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.

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.

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 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.

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.








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July News 2011

National Day of the Cowboy News July 2011

 7th Annual National Day of the Cowboy – July 23, 2011

From the Publisher

It’s time to celebrate folks! Hard to believe it’s the 7th Annual National Day of the Cowboy coming up but that’s a fact. Where do the years go? We’ve been busier than heck lately, but I’m gratified to say this has been the most successful campaign year ever for the NDOC. We are definitely making headway!

As of today, thanks mainly to our dedicated campaign volunteers around the country, the National Day of the Cowboy Resolution has passed in the New Mexico State Legislature, sponsored by Senator Egolf (volunteer Richard Beal), the Texas Senate (where sponsor Senator Wentworth arranged for a two-year proclamation), the Arizona State Legislature sponsored by Senator Pierce, and the Illinois State Legislature thanks to Frank Bowman of Horsemen’s Council of Illinois. Tom Bass tells us Florida has a proclamation, as well as Osceola County in Florida. Californians Vi Tara, Brent Slutsky, Belinda Gail, and Bob Lorbeer, worked with Senators Fuller, Gaines and LaMalfa, to achieve passage in California. North Carolina has passed a resolution for the third consecutive year.

Our good friend, Doc Stovall (on the right), obtained a proclamation from Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, and we were notified there is a proclamation from Governor Heineman of Nebraska.

Earlier today I also learned the County of El Paso, Texas, adopted the resolution thanks to a request from Bernie Sargent at the El Paso Museum. Volunteer, Chris Evans, called to say the City of San Bernadino, California, had adopted the NDOC Resolution in perpetuity! That’s a first as far as I know.

Richard Beal was a guest at the New Mexico Legislature when they read and voted on their resolution, then sang Home on the Range together. I was a guest at the Texas Senate for the reading and passage there. And now, several of us will be guests of the California legislature on August 18th at 9AM in Sacramento, to receive the official copy of California’s National Day of the Cowboy resolution. Y’all are of course, invited to be in the gallery that day to witness and be a part of history in the making.

Giffords & Kelly

NASA Commander Mark Kelly and his wonderful wife, U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, have come to be known as “America’s Sweethearts,” and deservedly so in our opinion. We continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers as Gabby works to recover from the head wound she sustained last January. It was Commander Kelly who carried our flag to the International Space Station aboard the Discovery Space Shuttle and it was Congresswoman Giffords who first got the NDOC resolution passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. Please keep sending her cards and words of encouragement.

Hats Off to the Cowboy!

We’re planning our very own NDOC fundraiser to take place at the historic Rock Springs Cafe, in Black Canyon City, Arizona, on October 22, 2011. Hat’s Off to the Cowboy will feature dancing under the Arizona stars to live country music, vendors of cowboy wares, a live auction and a silent auction, two cash bars, and plenty of raffles and door prizes. Wear your cowboy hat and get a free raffle ticket! Please come out and support our crusade for a National Day of the Cowboy.

What’s New?

Tickets remain for a chance to win the autographed guitar donated to us by Jeff Connors. We’re offering 100 raffle tickets for $20 each to win the Yamaha acoustic guitar. The winner will also recieve photographs of most of the celebrities as they signed the guitar. We’ll draw the winner as soon as all 100 tickets are sold, or, if they’ve not all been sold by October 22nd, we’ll draw the winning ticket at our fundraiser.

Celebrity autographs on the Yamaha include Jamey Johnson, Murphey, Johnny Bush, Asleep at the Wheel, Lynn Anderson, Johnny Lee, Jon Chandler, Gary McMahan, Jeff Connors, James Burton, Waddie Mitchell, Larry Shell, Aaron & Mike Wolking (Sons & Brothers), Billy Joe Shaver, Pat Flynn, Joyce Woodson, Leona Williams, Ron Williams, Mandy Barnett, Eddie Stubbs, Dale Watson, Juni Fisher, Don Edwards, William Matthews, Daryl Dodd, and Bryan Kennedy.

Speaking of Bryan Kennedy, remember when those cowboys and cowgirls of Luckenbach,Texas, gave us a patio brick with the National Day of the Cowboy logo carved in it to be permanently installed at their honky tonk? Last month we received a picture of our special brick from Bryan, taken when he was at Luckenbach for a personal appearance.

Cowboy Keepers

The names of the distinguished 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award recipients were announced July 10, 2011. Those recognized for significant contributions to the preservation of our pioneer heritage and cowboy culture were Riders in the Sky, Cleo Hearn & Cowboys of Color Rodeo, Dubois Main Street, Westernaires, Pete Clemons, Tom Bishop Sr., National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Bertha Blancett. You can read the full press release describing each honoree on the NDOC website.

If there is an individual, an organization or an event you feel should receive a Cowboy Keeper Award, submit a Letter of Nomination before April 1, 2012; subject should be “2012 Cowboy Keeper Award Nomination.” Your letter must explain why you think your candidate should recieve the award, keeping in mind that we want to recognize people and organizations who contribute substantially to the preservation of pioneer heritage and to the continued growth of cowboy culture. Along with your email (or letter), we want to receive at least two other letters supporting your nomination.

The Higley Cabin

The tiny cabin in north-central Kansas where “Home on the Range” was written is in need of repairs. Brewster Higley wrote the six-verse poem “My Western Home” at the cabin in Smith County in 1872. HIs poem was later set to music by Dan Kelly and renamed “Home on the Range.” The song became the Kansas state song and the cabin is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The Wichita Eagle reported in April that supporters had raised over $2,000 but that it will take up to $100,000 to rebuild the cabin in an authentic manner.

Art for 2011 Cowboy Keeper Awards

When performer Dusty Hart, of the Crosstown Cowboys, learned about the National Day of the Cowboy crusade, he offered to donate sculptures he was producing from molds he had found in the attic, which were created by his late grandfather, William Hartnell. Dusty let me pick the piece from a large collection, so in addition to the framed certificate, this year’s Cowboy Keeper Award recipients will recieve a special bronze with a heritage of its own, just like the Till Goodan image.

I was humbled to speak with Betty Goodan Andrews, the daughter of western artist, Till Goodan. She called to give us permission to use one of her dad’s spectacular ‘action’ pieces, Calgary Red , as the image for our 2011 Cowboy Keeper Awards. It was gratifying to hear her tell of her love for her father’s art and to learn that she and her daughters devote much of their time to collecting his work.

National Cowboy on the Road

We’re on the road more than we’re off these days. It is great fun however (and educational) to meet so many new people face to face and to learn about the preservation work others are doing. Since April, we’ve represented the National Day of the Cowboy at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Gathering on Melody Ranch in California, at a western event at the Montrose Western Museum in Montrose, Colorado, then on to Denver, where we attended Brian Lebel’s Old West Auction. Brian was kind enough to include three prints for us in his Denver auction to support our fundraising efforts. Of course, most of the excitement there was the sale of the Billy the Kid tintype which sold for over two million dollars.

On July 16th, we stopped by to say hello to John Davison at his National Day of the Cowboy Land Stewardship workshops in Flagstaff, Arizona. John introduced us to several representatives from a variety of land conservation organizations participating in the event, all of whom asked for additonal information about the National Day of the cowboy effort.


Tom Bass will be hosting an NDOC event he put together at the Osceola Museum, in Florida, on Sunday, July 25. Tom will be presenting rancher Pete Clemons with his 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award at the Osceola NDOC.

Julie Ream will be in Evansville, Indiana, at Roy Rogers 100 Birthday Celebration at the Henager Museum, to coincide with their National Day of the Cowboy event there.

You’ll find Lee Anderson at the Shoot out on Whiskey Row in downtown Prescott, Arizona.

Spokesperson Kelsee Brady tells us she and husband, Colter, are expecting a new little buckaroo in their family soon!

Bunkhouse Culture

Preservation DVDs

We’ve added several important new documentaries on DVDs to the shopping section on our website.

“Oh! You Cowgirl,” produced by Shirley Morris, is an in-depth documentary film about the spunky early 20th century cowgirls; the unsung heroes of the west.

“Sweetgrass” was sent to us by the staff at PBS’s Point of View program. This film documents the last of a rancher’s annual sheep drive up and over the breathtaking and majestic Absaroka-Beartooth Mountains of Montana; the closing of yet another chapter of American pioneering traditions.

“Florida Crackers: The Cowboys & Cattleman of Florida” tells the remarkable story of a previously unrecognized aspect of Florida’s heritage: the Cracker cowboys and the beginnings of the earliest cattle industry in America.

The Art Spur invites poets to participate in an Art Spur event each year in celebration of the National Day of the Cowboy. Margo Metegrano selects an image to inspire the poet within, then announces the winning poems on the National Day of the Cowboy. Go to on July 23rd, to enjoy the poetry of the Art Spur Award winners.


We’ve been told western authors John Conley, Charlie LeSueur, and Katie West are all working on new books and that one of our spokespersons, Julie Ream, will be working with each of them on their literary projects, all expected to be out in 2012.

Speaking of literary projects, we’re thrilled about the “Read em Cowboy” event for a Barnes & Noble Book Fair being held in California, The event was put together by western author, J.R. Sanders (The Littlest Cowboy published by Moonlight Mesa Associates), and it goes right to the heart of the effort to teach our history to younger generations, since J.R. has arranged to have cowboys and cowgirls read western books to the little buckaroos. A tip of the hat to J.R. and to Barnes & Noble for this wonderful happening in a book store.

Swing Riders

On a May trip to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, I discovered they’ve added more cowboys & cowgirls into the museum exhibits and more books by and about cowboys, cowgirls, and western music, in the gift shop. I saw more western CDs there too. We could all give a holler of appreciation out to CMHOF gift shop buyer, Lisa Lane, who has made a point of bringing more of the west into the CMHOF environment. Don’t y’all think they should celebrate the National Day of the Cowboy there?

Our go-to bumper sticker guy, Rick McGinnis , of Austin, Texas, helped us get more brochures printed than we’ve ever had before. What a treat it is to be able to stop at feedstores and western stores on the trail and be able to go in and just hand them a brochure.

Congratulations to our awesome events calendar wrangler and 5th grade teacher extraordinaire, the former Ms. Ashley Ammons. Ashley married her sweetheart, musician Erik Wolfe, on May 30th, in a beautiful ceremony at an historic mansion in Fort Worth, Texas.

Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Dick Flatt of Flatt Stationers in Mexia, Texas, I had the time of my life at the Texas Songwriter Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Austin, Texas. The Flatts were personal friends of 2011 inductee, the late Ms. Cindy Walker , a gifted and prolific songwriter who penned at least thirty of the songs Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys performed in the western movies. The multi-talented and beautiful Ms.Walker acted in a few of those movies too, but her dream was to be a songwriter, so she gave up both her acting career and a singing career to devote her life to giving us some of the most remarkable songs in America’s catalog of music, such as “You Don’t Know Me,” “Dream Baby,” “In the Misty Moonlight,” “Distant Drums,” “Dusty SKies,” “Sugar Moon,” “Blue Canadian Rockies,” and a personal favorite of mine, “Bubbles in My Beer.” It is reported that Cindy Walker songs charted for over four decades of recorded music. Inducted that same evening were hit songwriters Delbert McClinton, Leroy Parnell, Gary Nicholson, and Bruce Channel. What a concert they put on that night!

Cowboy Mercantile

The first of the new Gist Silversmsiths NDOC buckles have arrived and they are fabulous. The first 100 will be numbered and they are selling fast. If you want a numbered buckle, you’ll need to order soon. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery as the buckles are made upon order.

We have tickets remaining to win our autographed Yamaha guitar raffle, $20 per ticket, and only 100 tickets will be sold. We’re going to hold the drawing for the winner at our fundraiser at the Rock Springs Cafe, October 22, regardless of whether or not all the tickets have been sold. Email if you’d like to get a ticket or two.

Hatch raffle tickets are a $10 donation per ticket. If you’d like to win a set of five of our limited edition posters(2005-2009), purchase a raffle ticket. We’re selling 150 of the tickets before drawing the winning ticket at our Rock Springs fundraiser.

We have plenty of our eye-catching red, white, and blue, NDOC bumper stickers in stock and lowered the price to 3/$7 in an effort to entice more of you to display them. We’ve all got to do a better job of letting people know there is a day of honor for cowboys and cowgirls, and the bumper stickers help, especially if you put them not just on your truck bumper, but your horse trailer, suitcase, motorhome, hatbox, or guitar case too.

We ask each you to consider becoming a supporting member of the NDOC. If we’re to keep this crusade going we need you to be part of our organization. An individual membership is still only $20 and includes a new collectible pin each year, a membership card, discounts to a number of retailers and stores, and also discounts to NDOC posters and prints. CircleKB Store, in Salmon, Idaho now offers a 10% to National Day of the Cowboy members, both on their website and in their store.

As a nonprofit, grassroots effort, we rely on volunteers, supporting memberships and donations to help us pay the bills. Please consider making a tax deductilble Donation now, to help us cover our many expenses such as webhosting, printing of brochures, internet service, phone, news service, ink, paper, business cards, etc. No one in our organization is paid but there are many costs associated with this quest nevertheless.

We are a certified Missionfish Charity, so you may donate a portion of your eBay sales to us by selecting National Day of the Cowboy from the charity drop-down menu. We’re also a certified Cause on Facebook, and want to thank donors from Larry Shell’s “Kill Nashville Pop” Facebook page who’ve been sending donations through Facebook. We welcome donations of items we can sell or auction as well.

Empty Saddles

T-Bird Arnold

T-Bird (Terry) Arnold was the kind of person everyone felt they had known all their lives the very minute they met him. He had a perpetually sunny smile and a permanent twinkle in his eye. He loved team roping and country music. He was a gifted singer and and aspiring songwriter. T-Bird quickly became a devoted and generous supporter of the National Day of the Cowboy. T helped me obtain more than half of the celebrity autographs on a guitar I auctioned for fundraising, then insisted on being the highest bidder so he had a souvenir of all the fun we had acquiring those signatures. He helped make it possible for me to be in Austin for the passage of the 2011 NDOC Resolution and he paid the airfare for two of our songwriters so they could represent Western music at Tin Pan South in Nashville. T-Bird was a proud member of the United States Team Roping Championship. He dreamed of writing a hit song and competing in the USTRC Finals. The epitome of a man with the heart of a cowboy, T’s gone on ahead of us, just so he can watch over us from a higher vantage point and make sure we’re all enjoying life to the fullest, just like he did.

Ron Micke

Ron MIcke was a proud dairy farmer from Wisconsin who loved to wear his cowboy hat and boots, Ron was truly excited about the National Day of the Cowboy from the moment we first talked about it. Just a few hours after we met, he purchased all of the remaining Montana Silversmiths NDOC Buckles and immediately began joyfully distributing them to new friends he had made at the festival. His face lit up with a huge smile as he made gifts of the buckles to legendary actors Ed Faulkner and Clint Eastwood, and gave one to our spokesperson Julie Ream. Although I didn’t have all the buckles with me, I told Ron I would send them to him as soon as I received them and that I would forward one on to Jeff Connors for him too.

Sadly, Ron was killed later that week in a motor vehicle accident. Ron’s family generously donated the remainder of the buckles Ron had purchased, back to the NDOC.

On the Event Trail

Your creativity knows no bounds when it comes to celebrating this heritage. This year you can choose from horse rescue opportunities, reading cowboy books to kids, Toby Keith look alike contests, land stewardship workshops, a cowboy display at the U.S. Dept of the Interior, parades, barbecues, chuckwagon meals, horse clinics, rodeos, team ropings, art exhibits, history lessons, ranching workshops, panel discussions, western music, country music, cowboy poetry, trick roping, cowboy collectibles show,fashion shows of period clothing, saddle exhibits, sheriff’s possees, reenactments, gun spinning, author signings, thankfully, the list goes on and on.