December 13, 21010
Back from Vegas and Cowboy Christmas. Met lots of readers and fans, met a ton of new subscribers and soon to be readers. Gave out several thousand True West Source Books. Got the method down to a science: I would spot a guy coming down the aisle and I would accost the wife, saying, "He's into history, isn't he?" The wife would invariable say, "Why yes he is. How did you know?" Then I would hand the Source Book to her in a bag and say, "It's for him, but you have to carry it." They would both laugh, because he had his hands in his pants, and off they'd go. I'd say I was right about eight times out of ten. Sometimes the wife would say, "Wait a minute. I'm the one who is into history." Which was always a pleasant surprise. I can't imagine asking that question an NFL stadium and getting that high of a response about history. It was a great experience and I got pretty good at spotting our reader.
The Bling Thing
Ten years ago if someone told me that hip hop bling would ever be worn by country-rodeo folk, I would have said said, "Well, maybe if they died in New York and were buried in Brooklyn by a mortician with a morbid sense of humor." But, there they were, every single female from age 10 to 87, blinged out from head to toe with shiny, studded belts, rings, necklaces and what have you. Even the young guys are wearing bling. Amazing.
Ran into Larrry Winget, the best selling author of titles such as, "You're Broke Because You Want to Be," and "It's Called Work For A Reason," and "Your Kids Are Your Own Fault and "People Are Idiots And I Can Prove It." Larry owns 1,000 pairs of boots, loves True West magazine and we made a date to get together and talk strategy for a new video show.
As mentioned, Charlie Waters treated me to a box seat (actually a suite) courtesy of his employer, The Las Vegas Review-Journal. Really enjoyed the rodeo on Thursday night. Was amazed at just how rock 'n' roll it has become. The lightest music played during events is AC/DC. That is not a joke. Lots of The Motor City Madman, The Nuge (Ted Nugent). Not one Country song. I imagine Jim Shoulders would be spinning on his shoulder, if he could see this, but here we are. Ran into several neighbors from Cave Creek. In fact, two of the flag girls at the NFR were Cave Creekers, also Pam Nabers, whose daughter is a friend of Carole Glenn's in Fountain Hills. Rodeo great Jim Pickens, Jr. and TJ Holgate, a Navajo from Window Rock who gave the grave side eulogy for Sonny Jim.
Also saw three time world champion Bull Rider Don Gay (1979-1981) at the Convention Center, which incidently, is also where I saw the Beatles and Bill Black's Combo in August of 1964.
Saw two Kingman childhood friends: Zibby Campa and Karen Richardson (Rose). Karen brought and gifted me with a copy of "Pictorial History of the Wild West by James D. Horan and Paul Sann. I have a copy in my studio library, but Karen's copy has a pristine cover jacket along with the Collector's Old West Gunfighter Gallery foldout in mint condition. Thanks Karen!
Drove over and back with our new Director of Sales and Marketing Allison Cabral (maiden name Allison Clay, which is a sweet play on Clay Allison). We were a good team and tag-teamed the booth.
The Wright Brothers Win Big
Charlie Waters' wife Linda has a niece who is married to Calvin Wright, brother of both Cody and Jesse (and one of six Wright brothers who ride saddle bronc in PRCA events). Cody Wright from Milford, Utah won the world championship of the saddle bronc riding. His brother also competed, but broke his ankle on the first night and still rode, limping out of the arena on his own two feet. Tough boys, those Wright brothers.
"This ain't my first rodeo."
—Old Business Saying