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Archive for the ‘Gatherings’ Category

William Merritt in Sedona

William Merritt in Sedona

This picture is of my husband, William, yet not at the Kearny Gathering. The picture here is him by the Red Rock Crossing stream in Sedona and since he is singing a song he wrote called Where the Water Runs, I figured it fit. I’m in Ruidoso having my first week of “soul charging” in many long years and he is up in Kearny, AZ, performing “officially” for the first time at a western music gathering.  In his first set he included: Cowboy’s Prayer written by Badger Clark, Calling Out Your Name by Rich Mullins, The Saddle (a song we co-wrote), and the Rillito Song (name pending: a song about the historic Rillito Racetrack in Tucson being sold out to become soccer fields). For his second set he performed: Where the Water Runs, High Chin Bob (which I call “the kitty-cat song), Julio Robledeo (by Eddy Harrison), and Hurryin’ Back Home (another William Merritt original).

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Gathering of Nations Tiny Tots

Gathering of Nations Tiny Tots

I was the guest photographer at this years Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, NM. The gathering only has one guest photographer per year and last year’s was a Rolling Stones Magazine photographer. Rick Huff, who I’ve known through the Western Music Association, has been affiliated with the Gathering for the past 30 years and he introduced me to Derek, Lita, and Melonie Matthews (the gathering’s producers). I sent over a web portfolio of images I created at Na’ii’ees ceremonies up at the San Carlos reservation in AZ and was accepted based on those images. I will write more posts on the Gathering soon, yet how could I not put the children in the first post. Serious, silly, independant, hanging on their mother’s dress fringes like apron strings, delightful, and interested in every sound and sight swirling around them…they are truly the future of the people.
I uploaded 20 images of the Tiny Tots onto my myspace page in the photo galleries. I’d love for you to take a look! myspace.com/photographybyfaith1
 

Gathering of Nations Tiny Tots

Gathering of Nations Tiny Tots

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William Merritt, my talented husband

William Merritt, my talented husband

My husband, William, has been coming forward in the western music world…first in the audience, then at the fringes of the jam sessions then singing in them, and in the last year he has participated in some open mic sessions at the western gatherings. This weekend, while I’m in Ruidoso, NM, he is performing at the Kearny gathering in AZ. He is a singer and a songwriter with a passion for traditional western music and it’s culture. We have co-written a song, The Saddle, that he’ll be perfoming this weekend and that you can hear on his website, williammerritt.net(as well as other songs). I’m hoping that his good friend Jon Messenger adds some harmonica accompaniment to his song Where the Water Runs. I am so proud of my very talented husband!

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The Cowboy and the GreyCowboy/Poet
The Cowboy and the Grey
     Georgie Sicking was born in Kingman, AZ in 1921. Through her very exceptional life she has lived passionately and strongly as a wife, mother, mustanger, cowboy poet and Cowboy. Yes, COWBOY…don’t call this gal a CowGIRL. In her world, cowboy is a verb…as in “to cowboy.”
     I met Georgie at a cowboy poets gathering a couple of years ago and then again when I picked her up from the airport in Tucson this year to deliver her to a night concert/recital with fellow performers STAMPEDE!, dear friend Diane Tribitt, and surprise performer  local “celebrity” Mae Camp (I’ve known Mae since I was a child and I showed horses with her daughter Kathy in 4-H). Georgie was headed for the Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering in Sierra Vista, where I’ve been the official photographer for the last four years. After a wonderful, if exhausting, gathering Diane Tribitt called to let me know that Georgie would be going a  ride in the desert with Sam (Diane’s fiance) by their Florence, AZ home the next morning. I offered a Heart Session to document this important woman and said I’d be there in the morning.
     The morning turned out to be beautiful, with a bright blue sky dotted with cumulous clouds. Georgie scrambled up on a horse trailer fender and her horse moved over close to her. She climbed up into the saddle and off we went into the desert, Sam and Georgie up horseback and Dianne and I following on shank’s mare. With each stride, the hoofbeats seemed to synchronize with Georgie’s heartbeat and the years dropped off her as she sat straighter in the saddle. I felt blessed to photograph her, witnessing this true Cowboy on her new fuzzy flea-bit friend. In one of the pictures shown here, the gelding shows a bit of a “snotty” attitude and I said to Georgie that he fit her well. She threw her head back and laughed and said “I’ll take that as a compliment!” What a gal this Cowboy is.
     I sent a picture to Margo Metegrano of cowboypoetry.com, for Georgie’s  poetry page and also one of Sam and Georgie riding into the desert for the Art Spur feature where poets are inspired by a photograph or painting to write a poem. The photograph I sent for Art Spur is titled Heading Out. The photograph on Georgie’s page was seen by the curator of the National Cowgirl Museum, where Georgie is a Hall of Fame recipient. They are creating an exhibit of Georgie for an upcoming show, when a pair of Georgie’s spurs will be added to the museum’s collection, and the picture above where the little grey has perked ears and Georgie is looking forward will be included in this exhibit. 

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