Christmas Gifts Ideas: Part 2 |

Christmas Gifts Ideas: Part 2

Western Culture News & Reviews
Cowboy Jam Session |

December 25 is coming, racing as fast as yearling heifers through an open gate. Relax! Take a deep breath. Do only what really needs to be done; let the rest go. For the harried homemakers amongst you, ask each family member what one Christmas goodie they want, and make only those. You’ll reduce money spent on ingredients, hours spent in the kitchen, calories tempting you at every turn, and stress.

If you have a few gifts yet to purchase, consider the following:

Evelyn Cameron: Pictures from a Worthy Life – a documentary film about the frontier photographer who left behind 35 years of diaries and thousands of images taken in eastern Montana at the turn of the 20th century. Born into a life of privilege in England, Cameron homesteaded on the eastern Montana prairie with her husband. An independent spirit, she started a photography business which contributed significantly to the couple’s meager ranch income. Produced by John Twiggs for KUFM/Montana PBS, UM Missoula – and airing on Public Television Stations nationwide – it is exceptional!

The documentary is available as either a DVD or VHS (be sure to specify) for $24.95. Order from The Evelyn Cameron Foundation, PO Box 497, Terry, MT 59349; (406) 635-4966; Also available from the foundation is Photographing Montana, Donna M. Lucey’s book showcasing more than 150 of Cameron’s photos taken between 1890-1920. Send $44.95 for the softcover; $67.95 for the hardback.

Houlihan: the Cowboys of Montana and Wyoming – fourth in The Vaquero Series by film makers Susan Jensen and Paul Singer, detailing the history and regional differences among America’s cowboy cultures. Released in May 2008, and running 95 minutes, there’s scenery to please the eye and Western music for the ear. Previously released were #1 Tapadero (California vaquero), #2 The Remuda (Great Basin buckaroo), and #3 Holo Holo Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy). A fifth title, released December 5, 2008, is #5 Los Primeros (first vaqueros; filmed in Spain, Mexico, and throughout the American West).

Individual DVD titles sell for $21.95 in the U.S. (shipping included); $22.95 in Canada; $28.95 Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Order from J&S Productions, PO Box 91560, Santa Barbara, CA 93190; (805) 695-0164; Purchase all five (Tapadero, Remuda, Paniolo, Houlihan, Los Primeros) for $90 US, $95 in Canada, and $105 in Europe, Australia, New Zealand. Or, find a store that sells the series:

Southwestern Souvenirs – a relaxing and nostalgic collection of guitar music by Rich O’Brien. Himself a member of the Western Swing Society Hall of Fame, the CD won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. You’ll find “Wheels,” “Blue Skirt Waltz,” and the theme to “Gunsmoke,” with lyrics sung by Don Edwards. See the full track listing and listen to three samples at

Send $15 plus shipping to Western Jubilee Recording Company, PO Box 9187, Colorado Springs, CO 80932; (800) 707-2353; (NOTE: Free shipping on domestic orders over $50 placed via the website!)

Pieces of the Past – a CD by South Dakota ranchwife, Yvonne Hollenbeck, featuring songs by Jean Prescott. This 15-track collection is the 2008 Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year as presented by the Western Music Association. Hollenbeck and Prescott each bring considerable talent to the project produced by Rich O’Brien. The down-home subjects range from “Grandma’s Homemade Apron” to “The Little Red Geranium.”

Send $18.50 to Yvonne Hollenbeck, 30549 291st Street, Clearfield, SD 57580; (605) 557-3559; Listen to “Prairie Patchwork” from the CD at

The World According to Baxter Black: Quips, Quirks & Quotes – the annual Christmas release from everyone’s favorite veterinarian-turned-cowboy entertainer. Baxter describes the delightful little “crossbred collection” of quips, quotes, quirks, truisms, exaggerations, philosophical observations, cowboy humor and perspective – with illustrations by A-10 Etcheverry – as a happy book: “It’ll make you or whoever you give it to happy … it’ll make us happy, and happiness will spread like cheap wine on a white tuxedo!”

I like to think that it is also a handy book. You can read for a few moments and put it down without worry of marking the page. Pick it up later and continue reading. There’s no real beginning or end (even though there is a page plainly labeled “The End”).

The 156-page hardback sells for $19.95 plus shipping. (Buy two for $39; get a third one free; offer expires Dec. 15, 2008). Order from Coyote Cowboy Company, PO Box 2190 DEPT TSLN, Benson, AZ 85602; (800) 654-2550;

Also from Coyote Cowboy Company is Baxter’s double CD, Blazin’ Bloats & Cows on FIRE!, with more than two hours of cowboy poetry and tall tales. It features such favorites as “Sixty Foot Rope,” “Taxidermy Heifer,” plus a personal favorite of mine, “I Know You’ll Miss This Man.” It sells for $24.95 plus shipping.

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