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Recently I’ve been looking at the electronic copies of the old Cowboy Chronicles.  I wasn’t part of SASS back then and I’m finding it interesting to see SASS then and now.  In 2005 they were advertising a 4 day convention in Las Vegas complete with classes, vendors, live music, etc.  They even compared it to a mini Shot Show.  I also found it interesting how many vendors had ads in the Chronicle back then, some are still around, some aren’t, I like to look them up and see who’s still around.  There were articles for women how to fix their hair for a period look.  Articles about different shoots, and equipment reviews.  There was a two part article about a club trying to get started and all the problems that they faced.  It ended on a down note when the writer said that he doubted the club would survive.  Even dissenting opinions were printed.  When I look at today’s Chronicle the change is noticeable.  Since I didn’t even know SASS existed back then I can’t lament on the past, and even with the evident changes from then to now I still love this sport and promote it to anyone that might be interested.  Reading those old Chronicles I gain a new perspective when I hear pards talk about the old days and how things were.  We may never see those days again, maybe we don’t need to.  Like everyone we tend to put on “rose colored glasses” when thinking of days gone by, but that doesn’t mean things are worse, just different.  So I say let’s enjoy what we have, always strive to make it better and a tip of the hat to the past.  I encourage everyone to read the old Chronicles, it’s like looking up your family history.

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21 hours ago, Tequila Shooter said:

Recently I’ve been looking at the electronic copies of the old Cowboy Chronicles.  I wasn’t part of SASS back then and I’m finding it interesting to see SASS then and now.  In 2005 they were advertising a 4 day convention in Las Vegas complete with classes, vendors, live music, etc.  They even compared it to a mini Shot Show.  I also found it interesting how many vendors had ads in the Chronicle back then, some are still around, some aren’t, I like to look them up and see who’s still around.  There were articles for women how to fix their hair for a period look.  Articles about different shoots, and equipment reviews.  There was a two part article about a club trying to get started and all the problems that they faced.  It ended on a down note when the writer said that he doubted the club would survive.  Even dissenting opinions were printed.  When I look at today’s Chronicle the change is noticeable.  Since I didn’t even know SASS existed back then I can’t lament on the past, and even with the evident changes from then to now I still love this sport and promote it to anyone that might be interested.  Reading those old Chronicles I gain a new perspective when I hear pards talk about the old days and how things were.  We may never see those days again, maybe we don’t need to.  Like everyone we tend to put on “rose colored glasses” when thinking of days gone by, but that doesn’t mean things are worse, just different.  So I say let’s enjoy what we have, always strive to make it better and a tip of the hat to the past.  I encourage everyone to read the old Chronicles, it’s like looking up your family history.

 

I started in 2002, not the early days by far, but before the massive run-up in membership.  I truly miss some of the things you mention in your post.

 

While some did not like the Conventions, my wife and I always found them enjoyable.  I think our 1st one was in 2008 and we made everyone after that, again not the heyday, but certainly before it fell out of favor with folks.  It was awesome to get a chance to meet folks we would likely never have met otherwise, folks from all over the globe showed up there.  Many of the seminars were amazing, some entertaining, some educational, and some both.  It was "The Place" to take or refresh your RO credentials as well.  Not to mention the TG Summits.  A lot of reasons for the demise, changing tastes of the shooters, cost of travel during the economic downturn that started in the late 2008/09, and a "Been There - Done That" attitude of many folks.  SASS tried to mix it up a bit, changing venues in Las Vegas, changing locations, Branson, MO, San Antonio, TX, then back to Vegas, but by then the smell was off the rose.  For me, I always liked the Riviera in Las Vegas.  If you gambled, even just a little, you could get discounts on the rooms the next year.  The last two years it was held there, I think my wife and I had our rooms comped for all but one night (Saturday) where they charged us $20.00.  Flights were cheap into and out of Las Vegas from just about anywhere which helped not only folks in the US but also the international travelers.  I know in the end they became a money pit for SASS, but I still miss them.

 

As for the old paper Chronicle, Man Do I Miss That Paper!  Don't get me wrong, the new one is well done, but it's just not the "Cowboy Chronicle" to me.  I used to laugh because we got a couple of copies here, one for me and one for each of my kids who were life members, and two of them would show up pristine, and the third looked like it had been read a dozen times before it got here.  We used to leave the extra copies around for others to find or give them to our local club to hand out to prospective shooters.  I can't tell you how many times, just sitting somewhere reading that paper, started a conversation with someone.  Once, when taking a train to Florida, I was sitting in the lounge car reading the paper and drinking my morning coffee when the Conductor walks by and said he liked my paper.  I started to tell him about SASS and he said, "I Know, I'm Conductor".  I was obviously confused be cause he was the Conductor on the train, but he clarified, "No, my alias is Conductor!".   We had a nice talk until he had to run his rounds.  Sadly, when sitting and reading the "New Chronicle" I have never had anyone ask about it.  I also like that being monthly, you could read about different matches held in different places and build a list of where you wanted to shoot next.  We now regularly attend the Ides of March in Florida, which only came about because I read about it in the Chronicle and my son and I stopped by in 2006 during his spring break from College just to check it out.  Being a monthly, it also allowed for a lot more clubs to submit articles about their annual matches which helped advertise them without the cost of placing an advertisement in the Chronicle.  At that time, SASS had advertisers fighting for slots.  Again, SASS was searching for way to cut costs and the Chronicle was sacrificed.  Personally, I think that hurt membership overall because I know of people who rarely, and in one case never, shot matches, but they where members because of that paper.

 

With the expansion of the digital media world for SASS, along with the ubiquitous distribution of the Cowboy Communicator (commonly know and a Smart Phone), having the Digital Chronicle available has made it attractive to a wider audience, but while cheaper for SASS I also think it has negatively impacted their prime demographic.  While the younger crowd has no issue with reading everything digitally, and I certainly find it useful being able to search for things digitally rather than dig through my pile of paper Chronicles (and YES, I still have them!), I miss the crinkle of the paper, the ability to read it in bright sunlight, or on a train or a plane, or where ever I so desire.  Regardless, once it was published digitally, and put online, keeping that distribution limited to paying members was impossible, thus resulting in a reduction in membership.

 

My wife and I still enjoy going to SASS shoots and as we get closer to that final day of punching the clock, expect to do even more of it.  Our kids, who shot with us for 7-8 years, are now grown, married, and the oldest has two kids.  Their lives are full of other responsibilities, but I still hope to get my Grand-kids out shooting one day.  Hard to do in today's anti-gun environment where kids can get suspended from school just for using the word "GUN", but I still have hopes.  Just renewed their memberships yesterday, they are 5 years in, and the youngest is only 6!  This is my granddaughter (Summer Breeze SASS #103640) and I at the Mason Dixon Stampede in 2014.

 

 

66348534_BylinePictureDogmeatDad(SASS48563)andSummerBreeze(SASS103640).thumb.jpg.ee00874b22689af4209d75098617e38b.jpg

 

 

I am always glad to see newer folks like yourself join SASS and the discover the FUN.  Whether you are here for the competitive part of the sport, the shooting part of the sport, or just the opportunity to hang out with good people and escape the world for a time, SASS is that place, at least for me.  I have been at it almost 20 years, and I can honestly say it has been one of the best things I have ever done with my time.  I just hope that I get the opportunity to do it for another 20 years!  (And if you think I shoot slow now, just wait until I'm 85!  :P)

 

 

Edited by Dogmeat Dad, SASS #48563L
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I really miss the conventions, not the Riviera. After the last time, my room was so bad they should have comped me and didn't.

 

I went to Branson and San Antonio and enjoyed both. However, they had some big problems. In Branson, we got snowed in and it was super expensive both flying and an extra night due to the snow that caused canceled flights.

 

In San Antonio, the vendors were two blocks away and we had to walk by numerous panhandlers.

 

I heard that prices escalated so much that vendors felt it wasn't worthwhile. I really liked the last Convention at Green Valley in Henderson. Unfortunately, by then the vendors were few.

 

I loved the classes at the Conventions and took many of them. I loved meeting people from all over the world. As I travel alone to matches I don't go far. So, the Conventions were a wonderful chance to meet people.

 

When I first started, Hubby and I shot 4-5 weekends a month. The variety among matches was wonderful.

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I joined in '06, and really upped my match attendance in '08, and even back then people were talking about the 'good old days'.

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4 hours ago, Tequila Shooter said:

Recently I’ve been looking at the electronic copies of the old Cowboy Chronicles.  I wasn’t part of SASS back then and I’m finding it interesting to see SASS then and now.  In 2005 they were advertising a 4 day convention in Las Vegas complete with classes, vendors, live music, etc.  They even compared it to a mini Shot Show.  I also found it interesting how many vendors had ads in the Chronicle back then, some are still around, some aren’t, I like to look them up and see who’s still around.  There were articles for women how to fix their hair for a period look.  Articles about different shoots, and equipment reviews.  There was a two part article about a club trying to get started and all the problems that they faced.  It ended on a down note when the writer said that he doubted the club would survive.  Even dissenting opinions were printed.  When I look at today’s Chronicle the change is noticeable.  Since I didn’t even know SASS existed back then I can’t lament on the past, and even with the evident changes from then to now I still love this sport and promote it to anyone that might be interested.  Reading those old Chronicles I gain a new perspective when I hear pards talk about the old days and how things were.  We may never see those days again, maybe we don’t need to.  Like everyone we tend to put on “rose colored glasses” when thinking of days gone by, but that doesn’t mean things are worse, just different.  So I say let’s enjoy what we have, always strive to make it better and a tip of the hat to the past.  I encourage everyone to read the old Chronicles, it’s like looking up your family history.

Branchwater Jack has posted links to Ambush at the Caverns, North Alabama Regulators for 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000, things were a lot different back then.

 

http://branchwaterjack.com/Blog?all=true

 

 

 

Randy

Edited by Randy Saint Eagle, SASS # 64903
"P" for not attaching link
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1 hour ago, Dogmeat Dad, SASS #48563L said:

 

... This is my granddaughter (Summer Breeze SASS #103640) and I at the Mason Dixon Stampede in 2014....

 

Dogmeat, that is an absolutely delightful picture!  :)

 

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55 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

I wish they'd bring back the paper Chronicle and get rid of the magazine. 

Yeh bring back the old way. Still have quite a few of the old ones. But passed a lot off to some other folks just getting started.

 

 

JRJ

Edited by Jackrabbit Joe #414
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@Dogmeat Dad, SASS #48563L I’m hoping to make Ides this year, hope I get to meet you.  And you brought up why I joined, it started out as a love for that time and grew into the people.  I still love that era but the fun of shooting smokey BP loads and all the good pards keeps me coming back

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Well I like you attitude. There is no doubt that the "Hey-Days" in SASS were great.  For a good 20 ys they were in fact tremendous. I have photos of the Saturday night dinners in the Big tent at the Old EOTs in SoCal. They were more than just dinner gatherings, they were events within themselves. It was impossible to visit all the vendors in one day, and just as impossible to walk around, because of the thousands of people mulling around with you. Getting totally enveloped in the Fantasy was not the least bit difficult. Everyone was dressed to the max... you never saw anyone waling around in a Rodeo shirt and Wranglers. Playing the Game was on everyone's mind. For 5 days every years we actually moved back in time to a make believe TV Cowboy town. Attending the Chuck Wagon races and the Wild West Show was Huge. The Matches themselves were fun with more action than most of today's matches. Without doubt, those years were a total and complete Blast. Today's game is indeed different. It is driven for the most part by a completely different generation. One that did not grow up sitting in the theater every Saturday watching the western movies, or having the choice of a different western on every TV channel. I sure liked Red Ryder, and Hoppy. So.. it is what it is, and there is still Gold to be found at a well run CAS match if you just look for it. 

 

Snakebite  

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Those were great days!!!

 

Enjoy what you have now pards, we cannot go back anymore than I can get younger.

 

Love one another.

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1 minute ago, Marauder SASS #13056 said:

Those were great days!!!

 

Enjoy what you have now pards, we cannot go back anymore than I can get younger.

 

Love one another.

 

But that is where you are mistaken.  You get younger every time you strap on those six-shooters and step to the firing line, at least I know I do!

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32 minutes ago, Tequila Shooter said:

@Dogmeat Dad, SASS #48563L I’m hoping to make Ides this year, hope I get to meet you.  And you brought up why I joined, it started out as a love for that time and grew into the people.  I still love that era but the fun of shooting smokey BP loads and all the good pards keeps me coming back

 

Looking forward to it.  I will be easy to spot, I will be the guy wearing a mask!  :ph34r::D

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3 hours ago, Allie Mo, SASS No. 25217 said:

I really miss the conventions, not the Riviera. After the last time, my room was so bad they should have comped me and didn't.

 

I went to Branson and San Antonio and enjoyed both. However, they had some big problems. In Branson, we got snowed in and it was super expensive both flying and an extra night due to the snow that caused canceled flights.

 

In San Antonio, the vendors were two blocks away and we had to walk by numerous panhandlers.

 

I heard that prices escalated so much that vendors felt it wasn't worthwhile. I really liked the last Convention at Green Valley in Henderson. Unfortunately, by then the vendors were few.

 

I loved the classes at the Conventions and took many of them. I loved meeting people from all over the world. As I travel alone to matches I don't go far. So, the Conventions were a wonderful chance to meet people.

 

When I first started, Hubby and I shot 4-5 weekends a month. The variety among matches was wonderful.

 

I certainly remember the problems that some had at the Riv.  I had someone, to home I an forever grateful,  tell me before our first trip that we wanted to stay in the West Tower if I recall correctly because that was the most recently renovated.  Which meant sometime around the turn of the century! :P  We always booked early so we could get in there and, while certainly dated, we never had any problems.

 

 Branson was undoubtedly a "Picture Perfect Winter Wonderland" but being on lock-down for the duration because of the weather did not enhance the experience, and it was EXPENSIVE in every way possible.  Who knew it would be a test run for the "Corona"!  :rolleyes:

 

San Antonio, and staying in the Historic Menger Hotel was really cool.  My wife and I go lucky and managed to get a room with a balcony overlooking the pool.  Totally awesome room, and I loved exploring the hotel, but the hike to the vendor area undoubtedly hurt their business.  We did a little exploring around the area, visited the Alamo (who could resist that!), the River Walk, and the Texas Ranger Museum which was awesome, and ate several times as Shilo's a German Breakfast/Lunch Restaurant.  Some of the best potato pancakes I have ever had!  I also really loved the seminar on how the Germans moved to Mexico to brew beer during prohibition and stayed!  Overall it was good, and lots of Cowboy Atmosphere everywhere, and less costly than Branson, but still pretty expensive.

 

The last one at Green Valley was really nice, but again, I think the room cost was like $160.00 per night which adds up fast.  The vendor area was OK, a little small, but then it was also full.  One thing that bugged me was that many of the classes were on the other side of the casino and the "Casino Cops" made us remove our SASS badges before we could cross the floor.  It was beyond silly, but we played along as necessary.  Cost wise it was better than Branson, but more expensive than San Antonio, but it probably balanced out with San Antonio because the Air Fare was less.

 

While it could have been purely coincidence, from what I saw, every time costs went up, we lost attendance.  Every time they moved locations, the gained some folks, but lost others with an overall net loss.  Maybe it was just time for them to end, but I still enjoyed the experience.  Sitting at dinner and taking with folks from Australia or Germany or Scotland was a really unique experience.  While we met and shot with people from Australia and Germany when we attended EOT, and it was awesome in it's own right, the focus there was on the shooting more so than the socializing.  That only seemed to exist to a much larger extent at the Conventions.

 

I willingly accept that the SASS of today is not the SASS of yesterday, but that doesn't mean that the SASS of Today is no good.  There are still a great many of the same folks involved, still a lot of great matches to attend, and there certainly seems to be a resurgence of new shooters all of which are good things.  And while the focus on the matches these days is on Speed, there are still a lot of creative people designing and hosting interesting and challenging matches and I hope to attend many more of them in the future.

 

Planning to make the final EOT this year at Founders Ranch, good Lord willing and the Covid don't rise, to bid farewell to the Ranch.  For the future, we are more likely to go to Land Run for the Nationals than EOT purely because of travel distance.  The drive to Founders Ranch is about 1,825 miles (2 hard days or 3 easy days) each way.  The drive to Ben Avery, the new EOT, is about 2300 miles (3 hard days or 4 easy days) each way which make is a three week trip in reality.  The drive to Land Run is only 1300 miles (1 Brutal Day or 2 easy days) each way and that is much more doable for those of us on the East Coast. I have no doubt we will end up there in the future.

 

 

Edit:  Dang, I'm getting long winded tonight.  Must mean I am behind on a big project and procrastinating to beat the band!   Guess it's time to Get Back To Work!  :D

Edited by Dogmeat Dad, SASS #48563L
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Here is a video of what SASS was like in 1995. A lot different than today. Note those little dark spots out there beyond 25 yards that you can barely see in the background are the rifle targets. The ones you can see are the pistol targets.

 

 

Here is side match day in 2010

 

 

 

 

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GREAT! That IS Cowboy Action Shooting and the game I remember and loved. We still play the game at our Fort Miller match.  I don't know anyone that wouldn't enjoy a match like that.... though it might be hard for some to get up on the Barrel horse now days. Ha!

 

Snakebite

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AHHH yes, the good old days, a .05 Baby Ruth thet were as big as a grown mans forearm, spending all day Satday raking pine straw fer .50 to get CO2 fer my Crossman pellet COLT thet had real stag grips.   I remember one old Chronical story about SASS going on a real to life RIVER BOAT get together.  I always wished I could have done thet!

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1 hour ago, Snakebite said:

GREAT! That IS Cowboy Action Shooting and the game I remember and loved. We still play the game at our Fort Miller match.  I don't know anyone that wouldn't enjoy a match like that.... though it might be hard for some to get up on the Barrel horse now days. Ha!

 

Snakebite

You know Snakebite, I still have Giddy Up.  He carried this surly galoot into town from the desert in the Salt River Valley a few years back.

16097762755022969075843105174855.jpg

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I'm not sure which one is the Mule.

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Safety was a bit different. IN the first video he staged his rifle facing back at the shooters. Every time he pulled his left cross draw he broke the 170. One time it was pointing at the TO.

And on some stages he only shot one pistol!

If we put the rifle and pistol targets out that far today there'd be a riot.

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We have one club near me that still moves the targets WAY out there, at least by SASS standards. My 2 kids had been shooting SASS matches for 4 years before I took them to that shoot. Sure slowed them down, and they actually had to AIM! They didn't like it at first but now they like to go. I did have to buy my son a longer rifle, though, he felt the carbine was just too difficult to shoot at that distance. I miss the movement we used to do. Or laying down and shooting behind a wall. I have only been doing this since 1999, so not  the good old days compared to some, but it was different then. Sure were a lot more 45's than now. Now my family is all 44-40. No 38's!

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6 hours ago, Springfield Slim SASS #24733 said:

We have one club near me that still moves the targets WAY out there, at least by SASS standards. My 2 kids had been shooting SASS matches for 4 years before I took them to that shoot. Sure slowed them down, and they actually had to AIM! They didn't like it at first but now they like to go. I did have to buy my son a longer rifle, though, he felt the carbine was just too difficult to shoot at that distance. I miss the movement we used to do. Or laying down and shooting behind a wall. I have only been doing this since 1999, so not  the good old days compared to some, but it was different then. Sure were a lot more 45's than now. Now my family is all 44-40. No 38's!

 

Love calibers that start with a 4.  Had a pair of .38 SAAs and there just wasn’t enough smoke for me. :ph34r:

 

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15 hours ago, Buckshot Sheridan said:

I’d like to see the targets move back out like that. 

 

One of my clubs has a 5th Saturday match that’s as much like the “old days” as they can do.  Rifle and pistol targets are pushed back, shooting sitting down.  There was even one stage with 25 KDs, combination rifle and pistol with reload of your choice of guns, fun to shoot but needed a good posse willing to work to re-set the targets. 

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No, we can not go "home"... but we CAN volunteer! Get involved and MAKE things more like they used to be. I thought our stages were getting stale, so I volunteered to write some... been writin' em for years now (a chagrin to some ; ).  Help make props, dress the part, bring folks in. It's our game, let's make it better.

Too many times, those saying "we don't do this" or "we should do that" are not DOING anything other than showing up. Get involved and enjoy what we have.

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20 hours ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

Safety was a bit different. IN the first video he staged his rifle facing back at the shooters. Every time he pulled his left cross draw he broke the 170. One time it was pointing at the TO.

And on some stages he only shot one pistol!

If we put the rifle and pistol targets out that far today there'd be a riot.

And the TO was looking directly at the targets counting misses...

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1 hour ago, Matthew Duncan said:

And the TO was looking directly at the targets counting misses...

 

TO's were the spotters back then.

 

1998

 

https://youtu.be/b7pbsTlhaRY

 

Edited by Howlin Mad Murdock SASS #4037
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1 hour ago, Howlin Mad Murdock SASS #4037 said:

 

TO's were the spotters back then.

 

1998

 

https://youtu.be/b7pbsTlhaRY

 

That was just before I started. I do seem to remember that it seemed as though the folks were just getting used to the three spotters.

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