June 26. 2011. Sunday
The Germans have a pool with water and a candelabra
Handlebar Hanks, really good food, but everytime I wanted any they were closed or the line was 45 minutes. I ate a lot at Shorty's BarBQ and the ice cream trailer. They took 10-15 minutes to make a double dip cone, but it was huge. The banana splits looked like they were made on platters.
Singin' Sue manned the Cowboy Memorial Chapel a lot of the time. At the end of EOT the total donations for the chapel are $33,333.33
Thge ladies tea room, refinement among the gunfights
Tex and Cat brought home this exquisite china from the Europpean EOT in Poland, a gift from the club. They donated it to the tea room.
Jack Diamond's new place, also the EMF Display
The Return of Rick of Brims N Trims. His father-in-law shot him multiple times, but he survived. He has just now started back to work. The doctor called his survival one in a million
Ted Blocker leather. That 11th cav emblem on his hat isn't an affectation. He served in the 11th Armored Cavalry in Vietnam, a most distinguished unit
A knife approved by the Obama Administration
Talked to a lot of vendors. Mose and Bella are doing gold plating now, and they did the front sights on six of my pistols. I like gold front sights. Yes, they're legal. Also I have my original gold SASS badge, and it looked awful after 12 years on my gun belt. Now it looks like new.
I talked to a chap maker about making chaps that look authentic but are out of thin upholstery leather. He promised to do so. Others have, and I haven't seen any yet.
I talked to Vihta Vuori about testing their new Tin Star powder. The lady also wants me to write up their 2-5/8" 12 ga. shells for Wild Bunch.
Tombstone Leather had made a Tupelo Flash rig for me to write about with one of his bandoleers, but he couldn't give it to me to test because he hadn't stamped it with the Tupelo Flash emblem. He'll have to ship it.
I set up more things to test, assuming I get them all.
Then came the awards presentation, handled very efficiently by Coyote Calhoun. If I heard right, 674 main match shooters, 49 mounted, and 98 Wild bunch. Counting waddies and conventioneers, the total was 1044.
I missed buckling by 7 seconds. I had a bad rifle primer the first day, and a pistol miss on the second, and several shotgun rounds didn't fall out. The 2 misses on Saturday sealed my fate. If a few of those things had gone the other way, I'd have won something. But considering a few weeks ago I couldn't use my arm, I'm okay with it. I have a buckle from the side match, the first time I've done that.
Then we got the bus ready and drove back to Enchanted Trails. End of Trail is over until next year. Just about everything that the Wild Bunch could control was done well. They're not responsible for the heat and wind. The Southwest is on fire, from Arizona to Texas. It's an appallingly dry year. All droughts have to end. It'll get better.
They never announced the name of the poker tournament and what the awards were and how deep.
June 25, 2011, Saturday
Turquoise Queen, Silversmith
Unique turqooise grips, $850 a set if you want them duplicated for your gun
Shot in the middle flight, started 25 minutes late, finished 10. Saw Pale Wolf Brunelle and asked him about the 3 tough decisions I had to make. He backed all of them, which made me feel good. Of course there were people in the posse that didn't agree. In all cases the benefit of the doubt went to the shooter.
Buffalo Bill's Boots
The Man With No Name at the costume contest. He's in Silver Screen/B Western dressed as Marty McFly in Back to the Future 3.
The Three Amigos entered in best dressed couples
Tex danced with a lot of women
Winners of the Best Dressed Ladies contest. Photos of the other categories were unsatisfactory. There's only so much you can ask out of an iPhone, but I didn't want to carry the big camera.
First Place Best Dressed Military, Colonel Baylor, 1865, after he was placed on the staff of General John Bankhead MacGruder in the District of Galveston. He commanded a regiment, then a brigade, in the Red River campaign, hence the cavalry colors on the uniform. The maroon sash indicated staff
The Captain Hughes costume placed second in the Shooting Costume. 2 seconds, one first.
First place best dressed Gentleman, Wild Horse John, as the owner of the Cheyenne Social Club
June 24, 2011, Friday
We shot the late flight. The posse ahead of us was over 45 minutes late finishing. We were supposed to finish at 4:30, but that was impossible. We finished a bit after 5. I called on the radio and asked for paint to paint the targets, and 3 of us waited for it. It never showed. We stopped at the Bataan Military Academy brass selling station and entered the town about 5:30. I was heading to the parking lot by the bridge (press parking, and VIP). We got maybe 10 feet in when we were apprehended by security for having guns in town. Some people were made to WALK AROUND THE TOWN(!) We were just cuffed and stuffed. No, not really. We had to take our guns off and put them in the carts, and we were also told to remove our gun belts. I did the former, not the latter, and went to the car.
So when I got up the hill it was 6. The Redhead had had a horrible day with the DirecTV box dying a slow death. I missed the side match awards and later had to find Misty Moonshine to get my Plainsman award, a buckle just like the main match.
The Redhead was back at the poker tournament at 8. About 8:30 I told her I was going to walk up the hill and leave her the car. I didn't feel like watching the wild west show, and I might get arrested for having a 1911 pin on my lapel (Wild Bunch RO Pin).
About 10:30 she called and asked where I was. "At the bus." "Where's the car?" "Where we left it." "i don't have a key." So I had to walk down, no problem if there was any light. With my vision there wasn't enough. It was moonless and dark. I don't see in the dark anymore (optic nerve disease). I staggered down, using 2 flashlights. When I thought I was in range I started pushing the "remote start" button until the car started and told me where it was. The Redhead drove us up. She had placed 2nd in the Poker Tournament by a few dollars. There was rampant cheating, people giving others their chips in violation of the rules. She didn't, and she started over Friday, beating guys with $1500 or so at the start of Friday's play. She didn't know what the awards were, and how deep they went. Went to bed about 0100.
June 23, 2011, Thursday
Shot the first day of the main match. Very good posse. Efficient, and everyone was having fun. Austin Black, from California, is the fastest. He shoots in Cowboy and looks fast and accurate enough to buckle.
I entered the shooting costume contest. I don't have photos of me at the judges, but here's the costume.
Here's the original John Hughes in 1894
One never knows how a simple costume will do in a contest, but when I took off the shotgun belt and unbuttoned the vest (and took off the Dooley Gang colors), the outfit looked awfully like Captain Hughes'. I have the clip point buckle on the gun belt. The boots were polished when I started today, but covered in dirt quickly. It is VERY dry here. Much of New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas are burning.
Larsen E. Pettifogger
Shirley Shooter (funny, no photo of Shaky Shooter)
At night I was one of the judges of the Soiled Dove contest.
First Place Soiled Dove La Bandida (left), 2nd Place, Half-Pint (center), third Bella Spencer (second from right), with Shotglass, who was in charge of the exceedingly well done contest
The winners of the Parlour Madam contest. 1st place was Tucson Wild Irish Rose, 2nd Rocky Meadowns, 3rd Complicated Lady.
The Redhead worked and played in the poker tournament. It's a 2 day tournament. She lost all her money just before closing, but she'll get another $100 tomorrow.
June 22, 2011, Wednesday
The Plainsman posse.
Shot the Plainsman match. This year Tex tried breaking Plainsman into Modern (rifles with ejectors) and Traditional (rifles without ejectors.) This worked VERY well, bringing people out of the woodwork with their Rolling Blocks, Trap Doors, and Sharps. I have been practicing the key to Plainsman, loading and shooting the rifle quickly and placed 3rd. Had 2 misses, one cocking the pistol with finger on the trigger (!), the other because I shot with the front sight not on the target. Blue Mesa won modern with an average stage time of 41.855, and Split Rail won Traditional averaging 50.825. The stages had 5 or 6 rifle shots at about the same range as the main match.
I used the 2nd prototype of the Mernickle Plainsman belt. I got it just before EOT and spent a week getting the rifle loops loose enough for me to grab 3 at a time. I want to be able to grab 4, but 3 might be optimum for control anyway. It worked very well, and it's going into production with no more changes. You'll be able to get it with 10-12 shotguns, and 12 rifles, on either side, in your caliber. Photos later.
Edward R. S. Canby shot a .38 Special rifle. There was much discussion, but the rules say a traditional Old West Cartridge, not necessarily an Old West Rifle Cartridge. I talked to Pale Wolf Brunelle, and he says it's close enough to a .38 Long Colt to pass. He also mentioned that there were a whole lot of .38 rounds in the old west that didn't survive, and one or two were very close to .38 Special. Considering the fact that it's difficult to handle the little-bitty .38 Special cartridge as fast as .45-70 or .38-55, I wouldn't recommend getting a .38 Special rifle for this match. .38-55 is first choice.
June 21, 2011, Tuesday
Shot the warm-up match in the morning. Wild Bunch awards that evening. Costumes for the WB costume contest were judged by roving judges who worked VERY hard. As mentioned, Black Jack Flagg won men's. Don't remember the ladies winner. Costume awards are not on line (as of June 28).
June 20, 2011, Monday
Here are more photos taken Sunday. Forgot the camera on Monday, the day I wore my good costume.
Robber Baron shot very well as usual. finishing 5th in modern. Normally this would have gotten him a top 10 buckle, but only 1-3 were rewarded. Next year Winter Range is doing top 10 in each category. I shot Traditional, probably a mistake considering the condition of my hand and arm. Didn't even make top 10.
Black Jack Flag won the WB Costume contest. I was second. This picture was taken Sunday and the judges came around (without cameras) on Sunday. My outfit was second, and Dastardly Dave's Pike outfit was third.
US Grant asked me to keep him out of trouble. The course of fire was 5 shotguns up in the locomotive, then, from the first window, a Nevada sweep on 3 from the left, move to second widow, Nevada sweep from the right, move, engage 5 more targets with pistol, move to station, rifle, and 5 more pistol. The General did the first Nevada sweep correctly and moved to the second window and reloaded. Then he fired right-center-left and dropped the magazine into his hand and leaned into the next window. I stopped him, looked at his feet, still in window one, and told him to reinsert the magazine, now middle, right, load, engage 5. He was a very happy camper when he shot clean, no penalties.
Cadets from Albuquerque's Bataan Military Academy picked up brass, painted targets, and pretty much did anything we asked of them. Fine kids. They will grow up to be far above the average public school victim. Most of them are very smart. Others want to be Marines
Phoenix 97 and his wife. He was shooting for the overall award.
Evil Roy only missed 2 and finished 2nd in modern, shooting his usual smooth and clean match.
I shot the match using Powder River Cartridge Co's Evil Roy Ammunition. Both rifle and pistol PF around 170 in this climate/altitude. My preliminary report is this is good stuff. I had no ammo bobbles at all, and it felt very consistent.
I failed to get any photos of Running Bare shooting her 1911. She's under 5' tall and handles the 1911 very well. This should shame women who say the gun is too hard to rack the slide for them into learning how (see Wild Bunch for Dummies).
We thought all of the stages had been Running Bare proofed, but the running buffalo stage had you shooting rifle targets with pistol targets in the way. No problem for 6'4" Texas Jack Morales who designed them, but for several women a problem. Evil Roy suggested letting them shuffle from shooting spot to shooting spot. As posse marshal I conferred with a member of the Wild Bunch Committee (Evil Roy) and allowed it. Reasonable accommodations need to be made in such circumstances.
June 19, 2011, Sunday
Shot first 6 stages of the Wild Bunch match.
There is a thread on the SASS Wire with the usual complainers complaining about a video of stage 6's posse marshal instructions. Stage 6 at the Wild Bunch match was very similar. One poster who knows better was horrified that we're using a vertical rifle rack, the actuator for the moving vulture. It's been there for several years. He says we will sweep ourselves. Here's reality:
A contestant placing the rifle. Running Bare is the keeper of the Vulture actuator
US Grant picks up his rifle
I've only been seeing this rack since 2006, but I've never seen anyone sweep themselves. The rifle is mounted way into the 170, so you'd have to do it deliberately, and no EOT grade timer operator would allow it.
I'm writing this at 0500 on the 20th. Gotta go. More later.
June 18, 2011, Saturday
Camp Baylor before the Arizona Contingent arrives and fills in the empty space
Shot the warm up for the Wild Bunch match, then went to a 3 hour Posse Marshal's meeting.