March 21, 2010
Spent most of the day yesterday at Festival of the West at Westworld in Scottsale. Huge crowds, bigger than I have seen in a long while.
I received the 2010 Westerner of the Year Award from Beaver Brand Hats in conjunction with Texas Jack (T.J.) Hondo, for my "continued support and setting the example for those living the Western way of life." Quite an honor, and the best part is I was given a new, custom made, white Beaver Brand hat. A very sweet deal. Thanks Texas Jack and Douglas Klabzuba!, president of Beaver Brand Hats.
Met quite a few readers and members of this site, including Hondo Ray, who came all the way from the east coast just for this event.
Need to thank Lee Anderson, our September '09 cover boy. He came to the show in full blown vaquero gear and brought his custom saddle as well, parking outside our booth to meet the fans and chat up the vaquero ways. Tons of people came by to get his autograph. In fact the crush was so severe we quickly ran out of the Vaquero issue (with the cover blurb: "500 Years Before The Cowboy." When someone questioned Lee if that was really true, Lee quipped, "maybe not, but my grandkids think so."). You can still get one of these sought after True West magazines via this website (see store).
In addition to the vaquero issue, we have run through thousands of magazines at this year's event, more than at any show in the 20 year history of the festival. It may be because this is reportedly the last show (Mary Brown's husband has had enough and several of her key people want to retire after 20 years). Lots of talk about who will carry on the tradition. Buck Montgomery is planning a big show in Glendale next year with the idea of picking up the slack, but Mary also said she is talking with a promoter who may buy the company.
Much more to tell but I'm late for today's events and need to get down there (it's about a 40 minute drive from our house).
Meeting all of the fans of our shared Western world really inspires me. And it's fun to finally put a face with an online handle ("Oh, so YOU are Flying R!").
"When the legend becomes fact, print both."
—BBB (my new motto and the title of my May editorial)
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