Monday, February 20, 2012

The Road to Elko ~ Saturday Day 5

It's hard to believe this is the last day of the Gathering. Three of the usual suspects (Leland, Trisha and Linda) join Rod and me for breakfast at JR's. We've all been going in different directions each day so it's fun to catch up and compare notes.

The morning is unscheduled for us so Rod and I decide to take in several of the trade shows. We find some stunning work: from saddles and tack to custom made hats and boots, from paintings, photos and bronzes to jewelry and clothing. A friend suggested we check out the 8th Annual Great Basin Native Market at the historic Girl Scout House. We did and I was totally taken by the paintings and prints of a young woman named Micqaela Jones. Her work speaks for itself. Take a minute to check out her website.

Innocent One

We came home with a vest for Rod and some small treasures and gifts. As independent artists we understand the love, commitment and time that go into the creative process. Though we cannot always support artists financially by purchasing work, we'll always let them know how much we enjoy what they do. We know from experience how a positive comment can make your day.

Just before we left for Elko we received a postcard from the Western Folklife Center that let us know we'd won tickets to see Baxter Black. He is a former large animal vet and a cowboy poet "known for his humor and sharp observations that focus on the day-to-day ups and downs of everyday people who live with livestock and work the land". He is a very physical entertainer so his entire being becomes part of the story. We laughed so hard our cheeks were cramping. You need to check out the cybercast: under "Special Show" on Saturday's events at:

Next we head over to the G Three Bar for another of the free events entitled Far Out West with Stephanie Davis, Ramblin' Jack Elloitt and Ronstadt Generations. Our friend Michael staked out front row seats for 12 of us so this was a real treat. Before the show I started chatting with the woman sitting next to me. Andi is from Gardnerville and told us about the Genoa Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival April 26-29 with Waddie Mitchell, Dave Stamey, Juni Fisher, Paul Zarzyski, Cowboy Celtic. Sounds like another road trip to me!

Stephanie and Jack regaled us with story and song, but I'd never heard of Ronstadt Generations so didn't know what to expect. Michael J. Ronstadt is Linda's younger brother and plays with his sons Michael and Petie: original material and traditional Southwestern and Mexican music. They gave a wonderful performance, but Michael stole the show with his unconventional cello work. Check out his original song Bridging the Gap at

Old Ranch Wagon

Truthfully I don't remember what we did for dinner (we ain't forgetful we just get our mature on now and then ~ thank you Carla) but we're back at the Convention Center to meet up with friends, dressed to the nines for the evening events.

Tonight is Classic Poetry: recitations of historic poems by 14 of the week's premier poets. The show made for an incredible and entertaining evening, a grand finale to the day and the Gathering for us. The cybercast is under Saturday at  

Rain at the Ranch ~ Luna, NM

The Gathering is truly something that needs to be experienced. It's all about preserving and sharing the threads of a universal history of cowboying and ranching around the world and a love of the Amercian West. Where you come from and what you do to make a living have no bearing here. There are new friends to meet at every event, programs to make you think, open your mind, shed a tear, delight your ears, laugh out loud, or perhaps try your chops at one of the open sessions. We heard some amazing young performers who will no doubt carry the torch for the next generations. Take the time, make the time, to take this journey back into history.

Tomorrow we head for home on some roads less travelled.