June 29, 2014, Sunday
The shoot-off was one of the best I've seen. I put the finals between Holy Terror and Lead Ringer on my Facebook page. Spectacularly close.
Misty Moonshine (the one int the short skirt) with the 2015 EOT Match Directors, T. A. Chance and Lassiter, who, thankfully, did not wear short skirts.
This year's course was the best I've seen, not at EOT, but anywhere in 15 years of SASS Competition. Interviews with 50-60 contestants started with, "What did you think of this EOT?"
No complaints. None. This was partially due to Misty Moonshine making an extremely gutsy decision early on regarding some key personnel who were not treating workers and paying customers (contestants) they way they should be. The result was they were gone, and the show went on. The stress that they caused was gone. EOT almost immediately became the place we all were looking for, where we could compete, meet friends, engage in Single Action Shopping without fear of harassment over something petty (such as coming off the range after 5 PM with guns. "No guns in town." In the past that has resulted in harassment of shooters just trying to get to their cars or RVs). Security still did their job, protecting vendors from thieves and such. Waddies still got things done.
If you've stopped coming to EOT because you were mistreated in the past, come back. If you stopped vending because you were treated rudely, come back. You'll like the new vending fees and the treatment you'll get. If you stopped being a waddie because you were abused and misused, come back. We need you, and the problems are gone.
Much of the credit goes to Misty Moonshine. The gesture of her bringing Trail Mix to every contestant was indicative of her attitude. When the CEO has that attitude, everyone working for her has that attitude. It's contagious. It's leadership.
127 Clean Match awards were given out. I consider this an indication of the quality of the match. The purpose of a SASS match is to entertain the paying customers. We don't have to be there. We could be spending our money on a vacation in the Bahamas. Statistically we know that matches with less than 10% clean matches lose competitors over time. Those with 10% or more tend to grow. This was over 24%.
If you weren't there, you missed it.
June 28, 2014, Saturday
The vendor with ice cream was very popular--with good reason. Very nice folks, great ice cream
Misty Moonshine, the CEO of SASS and a member of the Wild Bunch brought Trail Mix to shooters
The Huginkiss sisters at Doc's Old West
The Old Fashioned Soda people were a little down about business Friday, but they were busy Saturday
After the TG meeting these people were closing up and offered me a couple of corn dogs, which I took up the hill. They were great. I'm not a corn dog aficionado, but we liked these.
Texas Roadside Cafe.
Bronco Sue Hatters, from Ruidoso. They hadn't been here in years, but they were lured back by lowered vendor fees and word that, unlike the last time, they wouldn't be one of five hat makers attending. They did well.
American Pioneer Powder had been short on people to send to EOT and WR lately. Then they discovered that Cowboy Shooters Supply was selling more powder than some of their distributors. The president of APP called The Brisco Kid, and the result was that Cowboy Shooters Supply will be representing APP at EOT and WR. They sold a lot at prices you can't get in stores.
Redwing Trading Co. sold out of Screwknives. The continued popularity of Screwknives has surprised Redwing, who thought they would have saturated the market by now.
The Store with No Name I
The Store With No Name II
False Advertising. They didn't have any generals in their store.
The Outlaw Gang (Colt Faro) and Slick McClade, as usual, shared a tent. Colt installed Shotgun Boogie's "Game Changer" Short Stroke Kits, and Slick sold his extensive line of performance parts, including Slick Magic sights. They were out of short stroke kits when they arrived, but some kits came in, and Colt installed them on my Vaqueros Saturday night.
The Store With No Name III
Founders Ranch Trauma Center
Beautiful wagon, just decoration.
Tepees and Tents
Bond, Arms Bond. No, that doesn't work. Bond Arms, They have a program to competition tune Bond derringers for SASS Competition. Every time I think about shooting mine in competition some kid does something like the Derringer side match winner did here, 2 shots from the table in 0.65 seconds. Oh, well.
Protect Ur Ears
Mernickle Leather has an expanded line of butt covers (FOR YOUR LONG GUNS), in several very visible colors, with tooled leather to match your holsters (Quick Cal rig is the one with the silver diamond), your alias, etc. There will be a special Texas version Bob came up with in an Eureka moment. Needless to say, I'll have photos as soon as mine arrives). There should be a bunch at the SASS Convention. You'll want one if you're a Texan. Trust me. I'll be doing an article on these soon. BTW, there will be a model for big butts. I didn't ask if he was going to call it the Kardashian model. Probably not. She'd want royalties.
While at Mernickle's I mentioned to Bob that I couldn't find a loading strip or loading block that would fit in my Mernickle pouch. Until now I'd been filling the pouch with cappers and had to use a clip on loading strip. He pulled one out of a top hat, not really, but he produced one of these. Apparently he's had them for years, but they never crossed my radar until now.
They work fine. I will say that if you turn them upside down the rounds will fall out. Don't do that.
An extremely popular place at EOT is the Indoor Trading Post. It's AIR CONDITIONED. Contestants love it. Vendors love it. I would say, to paraphrase Jaws, "You're going to need a bigger tent." I think they could get some vendors back who don't come because of the dust of previous years or the hassle of doing a tent if they offered more space, maybe a second big tent. Of course, the big tents are expensive. very expensive, for SASS to rent.
The costume judging in the Gem Saloon. Judges Copper Queen, Sloan Easy, and multiple time champion Wild Horse John did an excellent job. It's a tough job. I know. Been there, got the T-shirt. No, come to think of it, no T-shirts. I didn't do a good job of reporting on the costume contest. A) too busy competing B) The Man With No Name had Margaritas in the Belle Union.
My 1879 10th Cavalry Captain's Full Dress uniform. 1st Military.
Best Dressed Wild Bunch, Best Men's Shooting Costume, Best Dressed Military
June 27, 2014, Friday
Non Stop proves that you have to be able to run (and stop) as well as to be able to shoot to win. He has just hit all 10 rifle targets, including the 6 knockdowns.
Then, in addition to transitions between firearms, he makes spectacular transitions from steady shooting position to flat out running...
and comes to a screeching halt to continue shooting.
Note: the targets, for the most part, were close. Some were large. The scenarios were simple. Several times I heard the phrase, "It's a gunfight." We didn't have to do silly things we wouldn't do in the middle of a gunfight. We didn't have to remember complicated shooting orders. The most complicated shooting orders were a continuous Nevada sweep on rifles and 2 separate Nevada sweeps on pistols. There was also a gargantuan progressive pistol/rifle sweep (1 on 1, 2 on 2, 3 on 3, 4 on 4, 5 on 5, 6 on 6). Yes, that meant a rifle reload. 127 shooters shot the match clean. Odds are that all of those 127 will want to come back next year, assuming we can still drive and own guns by then.
Soiled Dove/Parlor Madam Contest
It should be noted that Judge Roy Bean invented the Soiled Dove contest. He wanted it to be the SASS equivalent of a wet t-shirt contest. Sadly it has been tamed to PG level. However, let's just say that the judges are given different instructions from those at a regular costume contest. It's still a tough job. Losers get daggers and can be vindictive. One of the judges of 2008 has been missing since the night of that contest.
The contest was one of the best in my memory. Amber Ale won second place for looking spectacular in this spectacular outfit.
Diamond Blaze, who is 17, won first place in the Soiled Dove contest by looking and acting fantastic. I don't think the judges were judging the authenticity of the costumes. She won a Bond Derringer.
I believe the first Parlor Madam contest was 2007, maybe 08. I'd been a judge and suggested it to Cat. The young, cute girls were always going to win the Soiled Dove contest (duh), but some of the contestants had "played" parlor madams and were really good at it. They deserved a chance at winning. So I guess my claim to fame in SASS is getting recognition for parlor madams.
Helga Huginkiss won the Parlor Madam contest. Here she is auditioning Anita Huginkiss for a job in her house.
June 26, 2014, Thursday
The Brisco Kid shooting in the Long Hunter Saloon Thursday morning
My costume for Thursday, which I wore to the costume judging. The coat is an authentic Fish slicker, not a cheap Chinese ripoff. It came off to shoot, of course. The hat, it should be noted, is not a D Bar J creation. I take the blame. It's a 13 year old Boss Of The Plains that has become shapeless from getting rained on. It's also very dirty. It wasn't "distressed," it earned every stain. It has a stampede string. The scarf is the size of one I saw on a photo of a Wyoming cowboy. It is tied in a slip knot so it would come off if caught on a branch. The shirt started life as bright red. Now it's shades of pink and is completely worn out. The vest is faded, wrinkled, and dirty, with a light coating of brown dirt. There is a watch in the pocket (and an 1885 Texas Ranger badge under the vest's collar. Trousers are faded, patched, and worn out. I'm wearing cuffs (under the coat), and leather gloves and a Bowie knife are in the back on the gun belt. The chaps are 1880's Wyoming style shotgun chaps with a lot authentic details (by Doc's Old West). The boots have OK pattern spurs. The quirt came from Wild Horse John. Now, for those of you who say, "Wait a minute! That holster is beyond 30 degrees from vertical," I didn't shoot with it that way. The chaps and gun belt sagged in the long walk from 12 to the Gem Saloon. I had to pull everything up to walk to the shooters parking lot.
The story that went with the costume was that I was a Texas Ranger who had to go under cover (hence the hidden badge) in a Wyoming ranch looking for a bank robber who had gone to ground there, but the description of him matched most of the cowboys, so I was waiting for him to screw up.
Pietta was featuring these black and white grips with American eagles on them
The NRA Museum was open.
The NRA Museum brought several interesting movie guns
Phil Schreier, NRA Museum Director and TV star
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. The Colt open top is a rubber prop. The fancy '73 is from Bonanza, shown in a scene with a wounded Ben Cartwright
La Horde Sauvage
Sergeant Shuster sold coffee, ran the lost and found, and did all of the announcing on the PA system
A new vendor at Founders Ranch is Chickaroo's Mercantile
Chickaroo does ladies clothing, custom, and does alterations
Jack Diamond represented EMF and did transfers for gun winners, and there were a lot, 31 on Friday and Saturday night alone
Ruger, of course, had a booth
Long Hunter Shooting Supply
The politically incorrect flags of Major Photography
The Cloak Drummer
Wild West Show, a new vendor. I believe that's an 1887 Airstream, but it could be 1888
Old Scyene, a long time SASS vendor
Thursday Night was Side Match awards. This is 3rd place Plainsman Modern
June 24-25, 2014
Warm Up Match and side matches
Safety Meeting, Lassiter, T.A. Chance, Bighorn
Sign on gun cart
It doesn't look like it, but this was the world's most exciting TG Meeting, with a surprise ending no one saw coming. No, I won't say anything about it. Ask your TG
This bottle of Gran Marnier was in the envelope with the note on it.
The note reads:
Capt. Baylor & Redhead,
Many Thanks for your kindness @ Winter Range 2009 to a couple of newbie shooters. Cached from 2009-2013 at Ward Mtn, Nevada.
Nevada Jim & Nevada Fire
Giving money to the SASS Mercantile
River Crossing now has the old Stoeger store space, which is great for River Crossing. They're long time SASS contributers and deserve a great location. They're to the left of the SASS Mercantile with Taylor's Firearms on the right. Jim Downing, the gun engraver, is in the Taylor's store. I talked with Tammy at Taylor's. Guns are available again, and parts. They had packets of screws for the guns they sell. Uberti parts have been hard to get.
Security!! Security!! Someone's stealing gun cart wheels.
Actually Cowboy Shooter Supplies, the biggest Rugged Gear Gun Cart dealer, had this one on display, but someone needed a wheel. They didn't have any carts because Rugged Gear is coming out with an improved model (wide all-terrain front tire, other changes). So they didn't have the usual first day supply of 200 carts. They didn't have any. They were offering a discount for orders. Last year their storefront was covered in carts the first day. They took 2 back to Oklahoma. At the costume awards presentation Cat Ballou bemoaned the fact that people were using Rugged Gear carts instead of wooden carts, thus causing a poor turn out to the best gun cart competition.
Tex shooting Plainsman Traditional. Creek Harding timing. For two years he has run the clock for most shooters.
The Brisco Kid shooting Plainsman Modern
Kiamichi Queen, one of very few women to have ventured into the macho world of Plainsman. She Shot Plainsman traditional. Her Handi-Rifle doesn't have an ejector, so it's a Traditional gun
Big Dave, shown carrying the holy coonskin cap, shooting Plainsman Traditional. This year's Plainsman story was the schedule showed the match to be at 2 PM. On another page the match description said it was at 10. At the warm up match meeting and the side match meeting it was announced it was at 10. But not everyone makes all of those meetings. Big Dave didn't but showed up "early" for the match while we were shooting the third stage. We told him to shoot those two stages, and Tex said we would have him shoot 1 and 2 after we finished. When we got back to bay 3, where stages 1 and 2 were, the rifle targets were gone. T.A. Chance had them brought back from the barn, and we re-set them, and Dave shot. He finished 3rd in Traditional.
The holy coonskin cap? That's another story...
Opening ceremonies. A gazillion dollars in SASS Scholarships were given out. Shooters came from as far away as Carjackistan. Regulator badges were given to deserving people. Bond Derringers were given to all of the women and Second Chance Kevlar briefs to their husbands. Hot dogs and hamburgers were served. Alcohol was imbibed. Music was played. Lies were told. Rules were argued.
Diamond Blaze was selling tickets to the SASS Scholarship fund raffle. I think I bought $1000 worth.
I believe The Redhead made some Margaritas Wednesday night
June 21-23, 2014
Wild Bunch Match, 4 stages a day for 3 days
Saturday night Green Chili Cheeseburgers Wild Bunch Dinner. L-R-Legendary Lawman, Serenity, The Redhead, The Man With No Name
The difference between Wild Bunch and CAS is demonstrated here. 8 shotguns (no make ups), 5 rifle plates (no make ups), 5 pistol plates (no make ups), and a bunch of stationary pistol targets. Clean stages were few.
Mica McGuire shooting Men's Traditional
Black is the new black, Lassiter and Boggus Deal. Boggus was smoking until he threw his shotgun into a vertical mount, and it bounced and fell pointing up range. Finished 10th MM
SASS 2, U. S. Grant shooting Wild Bunch
The mover is a train this year. Re-engineered mover mechanism and plunger. In Wild Bunch we shot it with a pistol. In the main match a rifle.
The Square is complete
Another uniquely Wild Bunch stage. The little white discs were pistol and rifle targets.
The Wild Bunch Shooting Costume was judged by roving judges. EzGz and Capt. Baylor won first places.
June 20, 2014 Friday
Wild Bunch Warm-up
Captain Cooper, head of the parking lot crew. He handles this job very well, always polite and thoughtful
Hipshot shooting the warm-up, Serenity timing.
Camp Baylor Square was visible from the range thanks to Wild Horse John's Wyoming and Don't Tread On Me flags on a 20' flagpole.
What's wrong with this sign?
Uh-oh, someone is going to be offended.
June 19, 2014 Thursday
Moved the bus to Camp Baylor at Founders Ranch. Wild Horse John and Saginaw Sue preceded us. They're parking across the square, so they had to be there first for us to park, or they wouldn't have been able to. Either the Mernickles or we have to leave before they can.
Got my packet. Lead Ringer gave me some bullets to test for BP use in this dry climate. I think my testing plate is full for a while.
Almost as soon as we got set up The Redhead told me the batteries weren't holding charge. Decided the solution was to replace them. John and I went off on a battery quest. Normally Wally World would be a source. Let's just say the Edgewood Wally World isn't. Then we went to Myers RV and got them. $730 after the core credit for the old batteries.
Photographed the batteries to help remember the wiring diagram. There is a printed one in the lower left center of the picture. We also taped each wire when we took it off and marked where it went.
John did most of the heavy lifting, not to mention driving me there and back. Couldn't have done it without him. Then, since he was going to dinner at Rudy's, he took the cores back for the core charge refund. I did have to give him my AMEX so they could credit it. Strangely enough someone used the card to buy $12,000 worth of guns at Ron Peterson's.
Camp Baylor at Founders Ranch. Three more RVs to to to complete.