Through dialogue, stories, songs and visual enhancements, Jim illustrates that the North American Cowboy played a key role in the early development of our great land. Event Organizers, Tour Directors, and Community Organizations will agree The Last Best West is a refreshing change from routine speaker or concert venues. Jim's 'period' songwriting caps off a unique style of entertainment and education --- it's an edu-tainment concept!.
The Last Best West has a simple, yet effective "set": it includes a simulated campfire with horse tack inside a half/moon corral fence complete with sagebrush, tumbleweed and horned cattle skulls! It is self-contained and can be modified to any area inside or out.
Jim performs some familiar old cowboy/western tunes, and many of his own original songs. His descriptions of land, people, animals, and their interrelationships are so vivid you'll smell the sage and taste the traildust.
The story-lines are 'mostly' historically correct, but ya can't blame a cowpoke for enhancin' the truth a tad! The Cowboy has had the single-most major lasting impact of any character on the development of North American culture, and Jim focuses on "The Code of the West", and how we can use its principles of integrity, honestly, courtesy, manners and respect in today's world.
the visuals: photos and artwork
The graphic history that Jim has compiled is extensive. The visual augmentation is the real uniqueness to Jim's show. There are over 150 historical slides and graphics that helps the audience "stay-in-tune" with what the show's content. (lap top to LCD projector to big screen).
School / Library / Seniors Facilities Presentation . . . or . . . Community Concert/Show
A chronological look at the settlements, the people, and their activities in the vast land that would eventually become Western Canada, with a focus on the Golden Age of Ranching and the Cowboy --- 1870 - 1907.
Jim can cover a combination of any or all of the following in his presentations:
1. North America: from Woolly Mammoths to the “first peoples”
2. the fur traders, their forts, and integration with the Native Indians
3. the hayday and doomsday of the buffalo
4. acquiring Rupert’s Land from Hudson’s Bay Co, and “National Policy” for its settlement
5. the need for, and the formation of the NWMP
6. the bravery, respectability and credibility of the NWMP in early years
7. the Dominion Lands Act and the unbelievable prices for leased and purchased land
8. the New Life & Lifestyles: for Indian people, and for Ranchers and Settlers
9. from the Open Range to the building of fences
10. the first cowboys, traditions, who they were, what they did
11. the first cattle and first huge sprawling ranches: hardships, losses and successes
12. all about the big Cattle Drives: how, why, who, where and when
13. all about the big Roundups: how, why, who, where and when
14. the markets for cattle over the years
15. the formation of ‘groups” and “commuinities that helped people with similar interests
16. the “Last Best West” and “Land of Opportunity” ad programs to entice people to the Canadian West
17. the influx of setters/homesteaders and the proportionate downsizing of the large ranches
18. differences and struggles between ranchers and homesteaders
19. the devasting winter of 1906/07 and it’s effect on cattle herds and the future of ranching
20. getting agricultural product to market: transportation/collection systems for stock and grain
21. the end of the old cowboy ways, formation of Calgary Stampede signifies the end of an era
22. the influence of technology: integrating ‘old’ traditions into today’s western lifestyle
23. the integrity, work and re-shaping of real cowboys
24. having fun around the ranch
25. the future and maintenance of a long-standing and traditional way of life