Arts Adventure in the Osage, a 3-day celebration in downtown Pawhuska Oct. 20 – 22

Press Release By: Bruce L. Carter 

‘Arts Adventure in the Osage’ is a three day celebration of the arts, culture and history in Pawhuska, Okla. Scheduled for October 20 – 22, 2016, the event is planned to be fun for all ages. 

The ‘Adventure’ starts on Oct. 20 with a preview party for the ‘Art Bank’ art show and sale in the historic First National Bank building, 100 E. Main. The art show will continue Friday, Oct. 21 from 10 am to 8 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 8 pm. This show will feature the work of several regionally  and nationally known artists and fine craftsmen. There is no admission charge and the public is invited to attend the preview party. 

On Friday, October 21, the Osage Nation Museum will host ‘A Night at the Museum’. The museum will show the movie ‘A Night at the Museum’. Food vendors and popcorn will be available. The Osage Nation Museum will also be open during this fun event. Gates open at 7:30 pm and the movie starts at 8:00. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and snacks and enjoy an outdoor movie at the oldest tribal museum in the United States. 

On Saturday the fun really picks up with events scheduled throughout the day. From sidewalk art contests for all ages to ‘Saddles, Spurs and Sculptures’, the Ben Johnson Memorial fundraising chuck wagon dinner/dance, there are plenty of activities. 

From 8:30 to 9:30 am, visitors can visit the ‘Registration Station’ for the ‘Finding Pawhuska’ scavenger hunt. Participants will be given a passport with clues to 14 historical locations in Pawhuska. The first player to finish the hunt by visiting all 14 locations and having his ‘passport’ stamped will receive the first prize of $500, second $300 and third $200. The scavenger hunt will end at 12:00. 
Guests may also register for a ‘Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest’ from 8:30 to 9:30 at the Registration Station. There will be three categories, age 5 to 13 (first prize $50), 14 to 17 (first prize $150.00) and Adult (17 and over first prize of $500.00). Sidewalks will be marked for each artist to work in with chalk provided. Artists will have from 9:30 to 3:00 to complete their works with the theme ‘The Real West’.  

Tallgrass Art Gallery will sponsor a plain air painting contest from 9:30 to 3:00, with registration from 8:30 to 9:30. Artists may work in any media and any genre to create their work. All artists will need to bring their own supplies for a day of plain air in historic Pawhuska. At the end of the event, works will be judged. A prize of $200 will be awarded to the best portrayal of Pawhuska and a second prize of $200 for best piece of the day. Artists may choose to sell their works that evening at ‘Saddles, Spurs and Sculptures with 70% going to the artists and 30% going to the Ben Johnson Monument. 

Saturday ends with the ‘Saddles, Spurs and Sculptures’ chuck wagon dinner, dance and auction. Hosted by Miss Lily, the evening has an old west theme, with saloon girls, sheriffs and an art/cowboy gear auction. Tickets for this great evening in downtown Pawhuska are available for $45 each or $500 for a corporate table of 8. The ‘Ole #1 Firehouse Tent Saloon’ on Main and Kihekah will be the location for this event. Chuck wagon cooks will be cooking downtown all day to prepare the evenings meal. Guests can also view the ‘Ben Johnson Memorial Project’ located across the street to view the memorial and talk to the working sculptors. Tickets are available from the Prairie Dog and Tallgrass Art Gallery in downtown Pawhuska, Oklahoma, or online at
Shuttles will be provided between the various event locations, the Osage Nation Museum, the Osage County Historical Society, Historic Downtown Pawhuska and the Osage Casino.  This event is sponsored by the Osage Nation Museum, Osage Casinos, Pawhuska Merchants Association and for more information on Pawhuska, visit, or

We welcome you to Pawhuska, Oklahoma, your regional destination for the arts, culture and history!

For more information, contact Bruce Carter via e-mail at or by phone at 580.304.8731.

2015 Osage County Cattlemen’s Association Convention & Tour Highlights

By: Roseanne McKee

Cowboys on Z7 Bar Ranch

Cowboys on Z7 Bar Ranch

The Osage County Cattlemen’s Association (OCCA) held its 81st annual convention June 18-20. The convention kicked off June 18, with an evening art show hosted by the Arts and Preservation in the Osage in the Drummond Building located at the corner of Main St. and Kihekah Ave. in Pawhuska. This was followed by dinner of prime rib grilled by Ladd Drummond and served at nearby restaurant Grill 125 on Main St.

Then on June 19, the Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame Luncheon was held in the Ag Building at the Osage County Fairgrounds. The meal featured prime steak raised by the Spur Ranch of Vinita, Okla., and grilled by the chefs from the Downstream Casino of the Quapaw Nation.
Trade show vendors had an opportunity present new agricultural products to the OCCA members, while Spur Ranch, Zoetis and the Quapaw Cattle Company presented their genetics and beef production during the luncheon program.

During the luncheon, the Osage County 4-H Born and Raised Award winners were announced.

“The top three steers raised in Osage County receive a monetary award,” OCCA President David Chambers said.

Chambers explained that the OCCA gives three awards based the evaluation of steers shown at the Osage County Junior Livestock Show held in March: Trent Barnett, Grand Champion, Kaylee Hambright, Reserve Champion, and Cooper Kyler, third place winner.

Two Hall of Fame Award recipients were also named. This year, Lee West and the late Fred Craddock, Sr. were the ranchers honored.
The OCCA Annual Meeting was held after lunch, featuring short updates by Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Executive Director, Michael Kelsey, and the Oklahoma Beef Council Executive Director, Heather Buckmaster.

Trucks lined up for the OCCA Ranch Tour approach 3A Beefmaster's, which was the first ranch tour stop.

Trucks lined up for the OCCA Ranch Tour approach 3A Beefmaster’s, which was the first ranch tour stop.

On June 20, after a breakfast catered by Hometown Foods and provided by the veterinary pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim, over 150 attended the Cattlemen’s Ranch Tour, which featured four cattle operations east of Pawhuska.

The first ranch on the tour was 3A Beefmasters, owned by Doyle and Frances Altaffer, and Bill Bruce. The ranch has a cow calf operation and produce bulls for sale.

The first ranch stop: 3A Beefmaster's.

The first ranch stop: 3A Beefmaster’s.

Gracie Stierwalt of Stierwalt Ranch held up cattle for the OCCA Tour.

Gracie Stierwalt of Stierwalt Ranch held up cattle for the OCCA Tour.

The second stop was the Stierwalt operation on the Liberty Ranch.
“Shane Stierwalt leases grass from the Liberty Ranch and that’s where they run their cow herd,” Chambers said.

The Stierwalt Ranch, owned by Shane Stierwalt, has its ranch headquarters in Shidler.

The third stop was the Liberty Ranch headquarters, owned by Jerry Mosley, where the main working facilities are located. Also located at the headquarters are “backgrounding pens where they feed out cattle to prepare them for sale, or prepare cattle for breeding,” Chambers said.

Liberty Ranch Headquarters

Liberty Ranch Headquarters

Jerry and Marlene Mosley’s ranch house is located adjacent to the ranch headquarters.

Mosley Ranch at Liberty Ranch Headquarters.

Mosley Ranch at Liberty Ranch Headquarters.

Cow and calf on Liberty Ranch near headquarters.

Cow and calf on Liberty Ranch near headquarters.

Debbie Zinke, owner of Z7 Bar Ranch holds up cattle for the tour.

Debbie Zinke, owner of Z7 Bar Ranch holds up cattle for the tour.

The fourth stop was the Z7 Bar Ranch owned by Debbie Zinke.

Cowboy on Z7 Bar Ranch

Cowboy on Z7 Bar Ranch

“She bought the ranch a few years ago and she has a cow calf operation. Lee Sellers manages her ranch,” Chambers said.

Outdoor kitchen at Z7 Bar Ranch.

Outdoor kitchen at Z7 Bar Ranch.

For the tour, cowboys “hold up” herds of cattle, which is cowboy lingo for gathering the cattle and keeping them in a group, Chambers explained.

Entryway to outdoor kitchen at Z7 Bar Ranch.

Entryway to outdoor kitchen at Z7 Bar Ranch.

Regarding the Ranch Tour, Chambers said, “We try to go a different direction every year to ranches we haven’t been to. Usually ranches showcase their best set of cattle for the tour. It lets people see different operations in different parts of Osage county.”

After the tour, a barbecue lunch, catered by Bad Brad’s Bar-B-Que, was served at the Ag Building. The Osage CattleWomen’s Association decorated the tables, provided the flower arrangements, and dessert.

At 10 a.m. on June 20, the 62nd Annual Ben Johnson Memorial Steer Roping began. This year there were 87 ropers, said Chambers, who also serves as Chairman of the steer roping. This is the very first year that the event has been sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA), bringing the largest number of ropers and largest audience that the event has seen in years, Chambers said. Each year, the OCCA adds $10,000 to the prize money, making the total payoff of the event over $63,000.

The weekend concluded with the Cattleman’s Dance produced by Levelland Productions. The very popular red dirt band, The Great Divide played for a crowd of more than 200 people at the Clarence Brantley indoor arena at the Osage County Fairgrounds.

Grilling Secrets of a Barbecue Judge

Professional barbecue judge, Merl Whitebook, visited the Pawhuska Kiwanis Club recently and shared “barbecue secrets” and “biggest mistakes” he has learned from being a certified barbecue competition judge.

Those in barbecue competition know that the secret to better barbecue is adding margarine or butter, Whitebook confided. In addition, Whitebook said that his own secret ingredient was white pepper because it doesn’t compete with the barbecue flavor. “You taste it on the back of your tongue,” he explained. When grilling, “avoid salt — it dries out the meat” — and consider spraying the meat with apple juice, Whitebook said. Honey and herb and spice rubs also add flavor.

This attorney and professional Barbecue Judge for the Kansas City Barbecue Society said that the biggest mistake people make in charcoal grilling is using a whole bag of charcoal. Instead, “use about a third of it,” Whitebook said. Also, don’t place coals all the way across the grill, he advised. “When you have coals all the way across, you’re fighting the top all the time,” he said. “Otherwise, you can move your meat off the heat.” His favorite charcoal is Ozark Oak.

Whitebook explained how to tell when the meat is done. Briskets are done at “195 to 210 degrees,” he said. However, the way the meat feels is also important. When he checks the interior, he wants it “to feel like butter.” Once the meat is finished, there is another important step: “I smoke it for about an hour,” he said.

One thing that is not commonly known outside the barbecue competition world is that in these contests “chicken is parboiled in margarine or butter and finished off over direct heat. The butter penetrates it and adds a lot of flavor,” he said. However, at home Whitebook does not parboil in butter because, although it adds flavor, it also adds significant fat and calories.

Although there are things to learn from the world of barbecue competition, these techniques may not always be appropriate for home grilling. Barbecue competitions are judged on the grilling of: chicken, ribs, pork and brisket for: taste, tenderness and appearance “in that order,” Whitebook said. Some competitions also include side dishes.

There are many barbecue competitions in our area, including one in May in Claremore, he said. The winnings can be impressive. “The team of the year won $50,000 this year. Sam’s Club is putting $100,000 in prize money this year,” Whitebook said. Currently, he serves as the Secretary for the Kansas City Barbecue Society and on the New Ideas and Nominating Committee.

Sample plates of the barbecue competitors can be purchased at these events, so be sure to try one at the next competition in your area!