HATS books Baxter Black

by marlys good

HATS will be “doffed” this year on Saturday, Aug. 17 at the Herb Asp Community Center. The fifth annual charity event will feature entertainment by Baxter Black, cowboy, poet, philosopher, former veterinarian and radio and television commentator.

Black drew rave reviews when he appeared at the 2009 fundraiser, and guests will enjoy the same quality show this year.

Black was born in Las Cruces, N.M., attended college at New Mexico State University and Colorado State University and graduated in 1969. (He began riding bulls in rodeos while in high school and continued riding through college). He practiced veterinarian medicine from 1969 to 1982, specializing in large animals, such as cows and horses. During his last veterinarian job, he spoke on the side. His charisma and humor appealed to the crowds and added to his popularity. He continued his job as veterinarian for two more years and during that time, spoke at over 250 events.

Speaking jobs kept coming up while his career as a poet was just beginning. He continues to speak at agricultural conferences, writes a column, speaks on the radio and has a segment on RFD-TV.

He resides in Benson, Ariz. with his wife Cindy Lou. He has no cell phone, television or fax machine. According to his web site, one of his philosophies is: “In spite of all the computerized, digitalized, high-tech innovations of today, there will always be a need for folks to be a cowboy, ‘Ya either are one, or ya aren’t.‘”

This year’s HATS includes the silent auction, starting at 4 p.m. that will include about 30 items, a dinner catered by Chris Dalin and Rob Howe, the fun “heads or tails” mini-fundraiser, live music provided by CODE BLUE out of Salt Lake who will be joined by Bill Brimley who has entertained at every HATS fundraiser, a raffle with a chance to buy tickets for roughly 25 specific packages worth over $250 each, and the live auction with about 30 items on the block.

Included in the live auction will be a $3,000 composite deck package; beautiful and unique furniture crafted by local artisans Bill Van Grinsven, Terry Wood, Dave Mattis and Jerry Ewen; two Shoofly drawings; Ann Hanson print; three original quilts;  Gist Beltbuckle; a trip to the NFR complete with airfare and motel in Las Vegas; a Labor Day baseball package to watch the Colorado Rockies face the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, Sept. 1, and the LA Dodgers on Sept. 2; Denver Bronco tickets; Pittsburgh Steelers game package with an autographed game jersey from Brett Keisel with other items being received daily.

Also this year will mark the second year of the HATS hats. Thirteen numbered hats will be sold during the course of the evening and each winner is guaranteed to win a gun.

Raffle tickets can be purchased at the door the evening of the event.

Tickets for this year‘s HATS are $50 each and are available at the Greybull Building Center, Ron’s Food Farm or Security State Bank in Basin.

All money raised goes directly to Hands Across the Saddle and is used to benefit families in need/crisis across the Big Horn Basin, extending from as far south as Thermopolis and as far north as Powell/Cody.