Last week Forrest was invited up to the Governor’s mansion to be honored by the Governor herself for his boundless advancement of the culture of the American West. As you know Forrest has authored several important books on American artists. He has also written extensively on the San Lazaro Pueblo, Indian Dolls and other fascinating American topics.
At San Lazaro his remarkable findings have illuminated concepts of prehistoric culture and technology previously unknown to modern investigators. Further, he has annually invited kids to visit the pueblo for extended periods of time and allowed them to participate in supervised archeological digs to share in the adventure, fun and mystery of archeology and anthropology (the thrill of the chase). Sounds like great fun doesn’t it? The kids find tools, pots, animal remains, arrowheads, scrapers and prehistoric kitchen appliances like a metate and mano.
Forrest is not only a hider of precious treasure but also an enthusiastic protector and finder of all things historic and prehistoric.
I was lucky enough to be in Santa Fe at the time and was invited by Forrest to attend the event. The weather was delightful, the sky was big, and the wine was plentiful. Everyone was in a partying kind of mood and the relaxed event unfolded seamlessly on the back portico of the mansion overlooking about 180 degrees of beautiful southwest, Pinyon pine horizon.
As I moved close to the podium, I pulled out my camera and filmed Forrest, Max and the officials so you could share in the lovely moment.
You can view video clips from the award ceremony here:
The award is named after Max Evan’s humorous novel about cowboying and ranching called, The Rounders. The book was a best seller and was made into a movie in 1965 with Henry Fonda and Glenn Ford. One year later it was a TV series on CBS starring Ron Hayes and Patrick Wayne (John Wayne’s son). Max Evans was a genuine cowboy in New Mexico and a genuine infantryman in WWII who participated in the invasion of Europe and ended up with a genuine cracked skull the day after D-Day. After the war Max became a cowboy artist and then gave that up for cowboy writing. Prolific is a good adjective for Max. He has around 30 books still in print.
The event at the Governor’s Mansion hosted about a hundred cowboys and cowgirls dressed as you’d imagine in Sunday best felt hats, dark wool vests, pressed jeans and fancy boots. These colorful ranchers traveled from all over the State to be there. Forrest seemed to know just about all of them. The Governor, Susana Martinez was there as well as Max and Forrest and writer Slim Randles who also received a Rounders Award this year.
The Rounders Award honors Forrest for a lifetime of work that has promoted and enhanced the culture of the American west.