The BC Cowboy Heritage Society Newsletter Logo

The BC Cowboy Heritage Society
Official Newsletter

The Cowboy Times
2019 Vol #4 - December

Issued quarterly;
February, May, September, and December
To see the past issues click on the Vol   #80 or Vol   #81

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About Us


Hall of Fame

Heritage Award 



Trade Show

Western Art Show



From the Editors
From the President
BCCHS Membership Info
The 2020 Kamloops Cowboy Festival
Ian Tyson to be Honoured

Marlene Pegg 2020 Poster Artist
Ryan Fritz tour review
The Wardens - new kids book review
Sons of the Pioneers BC Tour
2020 Spirit of the West Cruise

100 Mile House Cowboy Concert Details Announced

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From the Editors

Kathy and Mark McMillan

Kathy and Mark McMillan

It was a little challenging getting this issue done as Kathy has had me working in her office in 100 Mile for the last couple of months ... 7 days a week and long hours! She decided that because I did a reno in our house, that turned out ok, that I should do the renos in her work place. So we turned one big room and three offices into a board room, a photo copy room, and six big offices! and in case that wasn't enough we renovated the kitchen, too.

So as I write this I sit in an office at PMT Chartered Accountants LLP. Do I do taxes? Not likely! But I did slip in here while waiting for drywallers, painters, electricians, and flooring guys to finish up their parts and got some of this newsletter put together.

The BC Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Joe Marten Award nomination deadline has passed, but unfortunately the selection committee meetings were both on Friday, November 29th which was after my press deadline for this newsletter. The results from both meetings will be posted on the home page at as soon as possible.

We were a little worried when we were told we were losing our Dinner Theatre, at least as we knew it, but things are actually looking pretty positive for the 2020 Kamloops Cowboy Festival. They have a new seating floor plan put together and it should work out great. The entertainment lineup looks amazing, too, and we're already getting excited. Tickets went on sale November 1st. See the details here!

If long flights aren't your thing, read about how you can join the 19th Annual Spirit of the West Cruise, with little or no flying! The 2020 Cruise is definitely a favourite destination and more affordable, too. See the article here!

There's something a little different in this issue as we look at a new kids book ... with a story from songs by the Wardens! Read the review here!

Kathy & Mark McMillan, Editors,

BC Tractor Parts . com
BC Tractor Parts dot com logo

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From the President

Mark McMillan

May 2019, Pres report by Mark McMillan

From the President, Mark McMillan

2019 was a good year for the BCCHS and the Kamloops Cowboy Festival and it's looking like 2020 will be equally as good. All aspects of the Society are coming together nicely as the year comes to an end.

The names of the 2020 BC Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees and the 2020 Joe Marten Memorial Award recipient will be announced at a later date on the home page at

The Kamloops Cowboy Festival is getting closer by the minute but I think everything is falling into place as it always seem to do. I'm thinking it'll be another great show! See the pre-Festival information and a tentative list of entertainers here.

Mark McMillan, President, BCCHS,

The BC Cowboy Heritage Society
Box 137, Kamloops, BC, Canada, V2C 5K3

Members: The BC Cowboy Heritage Society would like to thank you for your support over the past year. We hope you will continue supporting the society by renewing your membership annually. Membership information, and a membership form, can be found on our web site at:

BCCHS Memberships
If you're not a member but are interested in what we do to preserve cowboy heritage in BC, then you should think about joining. There are no commitments whatsoever and your $20 membership ($30 for a family and $100 for corporate) would be greatly appreciated. Membership dollars go towards the society's administrative costs.

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The 100 Mile House Cowboy Concert
20th Anniversary Details Announced

That's right this is the 20th Annual 100 MH Cowboy Concert and it should be great. We only just put the program together, just made the poster, and just finished printing the tickets!

Two of the faces you'll see on stage this year will be familiar as they have been on this stage in past years. Gary Fjellgaard was here in 2010 and again in 2017, and Jeremy Willis was here in 2014 ... both went over super well. A new face to this stage will be Bruce Rolph from Horsefly.

Bruce is the real deal ... he's lived on a ranch his whole life and he works in the Williams Lake Stockyards, too. That's where the fuel for his poetry comes from ... real life experiences. He's a great poet, often very humorous, and has a super delivery. We've heard him many times at various BC Cattlemen's functions, and at other local events, but we've never been able to talk him into coming to 100 Mile House in February. Mainly because of the time of year and the fact that he was busy with the cow herd. Well now he's retired and we're super happy to have him here!

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The 20th Annual 100 Mile House Cowboy Concert poster
The 20th Annual 100 Mile House Cowboy Concert poster

Jeremy Willis is a ranch raised kid, too, as his parents own the Anchor Ranch at the Chasm where they raise purebred Charolais bulls. Jeremy keeps busy with his DJ service doing weddings, often with live accompaniment. His big baritone voice and choice of songs makes him a crowd favourite. We look forawrd to having Jeremy back at the 100 Mile Cowboy Concert.

I probably don't need to say much about Gary Fjellgaard as anyone reading this article probably knows all about him. His list of awards is huge and goes back to 1987. They include seven different song of the year awards, three for album of the year, seven for composer of the the year, as well as numous others. He has a Juno, he's in two country music hall of fames, he was twice entertainer of the year and has a whopping twelve titles as male vocalist of the year!

In 2017 it took him 11 hours to get from Hope to Merritt in a snow storm but he still made it in time for sound checks. He said then that they wouldn't do any more winter gigs ... but luckily for us, he changed his mind.

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Gary Fjellgaard
Gary Fjellgaard

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Bruce Rolph
Bruce Rolph

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Jeremy Willis
Jeremy Willis

Tickets are still just $20 each and there's two shows again this year; a 2:00 matinee and a 7:00 evening show. Tickets are available in 100 Mile House at Work n Play, 100 Mile Feed, PMT Chartered Professional Accounts LLP, and in Williams Lake at PMT and at the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin. For information or phone order tickets (if need be) you can phone 1-888-763-2221 or locally phone Mark at 250-395-0960. You can also find a poster and more information on the 100 MH Cowboy Concert page of this web site.

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The Horse Barn

The Horse Barn's web site is:

The Horse Barn!

We are so glad to have the Horse Barn as a major sponsor of the Kamloops Cowboy Festival.

Festival Tickets will available once again
at the Horse Barn!

The Horse Barn - Rafter HB!

The Horse Barn
517 Mt Paul Way
Kamloops, BC, V2H 1A9

The Horse Barn will once again present the Keeper of the West Award
for the best new song or poem, performed on the Festival weekend, that audienve feels best suits the award title.

photo by Jerry Stainer
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The Keeper of the West Trophy Buckle!

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The 24th Annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival

March 19th to 22nd, 2020 is literally just around the corner and things are looking like we'll have another good Kamloops Cowboy Festival in 2020.

The one major change that we were expecting turned out to be not that major after all. The dinner theatre as we knew it is gone but the new dinner theatre looks great ... well ... actually we haven't seen it but the seating map looks great. The floor layout is very similar to past years except the rows are on a level floor and the stage will be raised - very much like the Ball Room. The number of seats on the floor actually increased slightly but we did loose the balcony, which will leave us with somewhere around 75 seats less than past years. Click on the image below to see the new seating plan. You can also see the menu by simply Clicking Here.

The 2020 Kamloops Cowboy Festival Dinner Theatre new seating plan
click to enlarge

Tickets are on sale now and we've sold quite a pile of them already. Basically the prices are the same as last year with the only difference being that all the meal costs went up $5.00. So ... Weekend passes are still $80, Evening Shows are still $40, Day Passes are still $20, and this year dinner theatre upgrades will be $40 ... which makes the Dinner Shows $80 if you don't have a weekend pass. The Thursday Night Welcome to Festival Dinner Dance also went up $5.00 so they're now $50. All prices include tax and gratuity. To view the menu simply Click Here.

The Entertainment schedules will all be the same as last year, too ... well except for the names on them of course. The tentative list of performers so far for 2020 is as follows. We will probably be adding one or two more:

  • Belinda Gail
  • Big Rig
  • Brian Salmond
  • Butch Falk
  • Doug Figgs
  • Ed Wahl
  • Gary Fjellgaard

  • Geoff Mackay
  • Hugh McLennan
  • Jason Ruscheinsky
  • Jim Hamilton
  • Kathy Moss
  • Larry Miller
  • Lauralee Northcott

  • Markus Sommer
  • Naomi Bristow
  • Phyllis Rathwell
  • Ryan Fritz
  • Terry Nash
  • Tom Cole
  • Western Spirit Band

Workshops haven't been allocated as of yet but you can bet there'll be some of the best in their field as presenters. I'm guessing Belinda Gail and Gary Fjellgaard will both do song writing workshops, Terry Nash a poetry writing, and Lauralee Northcott will have something lined up. We're hoping Andy Knight will be there with something about saddles, too.

The Art of the West Show and Sale will once again have some amazing western art; sculptures, flat work, and photographs on display and the Festival Trade Show will have a great selection of western/ cowboy products for sale.

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The BCCHS & Mike Puhallo Memorial Student Scholarships

Entry Deadline: December 31st

We're seeing a few entries cross our desks already, in both scholarships, and look forward to seeing some great work again this year. We award up to five $500 student scholarships. The BCCHS scholarships can be for a written entry, an art entry, or a cowboy craft. The two Mike Puhallo Memorial Scholarships are for cowboy poetry. You can find all the details on the Scholarship page at

The entry deadline is December 31st and entry information and an entry form can also be found on the scholarship page of this website.

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The BC Cowboy Heritage Society Will Honour Ian Tyson

Who better deserves recognition for preserving western and cowboy heritage then the guy who's name we all know ... the guys who's name always pops up first when the conversation turns to cowboy music ... Ian Tyson!

Although we focus on BC in our mandate, and Ian is an Alberta resident, we recognise the preservation of our cowboy / western heritage wherever it takes place. And besides, Ian Tyson was born and raised in BC.

I can't count high enough to tell you how many awards Ian has received over the years ... a lot! From what I know of Ian, and from what I hear in his music, I think the awards that have the word "cowboy" or "western" in their title probably mean the most to him and to say he's an icon in the cowboy music world would be an understatement.

For quite a few years we ran the "Country 103 Rising Star Show Case", and later the "Spirit of the West Rising Star Showcase" and one of the main rules was that content had to be "Cowboy material" ... it had to be cowboy music. Time and time again I got asked "what's the difference between cowboy music and western music" ... even from some very seasoned country musicians ... when they asked for examples I would always, immediately, give them one name ... Ian Tyson.

This is one more award in a long list for this Cowboy and Canadian music hall of famer, but the BC Cowboy Heritage Society and the Kamloops Cowboy Festival would feel remiss if we did not acknowledge Ian Tyson for his contributions to preserving the way of life that we all love!

See Ian's web site at:

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Ian Tyson on the right with Ryan Fritz
Ian Tyson on the right
with Ryan Fritz

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Sons of the Pioneers 85th Anniversary Tour ... BC Leg

Sons of the Pioneers in Vernon October 11, 2019
by Hugh McLennan

The lights dimmed in the beautiful Vernon Performing Arts centre. Six guys took their place on stage, the spotlight came on and as the applause died down John Fullerton said: "Here's a song we've been doing since 1934." With that the legendary Sons of the Pioneers swung into one of the first Bob Nolan songs ever recorded, "Way Out There."

The seats were filled with folks who grew up watching Roy and Trigger on the big screen and hearing the unique blend of the Sons of the Pioneers for as long as they could remember, and their response was enthusiastic to say the least.

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The Sons of the Pioneers
The Sons of the Pioneers L - R
Paul Elliott, Tommy Nallie, Dusty Rogers, Chuck Ervin, John Fullerton, Ken Lattimore

When Dusty, (Roy Rogers Jr.) agreed to step into the lead singer's spot after the retirement of Randy Rudd, history was made as he now had the spot his famous father filled in 1934. This concert was part of the group's 85th Anniversary tour and there is still an unbroken connection right back to the founding members, Tim Spender, Leonard Slye (AKA Roy Rogers) and Canadian born Bob Nolan. Dusty's beautiful voice and wonderful stories of Roy and Dale have added a powerful dimension.

Amazing lead guitar player and baritone vocalist John Fullerton is a perfect fit for the group. He is a walking encyclopaedia of their history and can tell you every past member and every song the group has ever sung.

There's a great chemistry and energy with the group. From long time member Ken Lattimore's enduring tenor voice and smooth fiddle, the solid and smooth bass of Chuck Ervin, the hot fiddle of Paul Elliot that honors the work of original fiddler Hugh Far, to the lead guitar and vocals of Trail Boss Tommy Nallie, the group sounds (I think) better than ever.

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Billie and Hugh in the centre with Dusty Rogers right behind Billlie.
Billie and Hugh in the centre with Dusty Rogers right behind Billlie.

They carried us through a lifetime of memorable songs, and as they neared the end of the show, the audience again broke into applause with first notes of "Cool Clear Water". The applause got louder as they segued into "Tumbling Tumble Weeds". Then Dusty thanked everyone over the opening sounds of their finale "Happy Trails". The song ended, the entire crowd was on their feet demanding an encore, and they left us all with the strains of Johnny Bond's "Cimarron Roll On" running through our minds.

After the show the whole group remained in the lobby signing every autograph request and posing for every picture from the adoring fans.

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The Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin

presents the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame

Museum Logo

The Museum is located in Williams Lake, BC. For information on the Museum, and what it displays inside, check out their web site at:

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Ryan Fritz BC Tour Review

When I heard that Ryan and his son Hoss were heading this way we set up a house concert here at Meadow Springs Ranch. We wished that there had been a few more people here but the ones that were here were treated to a great show. It was a great evening!

Ryan and Hoss left here and headed north to Williams Lake where Ryan had set up a show the following evening. After the fact I said I was going to do an article on the BC tour and I asked Ryan how it went. His answer was perfect ...

"Our little blast into BC was a nice little concert tour. Traveling West is always my favourite direction and heading into a ranching community to share my songs is even better. Driving through BC's interior with its grassy and sage brush landscape really gets the cowboy paint brush in my mind moving. Not only with the province's early west history but my own history of cowboying out here.

First stop on this mini tour was Friday night at Meadow Springs Ranch. A perfect ranch setting with all the western hospitality you might expect from the Cariboo on down to the Rio Grande. Although a modest audience in size it was great to make that connection and interaction that happens in a house concert setting.

Mark and Kathy Mcmillan with Ryan Fritz in front of their Log Cabin
Mark and Kathy Mcmillan with Ryan Fritz in front of the Meadow Springs Ranch Log Cabin

After a restful sleep on the McMillan's Ranch we pointed our wagon north for Williams Lake for our Saturday night show at the Longhouse, which is a log hall located on the rodeo grounds in "Willy's Puddle" as the locals call it. This show I was looking forward to as it had been about 25 years since my days of cowboying at the Gang Ranch and Alkali Lake. It's turns out I still have some friends up there and thanks to their organizing and the local paper doing a write up we had a great turn out. Playing my new and old songs as well as some of Ian Tyson's, it was a great couple hours with folks who came to hear some cowboy music and the stories that go with them. The mini tour was a success and one we hope to do again."

Well, if you were one of the ones lucky enough to be there then we know you'll want to hear Ryan and Hoss again. If you've missed the tour don't worry as they'll be back in BC in March, at the Kamloops Cowboy Festival ... come check them out.

See Ryan's web site at:

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Alberta Cowboy Poetry Association - ACPA

Check it out at: If you're looking for a performer for an event, or if you are a performer looking to get booked for an event, then you'll find how on their web site. If it's a CD or book you need you'll find tons of them there, too! That's

Alberta Cowboy Poetry Association - ACPA

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Marlene Pegg
The 2020 Cowboy Festival Poster Artist

We've seen, and loved, her work at numerous Festival art shows over the years and we were thrilled to be able to use one of Marlene Pegg's paintings on our poster for the 2020 Kamloops Cowboy Festival. Here's a little bit about Marlene.

Marlene lives and breathes horses and all things related to an authentic western life. When speaking about her connection and understanding of horses, someone once commented that "she walks in their minds." From a young age she would rush through her household chores and head outside to be with the farm animals. Later in life she was able to raise her family with the money she earned from riding the rough string and as she continued to develop her horsemanship skills she started

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Marlene Pegg
Marlene Pegg

turning out all around ranch horses. She often trained horses in need of rehabilitation, the ones others had given up on. Her steadfast persistence and love for the horse compelled her to understand and reach them. She now puts pencil to paper and brush to canvas to capture the memory of a challenging and rewarding career and it's equine characters she has loved so well.

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The 2020 Kamloops Cowboy Festival Poster
The 2020 Kamloops Cowboy Festival Poster

In her own words, "There is a feeling deep in a cowboy's heart that words cannot express; whether it's the pride of upholding the legacies and traditions of the western way of life, a meal and friendship shared among the working crew or the fellowship of helping out another cattleman, it all brings a deep unspoken connection. Despite the changes in scenery, people, cattle and horses throughout the years, the foundations for being a true cowboy still exist."

Marlene's paintings capture the essence of that life. The sounds of cows bawling, the wail of a roped calf and the smell of burning hair in dusty corals brings ranch living to life on canvas. Marlene Pegg's collection of award winning western art is available for purchase and viewing by contacting her directly at 250-255-9259. She does commission work as well as sells prints and original works in acrylics on canvas and pencils on paper. She is also an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists.

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The Wardens
Guardians of the Wild

I love "The Wardens" and their music so when I heard about a new book based on one of their songs I was immediately interested ... but a kids book ... hmmm. I'm not a kid, in fact I'm far far from it, and we don't even have any kids, so what do I know about a kids book.

Well I received a copy in the mail and read it right away. I found the art work appealing as I recognised all three of The Wardens in one of the first pictures. Thumbing through the book page after page shows the story of their day to day work and I thought the art work was great ... they are actually original wood carvings.

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Marlene Pegg
The wardens (L to R)
Bradley Bischoff, Ray Schmidt
and Scott Ward

The story itself ... it's great, it's based on the song Government Cowboy that The Wardens wrote about things park rangers do at work. After these verses there's a page describing what a ranger does and the next page is a glossary explaining some of the cowboy terms used in the song. The next couple of pages show the animals, fish, birds, plants, and even insects that might be seen in one of Canada's parks. The last two pages are a map showing the Rocky Mountain Parks where The Wardens worked followed by a brief description. All this makes this book a learning tool as well as a good read.

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Guardians of the Wild
Guardians of the Wild

Now like I said ... what do I know about a kid's book? So I got to thinking ... some of the girls that work for Kathy have kids and or grandkids and I figured they'd be far better judges of a kids book than I so I took the book in to Kathy's office and showed it around. The first couple of girls (they actually don't have kids but know kids) thought it was great.

The next lady read through it and her comments were "very dark drawings" and they are ... although at the same time I thought that they are quite vivid and easy to see. She also said "it's geared towards boys not girls" ... true I guess ... or Tom boys : ... but I personally think girls would like it too as it's full of animals and horses.

Then the girl that does have kids looked at it and her comment was "this is totally Rhett ... I think he'll love it." So a day later she brought her son, Rhett (a four year old upcoming cowboy) into the office and read the book to him. "He was all over it! He loved it" were her comments after the fact.

So that was enough for me ... the four year old had the same thoughts as I did : Hmmm not sure what that means ... other then the fact that this new kid's book met both of our approval. It's titled "Guardians of the Wild, Rocky Mountain Rangers" based on The Wardens' song Government Cowboy with art work by Lia Golemba. All in all a good entertaining read for kids and a very educational too boot.

It's for sale for $17.99 Canadian ($15.99 US) and to get a copy for your kid or grandkid for Christmas you can go to or

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The Spirit of the West Cowboy Cruise!

Don't like the long flights to get to the cruise ship? To get to this next cruise you don't have to fly at all ... and if you do it would likely only be a short little domestic flight at the most.

"July 15th to 25th, 2020. The Ship, Holland America's brand new Koningsdam. The port we board at ... Vancouver BC. Our destination ... Way Up North!!

We'll get together and overnight in Kelowna then head up to the McLennan Ranch for a visit and sing-a-long. From here the whole group will ride a coach to the beautiful Sun Peaks Resort for sightseeing and an overnight stay. The coach will then take in the amazing Fraser Canyon en route to Vancouver where we'll overnight and then board Holland America's brand new Koningsdsam for a breathtaking return journey up the Inside Passage through Alaska.

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Your Spirit of the West Cruise hosts Billie and Hugh McLennan

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Ireland and the Bristish Isles
Your Spirit of the West
Cruise hosts
Billie & Hugh McLennan

The trip includes the incredible White Pass Railway in Skagway and much more. Now, what makes this so nice is that it's a short flight."

Now the big news from Hugh ... "We call this The Spirit of the West and Friends bring it home cruise ... Billie and I will be stepping back from hosting cruises after 19 years of doing it and we want this one to really be special for everyone!" The Spirit of the West Cruise will however continue in future years and will support the Spirit of the West Radio Show, hopefully for years to come!

Get all the details at 1-800-530-0131 and see Hugh's cruise page at and their cruise facebook page.

Download the 2020 Cruise Flyer PDF here

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The Spirit of the West Alaska Cruise group in 2017
The Spirit of the West Alaska Cruise group in 2017

For more info contact Megan, Karen or Jim at Cruise Vacations: 1-800-530-0131.
Or see the cruise page at:

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Home of the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame!

Museum Logo

BC Cowboy, Ranching, and Rodeo Museum The Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin is located in Williams Lake, BC and is the Home of the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame. It is located at the corner of 4th Avenue and Borland Street. Phone 250-392-7404 Email:

We highly recommend a visit to the
Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin in Williams Lake!
Check out their web site - BC Cowboy, Ranching, and Rodeo Museum

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