Celebrating cowboys and the West
In about a week, people throughout our grand and majestic nation will pause to take a day off and celebrate America’s traditional official birthday — the Fourth of July.
In honor of our great country, and the men and women who have served and died in order to protect its freedoms, people will put away their workaday cares and concerns, pack up picnic baskets and coolers, load up the car with baseballs, bats and gloves, kites, Frisbees, kids and the family dog and head for the park, the lake or seashore for a day of festive family fun.
And, although our country is young, we have developed wonderful and enduring traditions that, like our country, are memorable, unique and vigorous. With the country’s birthday and all things American in mind, for this July issue, we decided to salute the Old West and the New West, including cowboys — both real ones and those played by actors — Western artisans, cowboy recipes, and gymkhanas.
Reporter Julie Drake, in her story “Reining royalty gymkhana queen at home in the arena,” profiles 2014 Miss Leona Valley Gymkhana Queen Sarah Nelson, who won the crown by proving her prowess on a horse. In addition, according to managing editor Charles F. Bostwick’s story “Home on the range with cowboys and cattle,” the Valley was cattle and sheep country for the most of the 1800s.
Furthermore, Bostwick, in “ Antelope Valley cowboys,” examines the real-life cowboys who ranched in the early days of the Antelope Valley, including Rawley Duntley and Charles Graves. And in “Silver screen cowboys with Valley connections,” the lives of movie star and TV cowboys who had a connection to the High Desert are reviewed, including John Wayne, Chuck Connors, Jack Palance, Paul Koslo and Montie Montana.
And special sections editor Karen Maeshiro, in her story “Renaissance in Western artistry,” discusses an exhibit at the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada, that showcases an “explosion of new and young talent in the Western gearmaking world.” The artisans and craftsmen featured in “Expressing the Rural West: Into the Future!” are all under the age of 40 and include leather carvers, rawhide braiders, metal workers, saddlemakers, silversmiths, bit and spur makers, and knifemakers.
But this July issue of LIFESTYLE also contains other interesting, entertaining and informative articles and stories. Hometown History columnist Vern Lawson explores the history of the Llano del Rio Cooperative Colony, which marks the 100th anniversary of its founding this year. The community, which in a few years was inhabited by more than 1,000 residents, was founded by Job Harriman, a Hoosier who cut a wide political swath in early 20th century California history. The colony’s stone remains are still visible just north of Highway 138, east of 165th Street East.
And contributing writer Norma Gurba documents when the 1922 Paramount Pictures silent film “Racing Hearts” was filmed in downtown Lancaster and the surrounding area, causing much excitement among residents of the day.
And, all of our regular columns are here as well, such as Arts, Horse Tales, A Taste for Wine, and Travel.
So please join us for this exciting issue of LIFESTYLE. We’re sure you’ll enjoy it, and it’s a great way to kick off your summer!