The Big Event with Larry Gatlin, Wild Brew and Stillwater, OK

I’ve had a busy week crisscrossing the state to promote Footprints in the Dew before the official release date on September 26th!  I will be at the Dewey Hotel signing books from 11-3 during Western Heritage Days and I hope to see you there. I will be announcing other book signing locations soon as well.

Welcome back.  It was back in 1972 when Kris Kristofferson invited his friend Larry Gatlin and Larry’s brothers Steve and Rudy to Nashville to be back-up singers on his first album. This was the brothers’ first performance on an album but just three years later their recording of “Broken Lady” won a Grammy Award and catapulted the then unknown Gatlin Brothers from Abilene, Texas into music history. The group went on to have a dozen top forty hits and win numerous awards including Male Vocalist of the Year (Larry Gatlin), Album of the Year and Single of the Year. The Gatlin Brothers have performed at the White House regularly, appeared on Broadway in New York City and even sung for kings and queens. Last Friday night they brought their show to the Express Ranch just a few miles outside of Yukon, Oklahoma to entertain a crowd of around 1,500 guests. It was all part of the annual production sales at the Express Ranch headquarters in Yukon. Advertised as ‘The Big Event”, it is actually the cows who are the stars of this show. Friends, these Angus cows aren’t just your regular T-bone on the hoof, these are the best of the best. Seeing the money that each cow brought during an auction that included bidders from around the world, some bidding remotely via TV, you’d have to agree. Before moving on, I want to remark on the strong sense of community I noticed among the cattlemen and women I saw at the sale. Despite cattle being a very big business there are still strong family values expressed in the conversations you have with different people, many of whom have their children and grandchildren at the sale with them. Giving back to the community is important to these folks and each year Express Ranches awards college scholarships to high school students involved in the FFA. Over the years they have given millions of dollars to these young people who will be feeding us all!

That was Friday and on Saturday afternoon I attended another great party at the Cox Convention Center in Tulsa when the Sutton Center folks held their annual fundraiser, Wild Brew. Do you like chicken wings? How about Asian food or brisket? There was literally something for everyone and plenty of desserts too including all kinds of chocolates, some with names I can’t pronounce or spell but I can tell you it was all good. Then there was the beer. Some of the beers had pretty esoteric names but judging from the lines at the different booths I would say they were all good too. As usual the Fabulous Midlife Crisis Band had everyone dancing up a lather and my scoop of the week is to plan to attend next year. It will be the 17th year for the event and planning is already underway.

From Wild Brew I headed down the Cimarron Turnpike to Stillwater, OK home of Oklahoma State University. To be on the safe side I changed from my Wild Brew t-shirt to an orange Pistol Pete shirt. The gathering I was headed to was held at the local Eagles Lodge and it was packed full of people who had come to honor a 70 year man who had touched all of their lives including mine. People flew in from all over the country to celebrate this individual’s birthday and when my book Footprints in the Dew is released on September 26th you will learn who he is and how much he has helped me along the way.