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.

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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

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2013 Pendleton Round-Up a big success!

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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!

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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

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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.

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

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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

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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

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.

Creating a keepsake: Red White Black, A True Story of Race and Rodeo

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On the trail of rodeo phenomena, Jackson Sundown. At his grave, Slickpoo Cemetery, Jacque Spur, Oregon

The written words of a non-fiction book get their beauty, grace, elegance and validity from the research that has been done to support them.

I do enjoy the research.

Not so much in blowing dust from a written history, but in talking with the people who actually lived that history.

Most of the events in Red White Black – the book I am currently working on – occurred a hundred years ago, or more. But I have been gathering material for this book for almost four decades and during that time have interviewed people who knew the three main characters – Jackson Sundown, John Spain and George Fletcher – and watched them ride broncs at rodeos.

Time passes. People die. They take their memories with them to the grave.

And now in my current research I hear stories from people who say their fathers told them about a particular cowboy, or an incredible ride they witnessed.

I take all these stories that are shared with me and try to weave them together into a text that will be as rich in color, texture and usefulness as a Pendleton blanket, a keepsake to appreciate in life and pass down from one generation to the next, just as the stories have been passed down to me from generation to generation.

39688_150106865005032_5183089_nVisit 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.