Shirley Richardson of Bryson wins Chuck Wagon of the Year. She will cook for Pioneer Days June 1.
Shirley Richardson of Bryson wins Chuck Wagon of the Year. She will cook for Pioneer Days June 1.
Friends of the Museum are planning the 11th annual Pioneer Day: A Living History Day from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., June 1. Everyone is invited to attend the festivities at the museum on West Belknap Street, honoring the early settlers of Jack County. There will be soap making by Janice Branch, leather working by Will Burgess, chair and basket weaving by Kevin Kelly, quilting bees, candle making, butter churning, whittling, black powder demonstrations, corn grinding, frontier wash day, hawking, storytelling and many other demonstrations. Beverly Solomon, of Jacksboro, will also be singing at lunch. Quilters are urged to bring their quilts for display to the museum before Pioneer Day so others can see their art. Visitors can enjoy an authentic chuckwagon meal, with all the trimmings, prepared by the winner of the 2012 Academy of Western Artist, Garnet Brooks Chuck Wagon Award, which was presented to Shirley Richardson of Bryson, as the "Chuck Wagon of the Year" recipient. The Chuck Wagon Award is named in honor of Garnet Brooks, who conceived the idea for a special event in the past with the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum. The event was a cowboy gathering where Brooks felt the heritage of the chuck wagon was worthy to promote the heritage of the American Cowboy that became the annual Chuck Wagon Gathering and Children's Cowboy Festival in Oklahoma City. Shirley's chuck wagon heritage dates to the turn of the twentieth century. Her grandfather, Carol Dodds was the ranch cook at the infamous Matador Land and Cattle Company. Shirley is co-owner of the Bryson Trading Post and a founding member of the American Chuck Wagon Association, and she has been competing for over 20 years. The wagon is called the "Rafter L" and it belongs to Richardson's son and daughter-in-law, Jerry and Teresa Ann Lawson. Stan Mahler will be presenting his ballads again this year. Born in Haskell, and now living in Olney. Mahler has cowboyed a little and still raises a few cows with his brother, Mike. He has performed his music from the Big Bend country to the corners of Texas and New Mexico. He also is a member of the Western Music Association, Academy of Western Music and the Cowtown Opry located in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards in Fort Worth. Mahler has shared the stage with western artists like Leon Rausch, Don Edwards, Waddie Mitchell, R. W. Hampton, Dan Roberts, Jeff Gore, Royce Smithey, Judy James, and Devon Dawson, the singing voice of Jessie the Yodelin Cowgirl in Toy Story II, the Outlaw Jessie Robertson. Mahler has also shared the stage with cowboy and cowgirl poets, Lanny Joe Burnett, Teresa Burleson and Chris Isaacs. His powerful tenor voice and yodeling talent makes him a sure fire hit with every audience as he sings about the history and lifestyle of the West. Lee Wiley Burch will be telling stories, most of them about his ranch in Young County that has been in the family for 122 years. He is a retired agriculture teacher and a poet, rancher and contract fence builder. His story was published in the Farming & Ranching special section, Winter 2009, written by Carla McKeown, a publication which serves Jack, Palo Pinto, Stephens and Young counties, and distributed in the Jack County Herald. Attendees at Pioneer Day will enjoy his ranch stories. Admission to Pioneer Days is free, but the chuckwagon meal will cost you $12 for adults and $6 for kids. The museum will also be holding a drawing for a utility trailer and a drawing for a quilt that day. Contact the museum to purchase your raffle tickets now.