February 2012

The spin cycle that is my life continues and today I’m filing my report on the High Noon show and the Tucson Gem & Mineral show. Thousands of people attended the High Noon show including far too many masquerading as gunfighters and banditos. My personal favorite was a middle-aged woman wearing a Stetson that was about eight feet high which nicely accented the bandoleros criss-crossing her torso and the Bowie knife she sported at her waist. I asked her if she was driving an Alamo Rent-A-Car and, like you, she didn’t laugh.

I sold many blankets, but bought only one – a round corner Pendleton in a pattern I’ve never seen before. You’ll be seeing it in my new book if you’re wise enough to invest in a copy and if not, I wouldn’t want to be you, but that’s just me.

The blockbuster item at the High Noon auction was a saddle made for Pancho Villa that brought $625,000 plus a buyer’s premium which raised the total to $718,000. I was planning to outbid everyone, but at the last minute realized I’d left my wallet in my other pants. That would have been embarrassing!

Fast forward to the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show which is an extravaganza that runs for weeks at venues all over town. Thousands of vendors from all over the world offer everything from the finest diamonds to petrified wood, fossils, tanned squirrel tails, meteorites, seashells, framed giant beetles and that 20 ton boulder you’ve always wanted for your game room or den. I bought some items I desperately needed if I was running a natural history museum, but otherwise are best suited for a mental institution. Didn’t my dining room table truly require a sea urchin as a centerpiece?

What with being so busy and all you’d think I wouldn’t have a moment to pick a Blanket Of The Month, but that’s where you’d be way wrong, amigos. It just so happens I’ve made the time and picked a dandy. If the class will now turn to page 110 of Chasing Rainbows you’ll see a 1904 Pendleton catalog pattern on the top left although the 1904 version would have had a round corner. This square corner model is in better condition than the book example and the Pendleton first label it still bears dates it 1908-1915. Much of its original silk binding remains. I hardly mentioned Pendleton’s silk bindings in my book. Perhaps I was trying to hide something? You certainly have to wonder.