Print this page

National Day of the Cowboy News

National Day of the Cowboy News

September 2011


From the Publisher

Thanks to our very dedicated campaign volunteers, we made significant headway in securing National Day of the Cowboy resolutions across the country in 2011. Legislatures in which the resolution passed are California, New Mexico, Florida, Arizona, Texas (passed for 2011 and 2012), and Illinois. Governors' proclamations came from North Carolina, Nebraska and Georgia. 


Nine of us traveled to Sacramento, California, in August, to receive California's first NDOC resolution, and what a beautiful resolution it is. Jan and Larry Brady, Janet and Brent Slutsky, Vi Tara (Highway 50 Wagon Train), America's Western Sweetheart, Belinda Gail, Bob Lorbeer (Long Beach Mounted Police) and my mom, Nina Braley, and I, were all there for the Senate ceremony. We were the guests of sponsors, Senators Fuller, Gaines, and La Malfa. The California senators presented us with a beautiful framed copy of their resolution and arranged a tour for us of the spectacular California capitol building, then volunteer Larry Brady and his wife Jan, treated us to lunch on the banks of the Sacramento River. It was a memorable day to say the least. Thank you all for this special show of support.


Now it's time to begin the 2012 effort, so if you'd like to volunteer to secure a sponsor in your state legislature, email We'll send you everything you need in order to begin. It is not a difficult process, but we do ask that you follow through on your commitment. We post a list on the NDOC website with the names of each volunteer in every state, but if you see there is already a volunteer in your state, don't be shy about offering to help anyway. Sometimes volunteers like to work together, an ideal way to approach this and share the load. In 2012, we should be able to achieve passage in at least 25 states.


We must start the 2012 effort immediately as states have different procedures for the resolution process which effect our progress. For example, our Oregon volunteer was told that each member of the Oregon legislature has an annual allocation for only five resolutions and most of them already had their quota when the session opened in January, so it was too late to enlist an NDOC sponsor by the time he approached them in April. In other words, please sign up now if you want to become involved, and start seeking out a sponsor before next year's sessions begin.



Hats Off to the Cowboy

Benefit for the National Day of the Cowboy 501(c)3


 Moonlight Bronc by Bev Pettit

We're holding a fall fundraiser for the National Day of the Cowboy at the historic Rock Springs Café in Black Canyon City, Arizona, on Saturday, October 22.The evening's festivities include an all-you-can-eat dinner of traditional cowboy fare prepared on Rock Springs' outdoor grill and served on the Café's spacious patio, dancing under the Arizona stars to the music of a country band, a live (and lively) auction led by Dakota Livesay with help from the fabulous Cowgirls Historical Foundation, a "tacky" raffle (we'll be offering raffle tickets for good used tack), and a regular raffle with a wide variety of donated items on the table. There will be door prizes to boot, and one free raffle ticket to everyone who wears their cowboy hat to the party.


Public radio's KSJD Western Belle, DJ, Barb Richhart, will be there from Colorado with country and western music to entertain guests during the cash bar happy hour starting at 5PM. This is your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have your picture taken with the famous National Day of the Cowboy flag which traveled to the International Space Station and back to Earth with NASA Commander Mark Kelly aboard the Discovery Space Shuttle in 2008.


This good-time celebration takes place about 25 miles north of Phoenix, in a spectacular high desert setting bordering the majestic Bradshaw Mountains on the west side of I-17, on what should be a perfect October desert evening. Rock Springs Café owner, Augie Perry, says you're welcome to ride your horse to the party! We're already expecting friends from Texas, California, Colorado, and New Mexico, as well as all over Arizona, so come on out and join the fun.


If you feel preservation of America's pioneer heritage is important (and perhaps in jeopardy), we want you join us at "Hats Off to the Cowboy," and help us continue working to protect the Cowboy culture. I've come to realize many people erroneously assume other NDOC events around the country donate something back to our national effort, but that is seldom the case. It seems very few of them consider the national effort when donating proceeds from their events, and may forget or perhaps still don't even realize we are a nonprofit organization too, always struggling financially to keep this crusade moving forward. Thus we decided we would have to create more fundraisers of our own so that we have more resources to keep building awareness.


Email if you or your company would like to be an official sponsor of this important event, or if you'd like to make a financial donation in any amount. Sponsorship levels are $2,500 Trail Boss, $1,000 Wrangler, $500 Flanker, and $250 Outrider Stage Sponsor. You may contact any committee member if you'd like to donate an item, or to donate used tack for the tacky raffle. We've already recieved items from, Lee Anderson, Jo Mora Gallery, Highway 50 Wagon Train, Marvin Del Chiaro, Barb Richhart, and Chronicle of the Old West, Corinne J Brown, Hard Spirits, and many others. Chronicle of the Old West also became the first official sponsor of Hat's Off. A big thank you too, to the generous folks at Bridle & Bit, who have been so great about giving us coverage.


Skull Valley photographer, Bev Pettit, allowed us to use her spectacular image, "Moonlight Bronc," for our event poster. The 12X18 art-quality posters may be purchased at the event, or, for those of you unable to attend, you may order on line. Ms. Pettit will be also be signing a limited number of the art quality prints, which you may also purchase at the event or order on line.


Come out to the Rock Springs Café on October 22nd and show your support for the effort to secure permanent status for an official day of honor for cowboy and cowgirls. We need the participation of thousands more of you if we expect to persuade Congress to give credence to this Cowboy crusade. Tickets for Hats Off to the Cowboy are only $20 per person for all-you-can-eat and may be purchased from any of the benefit committee members, through the mail, or from the National Day of the Cowboy website. Attendance capacity is limited so please order your tickets in advance if you can!. Proceeds benefit the National Day of the Cowboy 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.


Esteemed and highly appreciated members of the benefit planning committee include John and Pat Manes from the Arizona Horse Council, Dakota and Sunny Livesay who publish Chronicle of the Old West, Babs Sanders from the Black Canyon Saddle Club, Moonlight Mesa Publisher, Becky Coffield from Wickenburg, the ever recognizable Arizona Duuudet, living historian Lee Anderson, and Kelsee Brady Bradshaw from the Cowgirls Historical Foundation.


Remember, the mission of the National Day of the Cowboy non-profit Organization is to contribute to the preservation of America's Cowboy heritage so that the history and culture which the National Day of the Cowboy resolution honors, can be shared and perpetuated for the public good, through education, the arts, celebrations, gatherings, rodeos, and community activities.  


Call 928-759-0951 for more information.



What's New?


NDOC Moving up the Flagpole

We want to acknowledge our friends at Western Horseman Magazine for offering a 20% discount to new subscribers if they ordered a subscription on the National Day of the Cowboy. Also, thanks go out to Stetson for including a link to the National Day of the Cowboy on their website and featuring information about our new custom NDOC belt buckle made by Gist Silversmiths. We know we'll have to put a dollar in the bragging jar for this next one, but we have to point out that at long last, there's a picture of us with our good friend, writer/author, Corinne J. Brown (Come and Get It!), in the September issue of Cowboys & Indians Magazine. Yeehaw! Each of these gestures make far more folks aware there is a National Day of the Cowboy, and as you already know, the key to its success depends on constantly increasing awareness and participation.


NDOC Google Alerts

A tip of the cowboy hat to Jason Cupp for telling us he receives NDOC Google alerts sent to his phone. This was a new one on me. I don't have one of those high tech phones, but he did set up a Gmail account for me and now I get NDOC Google alerts too. Anytime something new gets posted on the internet referencing 'National Day of the Cowboy,' they send it directly to my gmail box. This was how I learned the American Quarter Horse Museum had a National Day of the Cowboy celebration this year. I learned about many other events I was previously unaware of too, since not everyone remembers to send us their event listing for our website calendar.


NDOC on the Trail                            

The Westernaires of Colorado hold their National Day of the Cowboy event on the Friday before the fourth Saturday in July, so I was able to attend their event this year in order to present this incredible group of young people with their 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award. I knew these talented kids were highly accomplished horsemen having seen them perform their meticulous equestrian drills many times at the National Western Stock Show and at Don & Sharon Endsley's Great American Wild West Show. However, I had never been able to attend a show which showcased the full range of their expertise which includes roman riding, whip cracking, equestrian drills, and even an 11 year old trick rider! They are wildly impressive performers.


From the Westernaires in Denver, I traveled north to Dubois, Wyoming, for their 6th annual National Day of the Cowboy celebration which lasts three days. Had a ball riding in the parade, seeing Tommy Turvey fly into the rodeo arena standing on his horse as he carried the NDOC flag and finally meeting so many of the Dubois folks who've been participating in this event for years. Enjoyed excellent music and good food everywhere I went too. I also had the privilege of presenting Dubois Main Street with their 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award in a beautiful park on main street, along with my old friend, Susan Thomas, widow of the late Senator Craig Thomas who originally sponsored the Cowboy Day resolution.



Tommy Turvey flying with the NDOC flag!


We want to acknowledge writer JR Sanders' NDOC event, "Read em Cowboy,"  which he held at Barnes & Nobel in California. J.R. and B&N felt it was extremely successful and may expand to more B&N locations next year. Thanks too to Texas Fred (the Zydeco Cowboy), who created an NDOC exhibit for the lobby of the U.S. Dept of the Interior in Washington, DC, to NDOC Spokesperson Tom Bass, who put together an NDOC event with the Osceola County Historical Society in Florida, John Davison who for the second year in a row hosted Land Stewardship Workshops in Flagstaff, Arizona, Kim Raabe who held her first event in Washington, and the American Quarter Horse Museum in Texas who also held their first celebration this year. There were many more National Day of the Cowboy events, too numerous to mention, but we thank you all for getting involved. Every event is a testimony to the growing interest in establishing this as a permanent holiday. 


Cowboy Keepers


NACD & NDOC bridge building

The National Association of Conservation Districts is considering adopting an NDOC resolution at their Joint Regional Meeting in Taos, NM in September. John Davison, formerly of the Coconino Natural Resource District, and Mike Macauley of the NACD, see this as an alliance which holds the significant potential to benefit both of our causes since we both promote stewardship of natural resources as part of our work.


This brings up the idea that there are more alliances we should all be building, in order to give us all more impact in local government and in Washington. The western movement is characterized by many diverse segments working in smaller niches to preserve and promote their special interest, such as music, western art, rodeo, photography, writers, retailers, riders, publishers, etc., but none of us have any real idea what our numbes would reflect if we were all joined together in one formal alliance.


Cowboys Helping Kids

Cowboys Helping Kids is an organization started by SFC Russell Anderson, who has been the head wrangler of our soldiers, the Desert Cowboys, for many years. The Desert Cowboys flew the National Day of the Cowboy flag over their barracks in Iraq and Afghanistan and distinguished their group on many occasions, including Russell earning a Bronze Star. During the years they were in service, we asked to have 'cowboy' things sent to them, like CDs from Western Jubilee Recording, magazines and books from Western Horseman, Chronicle of the Old West subscriptions, ropes from Fast Back Ropes, and two laptops when theirs crashed.  When they got to Afghanistan we worked with Congresswoman Giffords' staff in an effort to secure a satellite dish for them so they could access the internet. In 2009, we awarded the Cowboy Keeper Award to Russell Anderson and his Desert Cowboys.  


Russell is now stationed in Oklahoma and will soon retire from the military and perhaps move to a ranch in Bisbee. His current 'giving back' to the community project is his own creation, Cowboys Helping Kids an organization he started (and currently funds mostly from his own pocket) to work with terminally ill American kids in his capacity as a cowboy. He aims to brighten their lives while at the same time showing them cowboys are good role models. This is where Russell's heart lives. He works to build this organization with every spare minute he has, including constantly using Facebook and promoting his cause through the websites he maintains, while all the while organizing fun events for kids to participate in.


Russell Anderson has been behind the National Day of the Cowboy 1000% since we first began emailing way back in January 2005, and he has encouraged me through many hard days to keeping the NDOC alive. It was Russell who explained to me that he had purchased a number of domain names with the word "cowboy' in them and pointed them at the NDOC website to help get traffic to it. He keeps the NDOC logo and link on all his other websites, such as Cowboy Crew, and always notices when other sites are promoting their own NDOC events while neglecting to acknowledge our nationwide effort without even a link or our logo. He ferrets this detail out religiously and swears it totally confounds him!


Russell could use your help to further his Cowboys Helping Kids project. He creates bumper stickers, mugs and t-shirts himself to raise funds for the kids' activities, and he and his crew also donate their time to help on kids' projects hosted by other organizations. He is constantly working to bring awareness to the needs of many American kids while addressing those needs himself to the best of his ability and often past the limits of his resources. Check out Cowboys Helping Kids and see if there might be something you want to do to support Russell and his crew, all of whom exemplify the Cowboy Code every day of their lives.  



Western Mercantile

We'll soon have more of the NDOC Gist buckles in stock, so if you're looking to order one, now is the time. Remember, only the first 100 buckles will be numbered.

We're accepting advance orders for art quality 12X18 prints of Bev Pettit's Moonligh Bronc image we used for all of our Hats Off to the Cowboy publicity. Bev Pettit, an Arizona photographer from Skull Valley, donated the image for our event and will be signing a limited number of the prints for us.  

We've got a new batch of red, white, and blue, NDOC bumper stickers which look great on guitar cases, hat boxes, horse trailers, and car and truck bumpers. You can still order raffle tickets for the autographed Yamaha guitar ($20 per ticket). We also still have raffle tickets to win the set of 5 limited edition Hatch posters ($10). 


Swing Riders

You can help the National Day of the Cowboy succeed!

Become a supporting member today and help move us closer to the goal. Donate something back to our organization from your own events (remember we're a nonprofit too). Raffle a print for us (we'll even send it to you). Help us find sponsors for our fundraisers. Make a tax deductible contribution to our fundraiser, donate autographed books or CDs, western memorabilia, DVDs, used tack, photographs, art, prints, gift certificates, old horse trailers: anything you think might help us raise some revenue. Donate a percentage of your eBay sales to National Day of the Cowboy (a MissionFish certified charity). Sign up for the National Day of the Cowboy News.


Musicians - Please mention somewhere in your show and your travels that the 4th Saturday in July is the National Day of the Cowboy and encourage your fans to celebrate that day.  Rodeo announcers, when you're searching for something to say to fill dead air, remind the fans that the 4th Saturday in July is the National Day of the Cowboy and we need to have them celebrate!


Like us on Facebook!


Many, many thanks to our friend, Rhonda Stewart, who stopped in for a visit on the road from Texas to California and ended up painting our new little office on a very hot afternoon. We did get to do a few fun things while she was here too, like going to downtown Prescott for the Best Fest, where we were lucky enough to catch Hotshot Johnny Tuscadero's amazing gun spinning and great jokes. First we went into the Palace though so Rhonda could say she sat at the same bar where Junior Bonner once sat.


As NDOC activities continue to ramp up, we desperately need an executive assistant type volunteer for about 8 hours a month. There are just too many details to follow up on and not enough time, money or resources to manage it adequately anymore. We also need a portable AC unit for the new office we're hoping to open this month.


Bunkhouse Culture


I had a wonderful evening meeting the members of the Granite Mountain Riders organization in Chino Valley. Thanks to Elizabeth Loper for inviting me to attend and arranging for me to let the members know about the NDOC and our upcoming fundraiser. While at their meeting I learned that equestrians often find themselves sharing the trail with bicyclists these days - a potentially dangerous situation, especially if the bikers keep their heads down and ear buds in their ears while traveling at high rates of speed, creating a hazardous situation for the riders, the horses, and the cyclists. Accidents involving cyclists and horseback riders are becoming more frequent here in Arizona, leaving me wondering if it's happening elsewhere too and if so, what are other states doing to address this frightening situation?

 R. J. Vandygriff sent us this link on Facebook to his website, "The Cowboy Ain't Dead Yet," so we want to share just one of his inspiring videos with you now.  This one is "Keep the Campfire a Burnin'" Thanks for letting us know about your entertaining and educational work R.J.


Scottsdale, Arizona, has approved a $33 million dollar Equidome expansion of the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center at Scottsdale's Westworld. Tony Nelssen would be so proud to know his many years of work on behalf of saving some of Scottsdale's western heritage were a huge factor in the City's decision to invest in its Equidome. Those horse people out in Rio Verde, Cave Creek, Scottsdale, and Carefree must be breathing a huge sigh of relief now that this decision has been made. Congratulations to the many equestrians who supported this investment, and to the City of Scottsdale for making it happen.   



Previous page: Home
Next page: Hats Off to the Cowboy