We recently started the American Cowboy Magazine E-Newsletter, which some of you have started receiving. It contains information about upcoming events, contests, recipes, gear, and culture of the American West. Be the first to read new articles and learn about products and services from our Equine Network of titles (activeinterestmedia.com). Active Interest Media is the nation’s leading information hub for horse ownership and training in multiple riding disciplines.

Each American Cowboy newsletter will also contain a greeting from me, which I’ll be posting here. Below is the first one. Thanks for all your support!

Author John Erickson contributed a moving feature, “Rebirth on the Plains,” about the aftermath of Texas wildfires of 2006 to the April/May issue (on newsstands now!). Known to many generations for his beloved children’s series Hank the Cowdog, Erickson recounts the drama of those windswept days and how his community rallied to survive and, later, thrive. (His moving account is actually a follow-up to a series of features printed in 2006 for which Erickson and AC won a Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org.)

In a terrible twist of fate, violent winds fueled wildfires that destroyed at least 58 homes Sunday, February 27 in Potter and Randall counties. There were no immediate reports of fatalities or injuries, according to the Amarillo Globe News, but an unknown number of dogs and cats trapped at Willow Creek Kennels perished in the largest wildfire north of Amarillo. Dust and smoke choked the air as firefighters on the ground struggled to contain fire after fire. At least 32,000 acres were charred in Potter and Randall counties and thousands more across the region while hundreds of people, desperate for news, stayed overnight with friends, in hotels or at emergency shelters.

Erickson and his wife Kristine run a 7,000-acre cattle operation in the area, but they and their property and animals escaped unharmed. The forces of nature are certainly extreme and often beyond our ken. Our hearts go out to the people of West Texas in this tough time—and to all cowboys working to making a living off the land.

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American Cowboy is the cultural chronicler of the West, covering history and heritage, travel and events, art and entertainment, food and fashion delivered to your inbox once a month.

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