January 2014 Journal

December 26-31, 2013

The Redhead was sick for 4-5 day with some intestinal bug. I got it on New Years Eve.

December 25, 2013,Christmas

I posted this on Facebook for the second Christmas in a row. Someone didn't like it:


Angelique got one present early, a scratching pad/toy with catnip in it.

Excuse her. She's a little drunkie poo

George grabbed his present…

…and opened it…

…then played with it.

Angelique's favorite gift…

…a bag.

From Facebook:

The 2013 SASS Hall of Fame Inductees:

Merry Christmas everyone

December 23-24, 2013

The Baylor/Redhead clan wish you all a very merry and safe Christmas. May all of your Christmas dreams come true. This goes double for all of you in harms way for our country. Your sacrifice is noted, and we pray you all come home safe.

Stayed in the bus. Neither of us wants to be out in the crowds. Got my 1 mile running times down to 14:47, which is terrible, but I never could run. Slowly getting better. Only about 7 minutes to go…

December 22, 2013, Sunday

Making the ultimate sacrifice for my Redhead. Amazon canceled my order for her main present (technical reasons), so I fought my way into THE MALL through overwhelming odds and bought the canceled present. Cover me. I'm making my escape. — at Arrowhead Towne Center.

December 16-21, 2013

CCSA Match, sunny. 40s & 50s. Now that I've finished shooting there's wind to blow smoke away — at Cowtown.

December 15, 2013, Sunday

I put this on the SASS WIRE and Facebook:

A new run of RUGER OLD ARMIES?
At the SASS Convention I talked to Lefty-Gunz-Ales at the Ruger booth. Lefty is a Ruger VP and shoots Ruger Old Armies in competition. I asked him when they were going to make another run of them. I was surprised when he said he was trying but needed help. On the Ruger website there is a "Tell the CEO" page. and he asked me to write to the CEO and suggest it. I did. Now I'm asking you to. Ruger Old Armies MADE the Frontiersman category, and there is no alternative that is as good. They don't need to make all 6 models, just the 5-1/2" barrel fixed sight stainless model. I have 4, but I'll buy more if they do. Go to ruger.com. There is a drop down menu for "News and Resources." One of the choices is "Tell the CEO" Go there and send an email to the CEO telling him you want more Ruger Old Armies.



December 14, 2013, Saturday

ACSA match--high winds and cold first 3 stages. Judah Maccabee is shooting on an electric bucking horse. That kind of match. Movers and flying soda cans, etc. — at Ben Avery Shooting Range.

December 10-13, 2013

Mernickle Quick Cal Cross-Draw rig

At Bordertown Bob Mernickle saw I had switched to cross-draw while recuperating from surgery and insisted the rig I needed was the Quick Cal rig, that it was the best-designed cross-draw rig on the market. It has several speed-related features. He had it ready at the SASS Convention, and it's all he said it was. The demonstration below includes the methods he taught me and one T Bone Dooley taught me. None of this is original with me.


Mernickle Quick Cal rig (Mernickle ammo pouch, and Mernickle screwknife sheath not included. They're from my old Mernickle rig. The shotgun belt was one I already had from Mernickle.)


the cross draw holster is angled out from the belt, and the belt tail tucks into the space  between the holster and the belt


the cross draw holster is locked into position


the cross draw holster sits at about 17° from vertical. The SASS legal limit is 30° from vertical as worn, meaning if your belt is drooping in the front, your 30° holster may be illegal as worn.


the holsters have a pronounced lip curl to keep the cylinder from hanging up on the lip and make re-holstering easier


starting position hands on hat. Feet shoulder width apart, weak side foot about half a foot in front of the strong side just like Jeff Cooper taught it. Look down. If the muzzle of the cross-draw revolver breaks the 170, adjust stance or holster location or both until it doesn’t.(These photos were taken by The Redhead. I was using unloaded percussion revolvers.)


firm grasp on the pistol with the strong hand. Thumb is on recoil shield to help locate the proper grip and to keep me from cocking the pistol until 45° and pointed down range


firing position. Weak hand stays there during firing so you don’t have to wait for it to grab the revolver with it after firing. (This came from T Bone Dooley) This guarantees that during a major match someone is going to ask why your weak hand is up there. Tell him it has to go somewhere.


rotate the revolver to the weak side and grasp with the weak hand.


re-holster using the weak hand.  The weak hand grip on the revolver is clearly shown here. Your thumb comes under the hammer spur, and the fingers wrap over the frame. Simultaneously the strong hand is drawing the strong side revolver.


firing position with the strong side pistol. If you don’t need to use the strong hand to pick up the next gun, holster with the strong hand, but…


if you need your strong hand to pick up the next gun, transfer the revolver to the weak hand.


keep the barrel within the 170° “Cone” until the barrel is “inside” the holster.


re-holster the strong side revolver with your weak hand while reaching for your rifle with your strong hand. The strong side holster has a leather tie-down in case you want to use it. I'm trying it out. Never used a tied-down holster before.


December 9, 2013, Monday

Made it to Pioneer RV, 866 miles today, 1307 total, each way. No incidents, 64 mph average today.

December 8, 2013, Sunday

We learned last night at the party that most of the vendors packed up last night, and everyone we talked to planned to leave Sunday, so we left. Getting a bellman proved impossible, so we made about 10 trips from 3rd floor to where the Jeep was parked in front of the hotel. Got out about 10 am

4WD until we got on the freeway in Springfield. Cars on side of the road in distress with flashing emergency vehicle lights every few miles. Spent the night in Elk City, Oklahoma

December 7, 2013, Saturday

Saturday Night was Costume Contest and Reconciliation Ball night. The costumes came out!

Velvet Glove, another photo by Doc Barium. 7160 sequins put on by Velvet Glove and a few friends. WOW! Yes, she's wearing 2 left gloves. The horror, the horror! Don't know when she wore this. I'm guessing the Victorian Tea because all the ladies are dressed so well in the photo.

Captain Dan Blodgett and his lovely wife Ann, 2nd place couples

The judges

Yankee officer and his wife (I don't have all the names. Send them to me, and I'll correct the captions)

contestants killing time before judging

Confederate Marine 1st Lieutenant

1st place military, which several of us predicted as soon as we saw him. Excellent, unusual uniform well worn and well presented

'70s general's full dress uniform

I'm fairly glad I wasn't a judge. How to you decide between all of these fabulously dressed ladies?

Another fabulously dressed lady

And another

There's a story behind this. At Bordertown chief judge Aspen Filly asked me to be a costume judge at the convention. I said yes, being unable to say no to Aspen Filly. So, when packing was tight with the cat and dog in the car I took the Colonel Baylor costume. In 10 years of conventions before this, Confederate uniforms won once, and that was Robert E. Lee the second time I entered in that uniform. Most of the military winners have had blue helmets and uniforms on. Then Thursday night I found out I wasn't going to be a judge. So, first I had to give back all of the bribes, which wasn't too hard, but giving back the sexual favors from the ladies was a problem. Anyway, I wore this outfit. It didn't place, but, then instead of a helmet the winner wore a kilt. I predict a lot of kilts next year.

Another Confederate officer, medical

Naval captain

Baylor and friends

fabulous costumes

Union Pacific conductor

The hat is an antique purchased from a railroad museum.

Another fabulous lady

And another

Fabulous couple

Another confederate, cavalry

Fabulous lady in green

Legendary Lawman and Serenity

Best Dressed Gentleman

Three Beautiful Ladies--Center is Velvet Glove, Best Dressed Lady. Note added 3-30-14- I received this from Yosemite Bob: "The two ladies with Velvet Glove prior to the Costume Contest (Velvet Glove is in a blue dress) are also members of the Mountain Valley Vigilantes named Cheeka Bow Wow and Missy."

December 6, 2013, Friday

I did Authentic Men's Costuming twice and Black Powder For Dummies twice. Big audiences for 3 of the 4. The 10 AM Thursday Black Powder seminar had a small crowd, but it's 10 AM first day. That's typical.

Authentic Men's Costuming

Doc Barium took this photo of Velvet Glove at her Fashion Forum. Another great costume.


Old Scyene

Taylor's & Co.

White Wolf Trading Co.

Miss Tabitha of River Crossing. She was processing a credit card when I held up the camera. She struck this pose and went back to processing as soon as it flashed. Fantastic!


Slick McClade

Bullet Splat Jewelery. She also has The Ultimate Hat Hanger, which enable me to hang 14 hats in the bedroom of the RV.

Earthwalker Boots, busy as usual. Stefan molds your foot and makes the boots from that. My latest were molded with my orthotics on. They're considerably more comfortable than most boots.

One of SASS's oldest vendors, Dixie Gun Works. They come for the PR value.


Miss Tabitha doing one of her shows, photo by Doc Barium (thanks)

The planned Riverboat Cruise was canceled because the buses couldn't run due to the snow, so we had the party in the hotel. It went very well. The entertainers from the bus came and did an impromptu show.

December 5, 2013, Thursday

While putting this together I realized I didn't get photos of my friends at Mernickle Custom Holsters and Ted Blocker Leather. My apologies. Ted Blocker Leather had a new line of concealment vests in addition to their excellent line of Cowboy and Wild Bunch holsters (and concealment, etc.) I picked up a rig from Bob at Mernickle. It's the subject of several photos to be posted later. My only excuse is I didn't get enough time on the convention floor because of doing 4 seminars and dog walking duties, not to mention all of the things going on at the convention. I couldn't even catch up Sunday morning because almost everyone had left because of the weather forecast.

The sign outside of the convention hall

Tex did the Wooly Awards: the Best Affiliated Club, Wartrace Regulators, Shelbyville, Tennessee; the Best Annual Match, SASS Alabama State Championship, Ambush at Cavern Cove, Woodville, Alabama; the best Product of 2013, Shotgun Boogie’s Short Stroke Kit. Darmstadt, Germany; Best Merchant of the Year 2013, Cowboy Shooters Supply, The Brisco Kid and Kiamichi Queen, Ft. Lawson, Oklahoma; and the Territorial Governor of the Year 2013 Rowdy Yates, Orange, California. 

Phil Schreiber, Punxsutawney Phil to us, Senior Curator of the NRA’s National Firearms Museum introduced keynote speaker.

keynote speaker James Porter, President of the NRA

Texas Flower in one of the many spectacular ladies' costumes at the convention

The folks at EMF

  When I asked what was new and different at EMF I was shown a beautiful laser-engraved Pietta SAA, blue and casehardened, with beautiful laser scrimshawed faux ivory stocks. It’s called the Liberty.

Redwing Trading Company, busy as usual

Sergeant Shuster, Kona Cowboy Coffee Company

At Ruger when I asked that question I was shown a neat little 3’” barreled birdshead grip Single Six .22 that is only sold through the distributor Lipsy (SP?). It has an ejector that completely ejects .22 LR cases and an engraved cylinder.  It’s not a SASS gun, but it is cute.

Velvet Glove in one of her spectacular costumes. There were many.

Page Custom Knives

Phil Schreiber, Punxsutawney Phil, and Cimarron's Abilene. The NRA Museum had a display of Hollywood guns, including one used by Elvis as well as John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Glenn Ford, Tom Selleck and other western stars.

Judge Roy Bean Holds Court

Jim Downing, The Gun Engraver

Artie Fly, Major Photography. They're one of the vendors that really MAKE the convention. Without them we wouldn't have those excellent photos of us in our finery.

Custom Metal Products, LLC. I hadn't seen them at a convention before

Mild Will Cheatum, always nattily dressed.

Cowboy Shooting Supplies' Kiamichi Queen, in one of her fantastic outfits that she made herself.

The Thursday Night Pajama Party

T Bone Dooley, the MC


Laurie L'Amour

Velvet Glove in a spectacular dressing gown from Gone With The Wind. If you look closely, you'll note there's someone else in the picture, dressed as Kirk Douglas in The War Wagon--long johns and gunbelt.

Ringo Fire, still introverted and shy





A party-goer


You thought your dog was spoiled

December 4, 2013, Wednesday


Registration opened early. 499 conventioneers!

Went into the Convention Hall where vendors were setting up. First person I saw was an angry General Grant. He said in my EOT article I mentioned every gun seller but EMF. My side is I distinctly remember writing a laudatory paragraph about EMF that didn't make it into the paper. Tex edited it out. That's it. It's Tex's fault.

The guys at Cimarron had this really neat take down gun rack. It's beautifully made out of exotic wood neatly routed and put together. There probably will never be another. The guy who made it likes working with wood.

Cimarron is working on a new single trigger shotgun made in Pakistan, which, it turns out, is where a lot of high end European shotguns are actually made. Looks good. Stiff, but that's what gunsmiths are for. Mechanical trigger.

Buckaroo Hatters, a vendor new to the convention.

I thought the line for TG registration was kind of long, but in the same line were people buying drink tickets for the Saturday night riverboat cruise

Three of my favorite people, The Brisco Kid, Tex, and The Redhead at the Wednesday night mixer

Three of my favorite ladies, The Redhead, Velvet Glove, and Allie Mo

Didn't get a picture of Evil Roy and Wicked Felina. They're VERY happy about their move to Texas. They found an area without any relocated Californicators, and they love it. No Place But Texas!

December 3, 2013, Tuesday

Through Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri...

Encountered a hitchhiker. Didn't pick her up.

Arrived at Chateau On The Lake:

The bellman needed 2 baggage trolleys to get it all up stairs. I tipped large.

Drinks with Judge Roy Bean and friends. 4 drinks and a chicken sandwich at the bar $65+tip.

December 2. 2013, Monday

Angelique tries to keep us from leaving

The adventure begins:

The difference between an adventure and an ordeal is attitude.

The Redhead drives when it's dark

Angelique adopted to her travel home better than expected

I told Angie she could go anywhere except the driver's seat, so...

George S. Patton isn't spoiled...

Spent the night at a Days Inn in Amarillo. Chosen because they took pets. Angie immediately found the highest perch in the room. We landed at 2130 hours, and The Redhead was tired and pissed off.

December 1, 2013, Sunday

Getting ready to drive to Branson, MO for the SASS Convention. The Redhead didn't want to go but graciously agreed to in order to keep me from driving 2400 miles solo. I've done longer, but that was in the last century. With Arthur gone it became possible to go with the pets. Otherwise I was going to have to go alone. Neither of us want to leave the pets with a pet sitter. Angelique made me promise not to do that. She has very long claws and knows how to use them. 3 is too many to travel with in a Jeep. The convention hotel, when we called, said all of their pet friendly rooms were booked. So I made reservations at a nearby La Quinta Inn where Gillian, the reservation operator on duty, went way above and beyond to get us into a primo room with an outside entrance, ground floor, with the military discount on top of another discount, don't remember what. When I called back to the Château on the Lake, the operator went to the manager, who made a room available to us. I felt really bad canceling La Quinta.

Spent most of the day packing and getting the stuff into the Jeep. It's full.

One suitcase is The Redhead's. The others are mine. We had to include Angelique's necessary room.

Back seat's pretty full, too. Angelique will ride in the carrier when we're moving. George S. Patton will navigate. I also packed a Confederate field officer's sword for me and a Yankee cavalry sword for a friend who is flying. 1860 Army Colts for each of us. I'm taking the Confederate Colonel's outfit. It is a Reconciliation Ball, after all. I'll be a judge at the costume contest.

The Jeep has a 115 v plug. Added a 1 to 3 adapter. There's a USB cube there for the iPhone. There are now 3 USB ports in the Jeep. and 4 12 volt plugs. I use the old iPhone as a dash mounted speedometer. No dash cam, though. It needs a new mount.

Some people on Facebook asked questions about spurs on the new Earthwalkers. These are OK Pattern spurs, authentic to the era. August Buermann made OK Pattern spurs in Cheyenne.

On the left is an 1859 pattern Artillery boot, the only boot actually issued during the war. It's authentic in all respects, copied from an existing new old stock pair of the boots that went into a Shiloh museum dressed as the Drummer Boy of Shiloh. They have 14" uppers. The spurs are officers' spurs.