Our Buckle Bunny
Sergeant Reckless A Cowgirlâ€™s Courage My Path to the Wild Horses Mighty Mouse the Mustang
Jessica Jean Tourino
Photo courtesy of Bristol MacDonald
FEATURES 8 Herd roun’ the waterin’ trough 10 My Path to the Wild Mustangs...Tom Doody 22 A Cowgirl’s Courage...Cate Crismani 26 Mighty Mouse the Mustang...Tracie Lynn Thompson \\
30 Sergeant Reckless...Robin L. Hutton 42 Our August Buckle Bunny…Jessica Jean Tourino
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Publisher Equine Angle Marketing & Publicity California, USA
Executive Director & Editor Cate Crismani
Advertising Posse Rich Richardson 760.696.6304 “Calamity” Cate Crismani 818.642.4764
Contributing “Wriders” Cate Crismani * Tom Doody Tracie Lynn Thompson * Robin L.Hutton
Buckle Bunny Cover/Pictorial Photographer Flint Burkart
Contributing Photographers Christopher Ameruoso * Tom Doody * Bristol MacDonald
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herd roun’ the waterin’ trough from the Editor’s Desk... Evil is a human condition. Look around you today, look back in the history of the world. It is fraught with wars, greed and inhumane practices. I have never met a horse, or any animal for that matter, that had evil intentions. Pit Bulls get a bad rap as “killers” because of the people they are raised by who teach them to kill. I have never met a Pit Bull that was inherently evil. There are always exceptions to every rule but, by and large, man is the only species that possess’ evil thoughts and follows through with action. “All war is based on propaganda”, The Art of War. Nothing is more evident of this fact then the battles we fight to save our wild mustangs. The BLM is basing their inhumane treatment, round-ups and slaughter of our wild horses based on nothing else but propaganda with a root based in greed. Our government is the biggest purveyor of propaganda with fine tuned PR machines spinning their brand of “help” to justify removal of these mighty animals from their natural homesteads; the public lands they live on regardless of the laws in place to protect them and keep them free roaming. The Constitution states when the government is no longer for the people it must be disbanded. Loosely paraphrased but you get the drift. Our own government held the country hostage in August until they got what they wanted at the detriment of our entire nation. And the United States credit rating was downgraded anyway. So who won? Not you or me. I can promise you that. Vivo Los Mustangs! Besos, Calamity Cate
My Path to the Wild Mustangs ...Tom Doody For many photographers, the path to their chosen subject matter is often circuitous; an indirect journey that encompasses a variety of genres before settling on one that they can feel passionate for. The path that drew Tom Doody to photographing wild mustangs was circuitous indeed: beginning in the early 80’s with Polaroid studies of street people and indigents captured on the streets of Chicago, his home town, to macro florals, Mayan ruins and crawls through the cemeteries of Latin America. Doody spent the eighties and nineties representing some of America’s top fashion, entertainment and media brands via his Chicagobased public relations firm, Tom Doody & Associates but had dreams of being behind the lens. In 2002, Doody decided to turn his dream into reality and the impetus was a winning blackjack streak in Las Vegas. He recalls the experience with a gleam in his eye, “This was still the advent of digital and I had been toying with the idea of acquiring some pro equipment and immersing myself in photography”, says Doody. “I had been playing cards all night and was up a couple of grand, so I pushed it all out on the table and told myself if I won the hand, I was going to go out the next day and buy a good camera body and glass. I drew two aces, doubled down and got blackjack with both of them. I cashed out and was at the camera store the next day when it opened.”
While on honeymoon in 2002 at the Blue Parrot, a small hotel and beach club in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, Tom and his wife Pamela made a spontaneous decision to unplug from their chaotic corporate lives and move to Mexico to operate the hotel and beach club where they had honeymooned. They spent the next nine years living on Mexico’s Caribbean coast and during that time Doody brought his technical skills up to speed with a natural talent for composing compelling images. Describing his learning process, he says, “After lots of trial and error over tens of thousands of frames, shooting everything and everybody in sight, I gradually gained the ability to coax the images that I visualized in my minds eye out of the camera.” In 2009, Tom and Pamela took up residence in a Malibu community that was surrounded by horse properties and horse people. Pamela soon acquired Tuxie, a 16.1 hand gelding and began training dressage, cross-country and stadium jumping. Although he had peripheral exposure to horses as a youngster, this was Tom’s first “up close and personal” experience with the equestrian world. I quickly found myself in the role of “horse husband,” supporting Pamela’s riding and doing “all of the stuff that comes with sharing one’s wife with a horse.”
Soon, he found himself taking on the photography for Pamela’s start-up equestrian apparel company, Horseworship, and shooting the events Pamela had begun competing in with Tuxie. “But for me, I wasn’t in ‘love’ with horses yet,” Doody quips, adding, “That would come later.” It was his exposure to the wild horses that really turned him into a horse lover. And, it was his experience with the wild horses at the Return to Freedom sanctuary in Lompoc, California that ignited his passion for equestrian photography. Doody says, “Pamela wanted to have a cause related element to her business and had selected Return to Freedom as the beneficiary to receive a percentage of the profits from the sale of her Horseworship tee-shirts. I agreed and thought it would be a good idea to get out their personally and become educated about what was happening to wild horses in the U.S. and what Return to Freedom was doing to address it.” Established in 1997 by Neda DeMayo, Return to Freedom provides a safe haven to nearly 200 wild horses and burros, recognizing that wild horses live in tightly bonded herd groups, while enhancing the human spirit through direct experience with the natural world.
Pamela’s interest in the sanctuary led Doody to enroll in a 5-day workshop with world-renowned equestrian photographers Tony Stromberg and Kimerlee Curyl at Return to Freedom. “It was Kimerlee and Tony’s technical mastery and incredible understanding of the horses that opened my eyes to the wonders of the wild horse world”, says Doody. While he had been exposed to domestic horses throughout his life, he was not prepared for what he was introduced to through the wild horses in the rolling hills of the sanctuary. Doody reflects on the experience, saying, “It was one thing to view the horses in their natural habitat, but it was quite another thing to experience being accepted by the herd and actually integrating into it. I was simply blown away being in the center of a herd of forty wild horses; it was one of the most gratifying experiences of my life.” One image, entitled “Blue Eye,” is a close up shot of a mustang with intense blue eyes using a Nikon 105mm Macro lens. He then processed the image in a way that he converted it to black and white with the exception of the blue eye, creating a surreal, highly emotive image. “I always strive to the subject’s eye as the point of focus in my photos, whether I’m shooting people on the street or horses in the wild. For me, the magic is to capture the second when there is interaction between myself and the subject.”
While some of the images capture the traditional beauty of the horses, others evoke the story of a hard life and the ultimate survival of these majestic animals. Many of Doody’s images are shot in fog and capture the horses in a stark white background, they seem to have been shot in a studio, rather than in the wild. Describing his processing choices, Doody says, “ Although there can be beautiful colorations to the horses and their environment, I often find that the starkness of black and white communicates the stark reality of the severity of these horse’s lives and environment.” With estimates of the number of American wild horses left in their native environment hovering between 15-30,000, time is quickly running short if we are to preserve the legacy of wild horses in America.
Even today, the roundups and senseless confinement of wild horses by the Bureau of Land Management continue, diminishing the size of the herds and breaking apart family units. “After I had a chance to see these animals in the wild, interacting and caring for their young, I was struck by the fact that they don’t need us”, says Doody. “Although they have helped us to build this country and given us gifts that are beyond comprehension, we continue to take everything away from them and for absolutely no reason.” “ Many of us who are passionate about this issue fear that the fate of the wild horse will be a reflection of the fate of our country and ourselves.” Copyright 2011 Tom Doody. All rights reserved.
A percentage of sales will be donated to the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros. www.ispmb.org
A COWGIRL’S COURAGE By Cate Crismani I met Jenna Smeenk last December during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. She was one of the finalists for the Buckle Bunny cover search competition we held for trueCOWBOYmagazine. Jenna is a consummate horsewoman, riding in the NFR as part of the Flag Team, opening and closing the rodeo. She is also as beautiful as they come, to boot. We kept in touch with the intention of shooting Jenna for the September cover of the magazine. It never happened. For this young twenty-two year old woman, life took a dramatic change from rodeo to reconnaissance in the United States Air Force in the blink of an eye. Jenna grew up on her family’s ranch homesteaded by her Great-Great Grandfather in 1909 and passed down from generation to generation. The security of her family, and the ranch, was a blanket of support and trust that shaped her budding personality and instilled a strong work ethnic, a fierce sense of loyalty and an “All-American Girl”. Every day, at dawn, Jenna was out working horses and cattle: feeding, mucking and mending fences. She possessed a natural inclination for riding and a penchant for barrel racing. She entered her first rodeo competition at age six winning riding competitions and Rodeo Queen Contests throughout her teens.
All of her horsemanship, hard work, commitment, competitive spirit and unstoppable will gained Jenna an Equestrian Scholarship at South Dakota State University. “In college, I had a scholarship to ride on the SDSU Equestrian Team as a Western rider where I competed in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association.” “My horse’s name is Corkey. His registered name is The Town Wiz. He is a gray thoroughbred/quarter horse. He came off the race-track and was very high-strung. The first time I rode him at a rodeo, I was scared to death. Corkey is a lot of horse! I have done the Parelli Natural Horsemanship program with him, and that has really helped. I can ride him at liberty with no bridle or halter and work with him free-style on the ground with no halter. I have taught him how to bow and can ride him standing up in the saddle. He really taught me how to ride.”, says Jenna. Little did Jenna know then but her lifestyle was molding her mentally and physically for a very different discipline; Operations Intelligence in support of Operation New Dawn at a Combat Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Aircraft Squadron in Iraq.
“My family wasn’t financially able to put us three kids through college, so my sister, Trisha, looked into joining the military as it comes with good financial benefits. She joined the South Dakota Air National Guard in Sioux City,” says Jenna. “She had nothing but great things to say about her experience. Initially, I didn’t want to join the military, but with some coaxing from Trish, I ended up doing just that.” go to page 62
Mighty Mouse the Mustang By Tracie Lynn Thompson I am a professional horse trainer. I do not have a problem with Mustangs. I do have a huge problem with the negative memory markers that are placed in their minds by their managers. A Memory Marker refers to a psychologically significant event that causes a horseâ€™s mind to place a â€œmarkerâ€? on that memory. The marker itself is associated with whatever sound, smell, sight, feeling or taste that was associated with a traumatic event. There are both positive and negative markers just as there are positive and negative memories. Until the negative markers are resolved and replaced with positive markers, the horse will respond with a fight or flight instinct anytime the marker is repeated. While spending time with the Wild Horse & Burro (WH&B) staff in Reno, the subject came up about me being the trainer for a WH&B Adoption Event. When the Adoption was coming to Beaumont, Texas, I received a call from Bob Mitchell the WH&B Program Manager in Oklahoma. Bob formally requested my services and I eagerly accepted. When I arrived that Thursday morning, I was asked to select the horses I wanted to put in the round pen for training. That is where I first saw the little bay mustang. I knew , instantly, that he needed help. I also knew, instantly, that he had stolen my heart.
The Mustang’s agitation was almost palpable from twenty feet away. He seemed to be so bored that he had no other option but to pace, relentlessly, to have something to do. “That one,” I pointed. Gary Hughes, a WH&B handler, looked at me as if I were crazy. He even second-guessed me. “You sure?” I was sure. This little guy was a scrapper. He had horribly negative memory markers and plenty of them. He was the smallest horse in the gelding pen, even though he was still a stud. His BLM paperwork stated that he had been gelded at the age of two; he was now four. However, there was no denying that he was in fact still a stud as he was still in tact. He had been in the pen for around fourteen hours and in that time he had worn a path in the packed Texas dirt. Even after Gary had moved him to the round pen, he immediately resumed his pacing. Then I noticed the direction he was facing in the round pen was the same direction he had been facing in his other pen: towards the mare pen! Clue number one. I entered the round pen opposite of him with little more than a split second pause and a sideways glance from him before his pacing resumed. I guess he figured that as long as I was on the other side and wasn’t bothering him, we were cool.
As I moved forward, he gave me a look that told me I wouldn’t if I were you. Not being easily intimidated, I continued my move into his pressure zone. He gave to the pressure, but only a little. It turns out that he wasn’t easily intimidated either. I knew that he had been a resident of the Hutchinson Correctional Facility in Kansas where he learned the fine art of “bum-rushing”. He displayed his incredible bum-rushing skills to me no less than four times in the first ten minutes. I continued to push into his pressure zones in an attempt to establish some sort of dynamic between us. His pressure zones were somewhat hard, giving only an inch or two in the front and maybe a little more in the rear. I knew if I gave even a split second’s pause I’d lose it all so I persisted. Then, as if a light switch flipped on, the little bay stopped on the opposite side of the round pen and faced me. He just stared at me as if he were sizing me up and truly studying me. I stopped likewise and held my ground, my shoulders squared up. It was completely evident that this was no ordinary horse and the wheels of his mind were turning at NASCAR speeds. I allowed him to make the first move, not wanting to rush him. He warily took a step towards me. I countered with a step into his pressure zone to which he immediately yielded. Progress. I could barely contain my relief and joy that he still had some soft spots. The next thirty minutes consisted of the typical first meeting in the round pen. We danced the pressure zone dance – moving into his pressure zone and back out as he yielded – we learned about each other’s intentions and concessions, and finally came down to a beautiful waltz that ended with “sugar”. go to page 58
Sergeant Reckless The Forgotten Hero in The Forgotten War By Robin L. Hutton Who was Sergeant Reckless? What made this small, red Mongolian mare the greatest warhorse hero in American history? Why would LIFE Magazine’s 1997 Collector’s Edition entitled “Celebrating our Heroes” list this little horse alongside such notable heroes as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King and John Wayne? Reckless’ heroic story began during the Korean War on October 26, 1952: a war fought in the most horrible conditions; freezing cold winters and impossible mountain terrain. Lt. Eric Pedersen, Commanding Officer of the 5th Marines Anti-Tank Division, Recoilless Rifle Platoon, bought the mare from a young Korean boy for $250 because he needed an ammunitions carrier to carry the heavy artillery up the steep mountains where jeeps could not travel. The little mare became an American icon in 1954 when a story ran in the Saturday Evening Post that detailed her heroics during the Korean War. Heroics so great that she was officially promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, an honor never before, or since, bestowed upon an animal.
The Marines named her “Reckless” after the Recoilless Rifle. This gun was so dangerous it was known as the ‘reckless’ rifle …“partly from a contraction of its true name and partly from the fact that one has to be a little on the reckless side to associate with such a weapon.” Platoon Sergeant Joseph Latham was in charge of putting her through “hoof” camp. Reckless had an incredible intelligence and understood her position in the platoon. Her dedication to her missions was uncanny. Latham found that Reckless only needed to be shown something once or twice – like getting down in the bunker when incoming shells hit, or stepping over communication and barbed wires – and then she knew it. She was led across open rice paddies up treacherous mountain terrain from the Ammunition Supply Point to the guns on the front line. After that, she would make the trip back and forth by herself courageously. “I took her up near the guns,” Latham said, “checked the pack-straps to make sure the ammo would ride securely, and pointed her in the direction of the gun. From then on she worked like a charm.” Colonel Lew Walt, Commander of the 5th Marines, had devised a series of daylight raids against the Chinese in the hopes of capturing prisoners and gaining intelligence on the enemy. “Raid Tex” took place on January 31, 1953, north of an area known as Outpost Berlin. This would be the first time that Reckless would carry ammunition from daybreak to sunset. Reckless made close to 15 trips from the Ammunition Supply Point to the firing line, and carried more than 2,000 pounds of explosives on her back.
The next raid was “Operation Charlie” on February 25, 1953, a raid led to reclaim Outpost Detroit, which has been lost to the enemy in October 1952. This would prove to be Reckless’ most difficult assignment to date. Carrying six rounds of ammunition a trip, she made twenty-four trips back and forth to the firing sites. This totaled 144 rounds of ammunition, 3,500 pounds, and an estimated distance of over 20 miles up and down the mountainous terrain. She was exhausted by the end of the day as she walked back to her bunker with her comrades in battle. After a bucket of warm bran mash, and a good rubdown by Lt. Pedersen, Latham, and PFC Monroe Coleman (another one of her handlers), Reckless was asleep before they left the pasture. Yet her finest hour was still to come – the Battle for Outpost Vegas in March of 1953. At the time of this battle it was written that, “The savagery of the battle for the so-called Nevada Complex has never been equaled in Marine Corps history.” This particular battle “was to bring a cannonading and bombing seldom experienced in warfare. Twenty-eight tons of bombs and hundreds of the largest shells turned the crest of Vegas into smoking, death-pocked rubble.” Reckless was right there, in the middle of all of it. Enemy soldiers could see her as she made her way across the deadly “no man’s land” rice paddies and up the steep 45-degree mountain trails that led to the firing sites. “It’s difficult to describe the elation and the boost in morale that little white-faced mare gave Marines as she outfoxed the enemy bringing vitally needed ammunition up the mountain,” recalled Sgt. Maj. James E. Bobbitt.
During this five-day battle, Reckless made 51 trips, in a single day! She carried 386 rounds of ammunition, over 9,000 pounds, walked over 35 miles through rice paddies and up steep mountains with enemy fire coming in at the rate of 500 rounds per minute. Reckless was wounded twice, but that did not stop her or slow her down. What Reckless did in this battle earned her the respect of all that served with her and she was promoted to Sergeant, a monumental first in history. When the Marines went on Reserve, so did Reckless. She would carry things like grenades, rations, sleeping bags, and small arms ammunition. She also helped string communication wire with strapped wire to her pack and walked along the hillside. â€œShe could string more wire in one day than ten Marines,â€? one reviewer would write. go to page 36
The Let Em Run Foundation is a non-profit organization in partnership with government, businesses and the community committed to the protection and preservation of the wild mustang and the heritage of the American West. Call 775~847~4777 www.letemrun.org 501(c)3
from page 33
Sgt. Harold Wadley, a Demolition Specialist (Sapper) and Anti-tank Assault with Able Company, Third Battalion, 5th Marines, along with two other Marines, Cpl. Allen Kelley and Lt. Milton Drummond, blew out the man-made protective caves for the wounded on Reno and Vegas. Wadley was one of only two men who made if off Outpost Vegas alive before the attack began. The other was Pvt. James A. Larkin, an artilleryman who was part of a forward observer team responsible for directing artillery support. Wadley remembers the day as if it were yesterday. “The battle was indescribable. It was horrific. I still don’t know how that mare lived through it.” Cpl. Chuck Batherson watched Reckless through binoculars, “She was getting hailed all over the place and she was jumping all around.” Reckless would make the trip up the hill carrying her rounds of ammunition and on the return trip, she would carry out the wounded. “They would tie a wounded Marine across her packsaddle,” Wadley said, “and she would carry them out of there with all of the artillery and mortars coming in. The Marines down at the bottom would unload the wounded off her and tie gun ammo on her, and she would turn right around, on her own, and head right back up to the guns. She was always moving and unforgettable in that skyline in the flare light.” On one trip, Reckless shielded four Marines who were going up to the front line. They threw their flak jackets over her for protection, risking their own lives. “You talk of the Fourth of July!” recalled Wadley. “The rounds were coming in and going out so fast a lot of them would collide mid-air over us. The rounds were hitting each other up there and causing aerial bursts. The counter mortar radar team that tracks the incoming rounds so they can return the fire said there were so many rounds it just blurred their screen device and they couldn’t tell anything except it was all coming in their direction.” Reckless never stopped. She kept the guns so well supplied that one of them crystallized and was forced out of commission. “I can still remember the flare light and seeing that little Mongolian mare heading up that slope without anybody leading her and going up to that gun pit,” Wadley said. “There was an angel riding that little mare’s back every time she went up and down Vegas. No doubt about it.” go to page 70
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Bureau of Land Management Gather Schedule 2011 www.blm.gov Herd Management Area
Planned Planned Gather Removal Number Number
7/6/11 – 7/12/11
Outside Paisley Bait Trap
Outside Warm Spring Bait Trap
7/1/11 – 9/29/11
Buck/Bald Complex Triple B Cherry Creek Maverick/Medicine Antelope Valley West
7/13/11 – 87 7/17/11
8/2/11 – 8/8/11
8/9/11 – 8/15/11
8/17/11 – 9/6/11
8/17/11 – 594 9/6/11
go to page 36
BLM Gather Schedule 2011 continued from page 36
Herd Management Area
Planned Planned Gather Removal Number Number
Winter Ridge HA
9/10/11 – 9/14/11
Barren Valley Complex Coyote/Alvord Sheepshead/Heath Sand Springs
9/10/11 – 9/30/11
China Lake Navy
Spring Creek Basin
Piceance/East Douglas HMA
9/15/11 65 9/18/11
9/20/11 – 9/30/11
Reining Champion, Rodeo Queen, singer, actress, model and entrepreneur, our August Buckle Bunny, Jessica Jean Tourino, brings a lot to the table as she steps up to support our wild mustangs and burros. “My parents have always been involved with horses; owning and showing them. They encouraged me to get involved in reining at a young age”, says Jessica. “I loved it and took to it easily. I have a Champion mount, Scotty, who is amazing. He has adopted the names “Saint Scotty” and “Scotty the Hottie”. He has been a wonderful horse for me. I truly believe I would not have been so successful in this arena if Scotty were not on my team. He is my companion and teammate. I can always rely on him to do his best for me. We just click! He will always be apart of the family.” When invited to pose for trueCOWBOYmagazine, Jessica did not hesitate to accept and help bring attention to the plight of our wild mustangs and burros. “Wild mustangs represent freedom and our American history. Horses have been our companions for hundreds of years and have helped us when we needed them during wars, migration and our country’s development. The history of America was created on horse back,” says Jessica. “America puts a great value on freedom and the wild mustangs represent that freedom.” “I believe no one should be allowed to take that from them,” says Jessica. A budding entrepreneur, Jessica has her own line of clothing, accessories and jewelry called The Dirty Cowgirl for the last four years and recently started a second line called ArmKandy with a more youthful vibe.
When Jessica is not working, reining or showing, she is busy writing, performing and recording her own brand of country music with a bluesy edge. â€œMusic is so powerful. It can contribute to your mood, help you through your struggles or lift you up. Through my music and singing, I can reach a lot of people with songs they can relate to and give them encouragement to follow their dreamsâ€?, smiles Jessica.
To top it all off, Jessica is a full-time college student pursuing a degree in communications and marketing. “I have always loved public speaking and see my education as an asset to my performing career. But, as a backup plan, I would enjoy being either a political news anchor or a spokesperson for a large company.” “I aspire to be a positive role model for young cowgirls everywhere to stay true to themselves and their dreams”, she says. “Don’t just follow your dreams, chase them!” We are proud to present Jessica Jean Tourino, our August Buckle Bunny, and have a feeling we’ll be chasing her to keep up with her inspirational career, music and lifestyle. Shot on location at B&B Performance Horses, Agua Dulce, California Photographer: Flint Burkart Make-up: Kate Chavez Creative direction & styling: Cate Crismani Jewelry: ArmKandy
Where in the wide world can man find Nobility without pride, Friendship without envy Or Beauty without vanity? Here, where grace is laced with muscle, And Strength by gentleness confined. He serves without servility, He has fought without enmity. There is nothing so powerful, Nothing less violent; there is nothing So quick, nothing more patient. All of our past has been borne on his back. All our history is his industry, We are his heirs, he our inheritance. Ladies and Gentlemen â€“ The Horse. ~ Ronald Duncan ~
“I AM WHO I AM” Big Water Designs by Bonnie Woodie As I sit here looking into the hills surrounding me, I go back in time reminiscing my childhood. I am Navajo. As a child, I was fortunate to live my early life filled with the Navajo traditions before we moved into a modern community with Bilaahghana, white people, for my friends. In our family, I was the only girl amongst four brothers for a while, and spoiled, understandably. But at the same time, I was protected and guarded by my brothers. By the time I entered my teens, I had two more sisters with seven and thirteen years between us, respectively. Both my parents worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs Schools leaving us in the care of my wise Navajo Grandmother, Redhorse Daughter, aka Evelyn Cleveland. “Masanii”, a gentle spirit, was one of the most generous and caring individuals I have ever known. While mom and dad worked all day, Masanii cared for and nurtured each one of us with lots of tender, loving care. She made sure we were well fed and helped keep food on the table with the little money she received from her Social Security benefits and selling one of her hand-loomed Navajo rugs. Masanii always told us how proud she was of us and the non-traditional manner in which we were being raised. She would tell us stories, history and teachings handed down to her from her Grandparents. From time to time, she would "go home" to Bear Springs (Shush biitoh) or to Steamboat Springs (Hoyee) and would return covered with black ash because she had just participated in a sacred ceremony. I was told as a child to embrace our Navajo heritage but at the same time encouraged to adapt to the Western European Culture from Masanii. I sat at her feet, while she wove rugs on her loom, hanging on to her every word. She talked about why the Creator created a certain plant and the sacredness in all living beings. Whenever she was weaving, Masanii would sing songs in her Navajo tongue that related to her craft. Masanii was my inspiration and my mentor.
She had an amazing ability to create clothing without having any formal education in fashion design. She simply had a knack for combining patterns and prints and made whatever she constructed into a beautiful blouse or dress. The designs she wove into her rugs and the way she made her clothes were the very fabric of who she was and her Navajo heritage. I recall how she would simply take a piece of fabric and begin shredding it into strips and the next thing I knew she had sewn a beautiful, wearable work of art. I often wondered how she knew how much fabric to use and what piece went where. Though her technique seemed too confusing and complicated to me, she could whip up an outfit in a couple of hours that fit perfectly. I studied her finished garments, thinking I could make the same thing but with more precision. She challenged me but all I did was embarrass myself. At the age of eight, I constructed my first dress for my Barbie doll. Masanii always marveled at the fact that I learned how to make my own patterns and encouraged my talent as I developed my own sense of style. Then in October of my high school freshman year, Masanii passed away. I was numb. A part of me died with her. The enthusiasm and excitement of her aura was gone. I could not cry as her words always echoed in my head, as she would hold me in her arms at night as I fell asleep, that as a Navajo, one does not cry for a loss. I realized later that she was preparing me for the time when she would leave this earth. Masanii remains my inspiration for my work and my company, BigWater Designs. In 1985, I completed the Fashion Design and Merchandising Program from Plaza 3 Academy with flying colors and kudos from the Program Manager with the Navajo Nation Office. I knew I had found my calling and what I wanted to be; a Fashion Designer. Upon completing my studies, I came back to the reservation with the hopes of finding a career in fashion. However, fashion designing was still so foreign to the reservation. I settled for a job working for the local hospital. It was not my 'thing', it was a job. But the thought still nagged at me; what was I to do with my passion for fashion and design? And then, Masanii came to me in my dreams. She spoke to me and gave new life to my creations. It was then that Big Water Designs was born.
BigWater Designs is an infusion of the warmth of the colorful landscapes of my indigenous culture into the modern concept of fashion design. A classic elegance of an ageless style merged with contemporary zest. This lead me to study the art of beadwork. I developed a respect and love for the traditional art form and also a relationship with the culture that inspired me. The peyote stitch was the most difficult to do. I don't know how many times I had to take a piece apart before I got the beads to sit evenly side by side. Practice after practice and bead after bead I slowly developed a sense of confidence. Today, I cannot even count the number of projects I have completed. I don't consider myself a master, but I am confident that I will leave a proud legacy for my Grandchildren. I will not brag on myself, but I have the confidence that my company, BigWater Designs, will pave its own destiny giving the competitive world of fashion an intriguing new face and challenge. I feel a responsibility to make it known to other designers who use the Native American Designs to maintain the traditional beauty of our Indigenous Culture. BigWater Design is who I am and the Clan I belong too. â€œNishlinigii ei lishliiâ€? is my motto and translates to "I am who I am". The dedication to my work is an homage to Redhorse Daughter, my Masanii.
from page 28
I lowered my body to show that I was not a threat, angling my shoulders slightly away from his. The little bay stepped closer, but still had reservations. I lowered myself further to a one-knee-down position. He responded beautifully, drawing in closer, sniffing the air around me for clues. I slowly blew a breath in his direction. He sniffed again and stepped closer. I blew again; he sniffed again, and took another step closer. He closed the distance between us until he was standing just over me. The moment our noses touched was the greatest victory I’ve had as a trainer in seventeen years. Here was this frustrated, angry, and highly intelligent Mustang practically begging for someone to help him while still too afraid to allow it. Now, here, we were face to face with no fear. He nuzzled my cheek. I bent my forehead to nuzzle his nose. He allowed it. I slowly reached my hand up and stroked his cheek. He allowed it. It was then that he understood I wasn’t there to hurt or scare him as so many had done before me. I was a friend and I was safe. I slowly stood up and he didn’t shy away. He curiously watched me move as if he were interested in what I was doing just for the sake of being interested. I began to rub his neck, moved on to his shoulder, and then down his back. I crossed over his rump, moved around his hindquarters, and continued up the other side until I met back at his neck. He watched me intently the entire time. I made sure to remain in a non-threatening posture with my shoulders relaxed and my head down. Then I found the “sweet spot. Every horse has one. It is a place on their body that they absolutely love to have scratched.
Some have it at the base of their tails, others on their foreheads. The little bay’s was the lower line of his neck. I swear, if he could’ve scratched the air with his leg like a dog, he would have. I moved away from him to get my brush and an oversized soft nylon calf halter. I like to use these halters when I first work with a new horse because of their simplicity but mainly because of their safety. Should a situation arise that requires a quick escape, this halter’s simplistic design allows for an easy off just by sliding it over the ears. The little bay watched me for a moment but then stepped quick to catch up to me. It was as if he were afraid I was leaving him; his eyes showed an almost panic. My heart broke into a million pieces. I turned and reassured him that I was still there and he was still safe, silently fighting back tears. He followed me to the fence and watched as I picked up the items. He took this as an invitation to rummage through my gear bag. I let him. I started doling out the attention, brushing his coat, mane and tail. Leaving the adoption that night was the hardest thing I’ve had to do in a long time. As I walked away, the little mustang looked after me neighing and almost saying, “What did I do? Why are you leaving me?” I cried all the way home. The next morning, I was sure he’d be so mad at me for leaving that we’d have to go through the dance again to get back our previous dynamic. I was wrong. As I approached the pens, the little bay immediately stopped his pacing and faced me as if to say, “Where have you been?” I apologized, dropping my shoulders and head. He reached out to sniff at me; I blew a breath at him, and, just like that, all was well. “Well, good morning!” greeted Gary. “G’morning. How about moving Mighty Mouse to the round pen for me?” Gary gave me a quizzical look and said, “Mighty Mouse?” “Yeah, the little bay. He sure does think he’s mighty, but he ain’t no bigger than a mouse.” Gary laughed and nodded his head in agreement. go to next page
Mighty Mouse and I began again. He was now yielding to pressure as though he were the softest horse in history. Even the smallest step past his shoulder yielded him back, regardless of the distance between us. Turning my back to him produced an immediate follow-the-leader response. It was crystal clear to me that this little mustang, Mighty Mouse, was my horse and I was his person. I knew what I had to do without thinking a second thought, I wrote a check and with that, Mighty Mouse was mine. I had no clue what I was going to do with another horse. I had no clue how I was going to break the news to my family. What I did know was that Mighty Mouse deserved a good life. He deserved to be loved, listened to, scratched on the neck, and to live without fear and frustration. All of which I knew I could give him. That good life is what he has at our ranch; Mouseâ€™s home, forever. In return, Mighty Mouse has given our family so much joy and laughter. He has been a constant friend and companion to my personal mare, India. He has been a wonderful source of entertainment for me, making my barn chores seem almost pleasant as he watches his soap operas. Yes, Mighty Mouse enjoys daytime soap operas. I donâ€™t understand it, but he literally, and quite expressively, responds to the actors on the little screen in the barn. Iâ€™ve learned to trust his instincts more than my own. Mighty Mouse is now five years old. There are many more years to come for our new adventures. Mouse will always be a member of our family even when we are both old and gray.
From page 23
“In fact, my brother, Jed, also joined and we are all at the same unit. It has brought us closer as siblings sharing the same experiences here,” says Jenna, “The biggest reason I didn’t want to join the military in the first place was because I was scared of being deployed and scared of going to basic training. Well, I made it through basic – and after being in the guard for about four years now (I joined in the summer of 2007) my perspective about deploying changed from being scared to ‘wanting to deploy.’ I wanted to fulfill my duty like so many have before me. I wanted to be a veteran, and I wanted to have served in a war. That is what led me to volunteer for this six month tour in Iraq”, says Jenna,. “That doesn’t mean I wasn’t nervous or scared to deploy though. I came over here alone, without my unit, so I was traveling without people that I knew from my base. That in itself was nerve racking. Typically, when people deploy, they go with their unit or at least their shop. Everyone along the way was very helpful though and really nice to me. That made it easier to get here,” she says, “Being here has given me a lot of time to think about what is important to me, and what really matters. It has also shown me that I have some truly amazing people in my life. Receiving a letter or a gift box changes my entire day, or my entire week! The little things like that are what keep me upbeat and positive,” Jenna says. Deployed to Iraq earlier this year, Jenna rose to the occasion of her duties in true form. There is no time for frivolities, make-up or any of the creature comforts of domestic life in South Dakota, or anywhere in the United States.
“Coming here has taught me a lot about myself. It has made me appreciate my life and the opportunities I have. It is easy to take so much for granted back home. I know now that nothing can be taken for granted and to be thankful for all I have and, especially, for my family,” says Jenna, “There is no calling in sick or time off. Our unit is a dedicated team and we must do our jobs impeccably and perfectly as so much is on the line. Not always a comfortable position to be in but getting outside of my comfort zone has made me the woman I am today.” Back home in South Dakota, Jenna’s friends are going to movies, shopping or socializing. When Jenna gets some time off she is out practicing her shooting with either an M-9 or an M-4. “I never go outside the wire (off base) for security reasons. We have, occasionally, been hit by mortar attacks. The first time I heard one, I was extremely scared.” “This experience has also given me better public speaking skills, because I have to get up in front of a group of people daily and relay information to them. I have learned to think on my feet and make decisions quickly and accurately.”, she says, “I have learned attention to detail which is one of the most critical parts of my job. I have also learned how to manage my time and juggle a lot of different tasks at the same time. My days fly by because I am so busy and most of the time I am stressed out! The operation tempo is at a fast pace here. I have also come to realize that the Air Force is made up of all different kinds of people, with all different kinds of jobs, but each is just as important to the total mission’s success.” “Bottom line is this, courage is being scared to do something but doing it anyway. That is what I did when I joined the military and what I did when I was deployed, and what I do everyday”, says Jenna.
The “Duke” on the Block JOHN WAYNE MEMORABILIA TO BE AVAILABLE TO “DUKE” FANS WORLDWIDE John Wayne’s monumental film career spanned six decades. He appeared in more than 170 films, a dozen-plus directed by legendary film director John Ford, and is one of Hollywood’s biggest and most durable box-office stars. Incredibly versatile, Wayne starred in almost every genre Hollywood offered from war movies to romantic comedies, police dramas and biographies, but it was the Western – the American cinema – where Wayne made his most lasting mark. He was nominated three times for the Academy Award, winning the Oscar for Best Actor in 1969 for True Grit (Paramount Pictures), and his performance in The Searchers (Warner Bros) has been singled out by filmmakers and actors alike as one of the greatest performances by an actor on film. Posthumously, Wayne was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. A year later, in 1980, President Jimmy Carter awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. Wayne is among only a handful of individuals to have received both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. To this day, John Wayne appears in the Harris Poll’s annual listings of America’s favorite movie stars, ranking third in the most recent poll. He has never been out of the Top 10 since the poll’s inception.
John Wayne Enterprises announces the first-ever opportunity for John Wayne fans to view and purchase Wayne’s personal and professional items that span an iconic career of film history-making moments. The John Wayne family has commissioned the release of more than 400 awards, scripts, costumes and personal documents never-before-seen by the public, after three decades of being stored in the vaults. “We receive phone calls every day from people all over the world asking if they can have a scarf, a vest, a hat, etc. as gifts for their loved ones, and for 30 years, we’ve had to decline.’” states Ethan Wayne, President of John Wayne Enterprises. He adds, “My father was always open and accessible to his fans, and he was very grateful to them for supporting his films and career. Now, we’re very excited to be able to offer mementos of my father to the fans whom he valued so much. In 1979, the estate donated a large collection of his personal property to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Our family and John Wayne Enterprises have also selected and kept items sentimental to us. There is no need to keep the rest of his memorabilia locked away when it can be enjoyed by his greatest supporters – the fans.” The collection will include Wayne’s Golden Globe award for “Best Actor” for his role in his 1969 Academy Award winning film “True Grit,” an iconic eye-patch from movie, and his cowboy hat from the film’s 1975 sequel “Rooster Cogburn.” Also up for auction will be costumes he wore from such classic films as “Sands of Iwo Jima” in which he received an Academy Award nomination for “Best Actor,” and the critically acclaimed “The Green Berets.” More than 50 movie scripts spanning his early film career to his later classics will be made available including: “Stagecoach,” “True Grit,” “The Searchers,” “The Quiet Man,” “The Green Berets,” “Rio Lobo,” “Hellfighters,” “The Sons of Katie Elder,” “Red River,” “Rio Bravo,” and more. Many of the scripts are annotated with John Wayne’s handwritten notes. Other items will include Wayne’s cowboy boots, hats, saddle and stand, and personal correspondence with U.S. and much more. For more information on the John Wayne auction and exhibitions, contact Heritage Auctions at 800-872-6467 or visit www.HA.com/ JohnWayne.
from page 36
Not only did Reckless’ heroics endear her to the Marines but her unique personality and sense of humor captured the heart and soul of the entire nation as well. As legendary as she was for her bravery and courage, her appetite became even more legendary. Reckless had a voracious appetite. She would eat anything and everything including scrambled eggs and pancakes with her morning cup of coffee. She loved cake, Hershey bars, candy, and Coca Cola. But her very favorite thing was sharing a beer with her Marines after a hard day’s work. Navy Corpsman Robert “Doc” Rogers of Baker 1-5 Infantry Company recalled the time he bought cookies in the PX and had them stashed away in his tent. “We went out for the day and when we got back, it looked like a bomb had hit that place! The blankets were off of my bunk, and everything was just all torn up in there. Reckless went into the tent, tore the place apart and found those cookies. She ate every last bit of them, the wrapper included.” Reckless had a mind of her own, full of determination and intention. After the war was over, there was a national outcry to bring her “home” to the United States. She finally arrived in November 1954. Her arrival created such fan-fair on the San Francisco docks that one veteran reporter observed, “She has more cameras and reporters to meet her than Vice-President Nixon had a week ago when he came to town.”
“Californians are proud to join with our United States Marines in welcoming Sergeant Reckless home from Korea”, proclaimed Governor Goodwin J. Knight, “I am proud California has been chosen as home for this heroic animal.” That evening Sgt. Reckless was the guest of honor at the 179th USMC Birthday Celebration where she walked into the banquet hall to the thunderous applause of over 400 people. Flash bulbs “popped like mortar shells” as everyone tried to get a picture of her. In true form, Reckless spied one of the anniversary cakes, and before Lt. Pedersen could restrain her, was up to her nostrils in it. It was a fitting tribute to this incredible hero. Reckless was stationed at Camp Pendleton and there were standing orders never to put anything on her back other than her blanket, and if she outranked a Marine, that Marine could not give her orders. She had three colts: Fearless (1957), Dauntless (1959), and Chesty (1964), plus a little filly that died at a month old from unknown causes. All of her offspring are buried in the Rodeo Grounds at Camp Pendleton. She was promoted twice to Staff Sergeant during this time. Commanding Officer of the 5th Marines, Col. Richard Rothwell, conducted the ceremony on June 15, 1957. “There was a full regimental parade and she was presented her promotion at the parade,” Col. Rothwell remembered fondly. go to page 74
Blogged The Journey Continues
WHEN YOU’RE WRONG… By Jeff Hildebrandt He stood there in the forest, working kinks out from the ride and loosened up the cinch strap on the pony by his side. He stood there in the forest surrounded by the trees alone with just his future plans and all his memories. He stood there in the forest; not lost, but all alone. He picked this place on purpose. No calls came on his phone, nobody interrupted, nobody criticized, nobody told him what to do. But then he realized there is one truth he can’t ignore. He’d learned it from his mom. Even if no woman hears it, what he says is prob’ly wrong.
from page 71
Her final promotion came when the rank structure changed and two new pay grades were added, thereby qualifying Reckless for another promotion. On August 31, 1959, Commandant Randolph McCall Pate did the honors, which included a 19-gun salute and a parade of 1,700 Marines that marched in formation in Reckless’ honor. Her two colts, Fearless, and Dauntless, were in attendance. Her Military Decorations included two Purple Hearts, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with Star, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, all of which she wore proudly on her red and gold blanket. On November 10, 1960, Sgt. Reckless retired. In lieu of retirement pay, she was provided with food and shelter at Camp Pendleton, according to Marine Corps documents. Sadly, on May 13, 1968, Reckless passed away after severely injuring herself on a barbed wire fence. She was 20 years old. A headstone still stands in her memory at the entrance of the Stepp Stables at Camp Pendleton. While there is the memorial headstone at Camp Pendleton, Reckless is actually buried in an unmarked grave behind the stables office building. Plans are in the works for a national memorial statue to be placed at, or near, the Korean War Memorial in Washington, DC, as well as a life-size statue at Camp Pendleton. Robert “Doc” Rogers said it best: “May her memory live as long as we have the Marine Corps.” To learn more about Reckless, The Sgt. Reckless Memorial Fund, and how you can help, please visit www.SgtReckless.com Click here for her fan club on Facebook. Click here to view the YouTube video, or go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIo3ZfA9da0 . E-mail SgtReckless@yahoo.com or call (805) 380-4017.