On June 6-7, 2015, I participated with Tallgrass Writing Workshop faculty (l.-r.) Max McCoy, Kevin Rabas and Cheryl Unruh, plus (not pictured) Patsy Terrell, Jim Hoy and Rachelle Smith. An invigorating, creative weekend, I highly recommend writers and editors to put the Tallgrass Writing Workshop on your calendar for June 2016!
The first weekend of June I traveled to Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas, to participate in the Tallgrass Writing Workshop. My keynote address focused on one of my favorite questions: What is the True West?
Summer time is the perfect season to head West in search of history and heroes. Six great authors take you across the West in search of Lewis and Clark, the Texas Rangers, Kit Carson, Big Bill Tilghman, Geronimo and Wyatt Earp.
The history of President Abraham Lincoln as commander-in-chief is well known, but is his legacy of leadership in the West fully understood? I believe President Lincoln’s vision of the West and Manifest Destiny is under appreciated and should be reconsidered 150 years to gain a greater understanding of what the West is today–and what it will become tomorrow.
BB King, an amazing American. Fortunate to have seen him in concert at great venues with great friends, inlcuding with U2 at Sun Devil Stadium with Harmen Tjaarda. We walked to the stadium from house in Tempe. 72,000 at $5 each for the Joshua Tree Tour film. BB King opened for them and sang with them their duel hit during the concert. U2 had to work hard to remind the audience they were in Tempe to see them and not BB King, who stole the night. Hollywood Bowl ,on a day when Stevie Ray Vaughan was his #2 guitarist in his band, with John Dent, Vincent, Tom Meyer, Mike Lahn. That’s right Stevie Ray was BB King’s sideman at the Hollywood Bowl Playboy Jazz Festival as the sun went down. Now they are jamming together again. BB KIng out front, Stevie a few yards back, his boots and hat, and guitar. They rocked that jazz festival right out of their chardonnay stupor!! And at the Beverly Hills Theater on a night when prior to BB King showcasing the night, Bobby Blue Bland and Albert King performed with their bands. All nights to remember, amazing concerts. I believe the unofficial ND Blues Club was together again in Beverly Hills, John, Tom, Mike and me. There was a fan that night behind us (we were up in the balcony, who kept screaming, “B.B., B.B., I love you, I love you, you make my leg itch, B.B., B.B. I love you. What a night. Appropriately, I share the obituary from the Chicago Tribune: B.B. King dead at 89
|B.B. King dead at 89It may have been a farewell or a passing of the torch for B.B. King when he played Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival at a sold-out Toyota Park in Brideview,…|
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On Saturday I toured Iowa’s State Historical Museum. I signed up for the docent-led tour at 11 a.m., and to my surprise, I was the only one on the tour. My tour guide, Bill, did a great job introducing me to the exhibits of the museum, from the natural history to the era of settlement, from the history of coal mining in the Hawkeye state to the heritage of agriculture. The exhibits are very interactive and enjoyable for all ages.
After the tour, I enjoyed the excellent exhibit on Iowa and the Civil War. Iowans played a strong role in the Union victory from home front support (which saw a growth in farm production and the role of women in the workplace) to every major campaign and the majority of major battles. The exhibit of rare Civil War flags, many Iowa regimental pennants, was very impressive.
A bonus to the traditional history exhibits is the “Hollywood in Heartland” exhibit. I ran out of time to see it all, but I did catch two of my favorites, one on “The Music Man,” one of my favorite musicals and films, which should be required to watch if you move to Iowa.
And of course, I couldn’t pass up the display to my favorite Western movie hero, John Wayne. I recommend the exhibit, and anyone who is a fan of the Duke, to make plans to be in Winterset, Iowa, May 22-24, for the dedication and grand opening of the new John Wayne Birthplace Museum.
Last, I love state capitol buildings, and the Iowa State Capitol, is one of the beautiful in the country, especially when the spring sunshine hits the 275-foot high, 23-karat gold leaf five-domed seat of state government. Built in Renaissance style, it was completed in 1886 after 15 years of construction. Interesting fact that the museum docent shared with me, the Capitol sits on a hill just beyond the farthest extent of the glaciers from the last Ice Age.
Forty years of trails, Los Vaqueros de Farmarcia traveled over 80 miles on horseback through the beautiful high mesa country of central Arizona in late March. With record temperatures in the 80s, the desert was alive with spring, with
the wildflowers blanketed the desert floor and water flowed in creeks and draws throughout the canyons. In 1976, my father Jeb Rosebrook helped start the ride with ten other riders with deep roots at the Orme School, a dream he had since he was a boy, of a pack trip from the Quarter Circle V Bar Ranch to Phoenix. Four decades later the Ride continues with riders attending from all over the country, and even as far as Berlin and Dubai in recent years.
In December, I had the honor of sharing a story of my childhood at RepublicMedia’s Arizona Storyteller event at the Arizona Biltmore entitled “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” The resort ballroom was sold out with over 400 in attendance. I enjoyed greatly sharing my story of growing up in L.A. and celebrating Christmas in North Hollywood without snow, but dreaming of it the way Hollywood sold it. I had fun recounting my first Hollywood Christmas, in the spring of 1972, as an extra on my father’s television Christmas special, “Miracle on 34th St.” I actually got to squirt Kris Kringle, aka, Sebastian Cabot, in the face with water from a squirt gun. He called me “the fastest gun in the West.” I will always thank director Fielder Cook for my 10 seconds (that’s stretching it) of fame! If you have a chance, don’t miss an upcoming Arizona Storytellers event in the Phoenix area. You’ll soon want to be sharing your story!
The Making of a Book: At Work in Arizona http://wp.me/p2CUc5-