Saturday, January 16, 2016

iPhone Photo Essay: The Old West Lives on at Denver's Stock Show and Rodeo

"Cowboy Hats" are mandatory, shaped and sized to the
specific requirements of each individual at the National Western!


The Romantic 
Western Lifestyle
is Alive & Well
at the
National Western 
Stock Show & Rodeo
An iPhone Photo Essay
by Jack A. Atkinson

Brahma breed at The National Western!

For the past 110 years the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo has been a fixture in ultra cold January weather of Denver, Colorado, bringing ranchers and cowboys out in force, to celebrate their uniquely American way of life.

Denver weather in January
is affectionately spoken of as 
"Stock Show Weather".

This photo essay was shot by ARTSnFOOD editor/publisher, Jack A. Atkinson, on his iPhone, a kind of new tech observation for a very old school, low-tech event.

Thousands of visitors from across the country come out to see more than 15,000 animals, rodeo performances, bull-riding competitions, horse shows, barrel racing, auctions and booths selling everything from cowboy boots to cookware at the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo.

Do you want your photo taken a-top this large but gentle steed?

Vendor's B.B.Q must be the best quality and mesquite smoked
to get past this picky crowd who are B.B.Q experts.

What would best be termed "Carnival Food" is available in various booths inside the buildings at the National Western, but the Food Court at this event is "al fresco".

Freshly grilled brats are piled high with sauerkraut and flavored with German mustard.

This colorful food stand makes corn dogs and nachos
seem like so much fun!

Boots and ropes are an integral part of the Cowboy lifestyle.

A comfortable and friendly group of people
surround you at The National Western. 

Miss Routt County Rodeo - Rodeo Royalty is abundant.

Cowboy design and furnishings
have their own distinct style.

In the wide open wild spaces of
the Western United States
animal skeletons and skulls

naturally occur and
have long been considered
an interesting addition
to any Western decor.

For the aforesaid Western Decor, ditto for antlers.

This event is held in "Broncos" football country.

Son of Optimus Prime?!?

Another Transformer?!?
But there seems to a bit of the movie "ALIEN"
showing up in this particular machine.

The beauty of the machine age is still alive and well on the 21st century ranch.

There is only one whiskey
working cowboys throw back.

Mmmm - Mesquite grilled chicken, cooked en masse.

Ponytails are found on humans
as well as equines at the Stock Show.

Draft horse tack is a "Work of Art"
hand-made of leather and metal.

Draft horse in his stall, a big, bold beauty.

There is nothing more American
than a traditonal U.S. Rodeo,
created through the talents
of working cowboys & cowgirls,
plus men and women who are
raised on a ranch or farm. 

"Remove cover and sing the national anthem."

A classic rodeo cowboy holding his hat in his free hand.
This is rare at contemporary rodeos!

Westernaires show their: "Charge!"

The "sprint" at the end of a barrel racing run.

Bareback bronc riding shows how cowboys once taught wild horsesto accept a human rider. Rodeos were invented by cowboys
to compete against peers in the various cowboy skills.

The National Wester Complex is going to be completely rebuilt
in the next two years, after taxpayers voted
for a new tax specifically targeted to pay for the huge new construction project.

Toy ponies.

A tractor styled tire-swing.
Yes, this is made-up from tires!

Tractor seat chair, hopefully the guns don't actually shoot.

The artist and his model.

Boots are individual personality statements.

Coors' original Banquet Beer is a rock-star
at the National Western.

Cowboy Hats come in all price ranges
at the Stock Show
from inexpensive to ridiculously expensive.

The National Western crowd in 1945.

The other preferred chapeau for many living on ranches today is the "Tractor Hat".

The only "Unicorn" most people will ever see.

These ropes and scarves are marketed to wannabes,
but they play a large role in the lives of working cowboys.
The bandanna, or scarf, has many uses for cowboys,

and ranch hands, living out in the elements with the cattle.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The above photo essay was an experiment to see if the iPhone's camera can replace a quality SLR. The take-away: most of the images are clear and have good quality, but for all photos which were "zoomed-in" on the screen, when taken, the image was likely to be blurred and of poor digital quality. - Jack A. Atkinson)

(The following six photos are from last year's National Western Stock Show, using a Nikon SLR. For editorial reasons there was a need to show more of the "stock" to round out this photo essay.)

The most variety of breeds are to be found in the poultry section!

"Big Bird" was not a made-up design.

Life is always better on the other side of the fence!?!

A rooster with attitude!

After sheering, the sheep become fashionistas.

"Hello! Where's the party?"

A video of one ride, at the NW PBR Bull Riding event during the 2016 National Western Rodeo.

Bar B Q Sauce

1 medium onion -- chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons butter -- melted
1 medium whole tomatoes
8 ounces tomato paste
1/2 cup celery -- chopped
1/3 cup vinegar
1/4 cup green pepper -- chopped
2 medium fresh celery leaves -- chopped
1 piece bay leaf
3 tablespoons molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce,
to taste
1/2 teaspoon clove -- ground
1/2 teaspoon allspice -- ground
2 slices lemon

Sauté onion and garlic in butter in a saucepan until tender. 
Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to boil. 
Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes; stir occasionally. 
Discard bay leaf and lemon slices. 
Process through a food processor if desired. 
Use sauce for basting and as a side dish for dipping.

Carnival Food
When wrapped up in the moment, all of us have indulged in "carnival foods", although there is nothing less healthy than the fried and battered foods served at most of these events. For fun here is an interesting link. Caution, this is not raw Kale, these recipes are calorie, oil, carb and sugar laden "food bombs!"

Until later,

ARTS&FOOD is an online magazine dedicated to providing artists and collectors around the world with highlights of current art exhibitions, and to encourage all readers to invest in and participate in “The Joy of Art” and Culture. All Rights Reserved. All concepts, original art, text & photography, which are not otherwise credited, are copyright 2016 © Jack A. Atkinson, under all international, intellectual property and copyright laws. All gallery events', museum exhibitions', art fairs' or art festivals' photographs were taken with permission or provided by the event or gallery. All physical artworks are the intellectual property of the individual artists and © (copyright) individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees. 
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