure in literature, film, and
music, and occupies a central place in the public imagination;
Whereas the cowboy is an American icon; and
Whereas the ongoing contributions made by cowboys and
cowgirls to their communities should be recognized and
Congress, Governors, and State Legislatures encourage the people of the United States to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
NDOC Spokeserpersons
Kelsee Brady Bradshaw
Julie Ann Ream
Lee Anderson
Hotshot Johnny Tuscadero
Dr. Buck Montgomery
NDOC Board of Directors 2010
Jane Bischoff, AZ – Treasurer
Gloria Duncan, ME – Secretary
Eddie Kilroy, TX - 2nd Vice-chairman
Corene Schwab, TX - Vice-chairman
Bethany Braley, AZ - Board Chairman
Larra Atwater - Accountant
Cheryl Harvey Hill - MySpace Trailboss
Lacee Muller - Facebook Wrangler
National Day of the Cowboy News Sponsor
The June 2010 National Day of the Cowboy News was sponsored by The Boot King, Allen Wilkinson of Parsons, Kansas. Allen is a dealer of vintage Western and Americana collectibles.
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