Race, rodeo and discrimination

Rick Steber and Leon Ransom

Rick Steber and Leon Ransom

While in Pendleton at the Pendleton Round-Up, I had dinner with Leon Ransom. Leon’s wife, Georgia, fixed a wonderful salmon dinner that included a dessert of blueberry pie fixed from scratch.

Leon contributed to my research for Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo and was friends with one of the principal characters in the book, George Fletcher. We talked about race and rodeo, and how discrimination still remains woven into the fabric of America.

divider line

To purchase your copy of Rick Steber’s book: Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo visit: http://ricksteber.com/newreleases.html

Rick Steber is an award winning writer of contemporary western stories. To find out more about his books, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs visit his website:  Writing the West http://ricksteber.com

Advertisements

2013 Pendleton Round-Up a big success!

round-up 036 FB Link

Survived the 2013 Round-Up, that  time of year when the town of Pendleton swells to three times its normal size  and begins to burst at the seams.

round-up 040I did what seemed to be endless rounds of book  signings for “Red White Black” at  Hamley’s Western Store, Armchair Books, Round-Up Hall of Fame and Pendleton  Woolen Mills. Customers were excited about the new release and sales were brisk. I met a lot of loyal readers who have read and collected most, if not all, of my  books.

That always makes a fellow feel rewarded. Thanks everyone for making this Round-Up such a success!

round-up 083

To purchase your copy of Rick Steber’s book: Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo visit: http://ricksteber.com/newreleases.html

Rick Steber is an award winning writer of contemporary western stories. To find out more about his books, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs visit his website:  Writing the West http://ricksteber.com

The First Pendleton Round-Up

Pendleton-Roundup-8

The idea for the Pendleton Round-Up originated in 1910 when a group of men from Umatilla County were gathered in Portland for the Rose Festival.

It was proposed that Pendleton should hold a community event and that a western show was the answer. The men formed a company, sold stock, and that September the first Round-Up was held.

It was so popular the City of Pendleton purchased the company stock and made the Round-Up a civic event complete with cowboy and cowgirl competitions and entertainment depicting what life was like in the days of the Wild West.

Pendelton Roundup1

Each September since, the call goes out, “Let ’er Buck,” and the Pendleton Round-Up kicks off.

******************

Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo The 2013 Pendleton Round-Up takes place September 11th – 14th. Rick Steber will be in various locations in Pendleton, Oregon, September 10th – 14th, signing copies of his new book: Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo. View his book signing schedule here: http://ricksteber.com/book-sign-schedule.html 

Red Black White tells the true story of the 1911 Pendleton Round-Up. Three men of different skin colors – Jackson Sundown, John Spain, and George Fletcher – are brought together during the finals of the Northwest Saddle Bronc Championship. What happened that September day, the judges’ decision and the reaction of the crowd in the aftermath, forever changed the sport of rodeo, and the way the emerging West was to look at itself.about the 1911 Pendleton Roundup and how it forever changed the sport of rodeo, and the way the emerging West was to look at itself.

You can purchase of Red Black White online at: http://ricksteber.com/newreleases.html

 

An Unforgettable Pendleton Round-Up, 1911

Aside

Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo
Available now!

Red White Black tells the true story of the 1911 Pendleton Round-Up. Three men of different skin colors – Jackson Sundown, John Spain, and George Fletcher – are brought together during the finals of the Northwest Saddle Bronc Championship. What happened that September day, the judges’ decision and the reaction of the crowd in the aftermath, forever changed the sport of rodeo, and the way the emerging West was to look at itself. Read more . . .

Rick Steber, who spent four decades researching this story, has more than 30 titles under his belt and sales of over a million books. Rick is the only Oregon author to have won the prestigious Western Writers of America Spur Award – Best Western Novel. He is a keen observer of the changing American West and he articulates these changes in prose that are boldly descriptive, invigorating and creative. His writing has been compared to Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, McMurtry and Stegner.

New Book: Red White Black Has Gone to Press!

Rick Steber book printing press

Red White Black has gone to  press and now is in the capable hands of the production department. Once  the printing is complete, the book will be bound and ready for shipment. It  should take about 10 days for the baby to  come home.

We’ll be taking orders shortly.

Rick Steber is an award winning writer of contemporary western stories. To find out more about his books, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs visit his website:  Writing the West http://ricksteber.com

History and Horse Rustling, Ca 1911

More from my 1,000 mile research trip for my upcoming book, Red White Black, A True Story of Race and Rodeo . . .

UNION, OREGON

John Spain, Eastern Oregon Livestock Show, Ca. 1911

John Spain, Eastern Oregon Livestock Show, Ca. 1911

The Union County Historical Museum in Union, Oregon has an extensive collection of photos and research about John and Fred Spain, as does the Union County Stock Show.

I also visited with family members related to John Spain and gathered information from the courthouse in La Grande on a trial that was held where John Spain was accused of horse rustling. With this information in hand, I visited Pierce Library on the Eastern Oregon State University campus and looked up newspaper accounts of the trial from 1911.

Then I was off to do a quick interview with the newspaper editor in Elgin and through Wallowa County on my way to Idaho. I drove through some incredible country, stopping to gaze into the heart of Joseph Canyon, and then dropping down the long, steep, winding grade to the Grande Ronde River and back up the other side.

Joseph Canyon, OR

Joseph Canyon, OR

I passed through Lewiston and drove to Jacque Spur, visiting Jackson Sundown’s grave at the Slickpoo Cemetery and took photographs of his old home, now abandoned and falling in on itself.

Jackson Sundown's old home

Jackson Sundown’s old home

Visit my website at Writing the West, http://ricksteber.com for more tales of the Wild West, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs. My books are now available for purchase as ebooks. Subscribe to this blog to find out more about my upcoming book: Red White Black, A True Story of Race and Rodeo.

On the Trail of Rodeo Rider, John Spain

BAKER CITY, OREGON

On my last research trip I wanted to gather any last bits of information that was out there to add to my book Red White Black, A True Story of Race and Rodeo, as well as to visit the graves of the three main characters. I made a big circle; drove a thousand miles and was gone for a week.

John Spain

John Spain

I arrived in Baker City on a Sunday and there were a few people getting a jump on Memorial Day and putting flowers on the graves of loved ones in the Mt. Hope Cemetery. I stood on the green, wet grass and felt uneasy as I looked through my binoculars and tried in vain to find the headstone of John Spain among the 16,000 people who are buried there.

John Spain GraveThe next morning a caretaker looked up the grave and I took photos of John Spain’s grave marker as the sun edged over the bald hill to the east. And then I visited the library, courthouse, and sheriff’s office and talked to the man who has spent his lifetime gathering photographs of Baker County.

Visit my website at Writing the West, http://ricksteber.com for more tales of the Wild West, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs. My books are now available for purchase as ebooks. Subscribe to this blog to find out more about my upcoming book: Red White Black, A True Story of Race and Rodeo.