Guest Columns

STYLE MATTERS

Stars of the West Shine at Citizen of the West Dinner

Contributing Columnist

Style Matters loves attending fundraising dinners, social events with deserving honorees, and women’s luncheons where the finest jewelry and newest facelifts are on display. To misquote Shakespeare’s description of Cleopatra: “Custom cannot stale their infinite variety.” As many as I have attended, both as working media and as a guest, I still get a bit choked up when the honoree is introduced and clap as enthusiastically as any volunteer. But I must say that the Citizen of the West dinner, part of the annual National Western Stock Show, has a special quality to it that sets it apart. Maybe it’s the abundance of tall handsome ranchers, or the bolo-bedecked owners of feedlots, or the turquoise and silver belts wrapped around ironed, well fitting jeans. Whatever it is, Style Matters has contracted a bad case of “Bonanza” fever.

2011 Citizen of the West Pete Coors, in a black suede cutaway, stoops down to congratulate 2013 dinner honoree Dr. Matsushima. The Citizen of the West award is just one of many the brilliant researcher has received. The most notable is the “Tenno Hosho,” the Emperor’s Citation, given by the Emperor of Japan.
Photo by Marie Griffin Dennis/The Colorado Statesman

About 800 of these stars of the west gather together once a year to honor one of their own. At this year’s Citizen of the West 2013 dinner, the nominating committee eschewed “big names” and opted instead for a little known professor who changed the face of cattle nutrition. Dr. John Matsushima, 92-years young, might be short in stature, I would guess no more than about five feet tall, but a giant in the research into weight gain in cattle.
Dr. William Wailes, former Department Chair of Animal Sciences at CSU, said of his colleague, “... Dr. Matsushima’s development of steam-processed corn grain into ‘corn flakes’ in the 60’s is still used worldwide today to increase efficiency in cattle feeding technology.” Pat Grant, former president of the National Western Stock Show, talks about how huge Dr. Matsushima is in the world of cattle and beef production. “... He has overseen world renowned research into cattle feeding; this has led to his being a big influence on the quality, taste and tenderness of our best beef.”

Honoree Dr. John Matsushima beams as peers and leaders in his field approach to congratulate him. The good doctor wore a bolo studded with rubies from New Zealand.
Photo by Marie Griffin Dennis/The Colorado Statesman

I don’t pretend to know exactly what this means. I do know that Dr. Matsushima was beaming ear to ear the whole evening. Maybe because he knew that net proceeds from this event go to support 74 annual scholarships awarded by the National Western Scholarship Trust. And from these scholars another Dr. Matsushima might surely appear.

Barth Whitman has been involved in the livestock industry since he was in grade school. Now a member of the dinner steering committee, Whitman looked like he had just stepped out of an edition of Gentleman’s Quarterly in his cutaway coat and combination bolo/bowtie. Wife Maureen also wore a cutaway. Friend Jim Carpenter showed off his oversized turquoise and silver bolo.
Photo by Marie Griffin Dennis/The Colorado Statesman

Now to the fashions of the evening. Frankly, western clothing styles don’t change that much from year to year. Women who invest in a broomstick skirt or embroidered vest can rest assured that they can wear these items for years to come and still look current. The biggest trend Style Matters saw involved the men. Style Matters swooned at the cutaway coat Jeremy Irons wore at this year’s Golden Globes. And, gosh darn it, wouldn’t you know it, these cutaway coats showed up on the physiques of many a well-dressed cowboy. It’s a great look and Style Matters hopes it stays around for quite a while.

Jim Cage, wearing a silver bolo, is president of the Roundup Riders of the Rockies, which promotes the western relationship between the American cowboy and his horse. Cage escorted wife Karen, who turned heads in a flashy flowered jacket from India.
Photo by Marie Griffin Dennis/The Colorado Statesman

Judie Schwartz, AKA Style Matters, is the co-author of two best-selling books on the best places to shop in Colorado. Called “A Fashion-Lover’s Guide to the Best Shopping in Denver and Beyond,” the books are available at stylematters.us . Schwartz presents image seminars to corporations on the importance of a business casual wardrobe and entertains conventioneers with talks on how to look great on a budget. She is also a wardrobe consul-tant. Schwartz has one husband, three children, no pets and small closets. She can be reached at:
stylematters1@gmail.com
www.stylematters.us
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Is there anything more adorable than 12-year-old, 7th grader Jordan Maldonado, the 2013 Douglas County Fair princess? You tell me.
Photo by Marie Griffin Dennis/The Colorado Statesman
When Jordan grows up, she might get to be Miss Rodeo Colorado. Sarah Wiens, 23, is a University of Northern Colorado alum from Sedalia.
Photo by Marie Griffin Dennis/The Colorado Statesman
And if Wiens is very lucky, she might win the title of Miss Rodeo America. The current reigning beauty is Chenae Shiner from Utah. Her crown is made with gold from the Black Hills of South Dakota and is worth about $36,000.
Photo by Marie Griffin Dennis/The Colorado Statesman
Jeannie Gottenborg poses with husband Dave. She wears a bright red Double D Ranch sequin and beaded ensemble complete with matching boots, belt and necklace.
Photo by Marie Griffin Dennis/The Colorado Statesman
Bolo ties were abundant with so many interesting ones that it was hard to choose. Here Jim Mulligan, a board member of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, wears a silver and inlaid turquoise bolo with a standing horse. Mulligan’s law firm Snell and Wilmer were one of the dinner sponsors.
Photo by Marie Griffin Dennis/The Colorado Statesman
Joni Burleson carried a colorful fabric bag she picked up at the Betty Ford store in Vail.
Photo by Marie Griffin Dennis/The Colorado Statesman
Western ladies know how to use accessories to complete an ensemble. Marilyn Coors knocked our socks off with her cowhide ankle length boots.
Photo by Marie Griffin Dennis/The Colorado Statesman
Turquoise and silver belts were wrapped around the sveltest of waists.
Photo by Marie Griffin Dennis/The Colorado Statesman
Volunteer Cindy Fredriksen looked lovely in a red and black suede jacket decorated with studs paired with a long pleated skirt and red coral and silver necklace.
Photo by Marie Griffin Dennis/The Colorado Statesman
Sporting a cutaway coat, Rick Randall chaperoned his vivacious wife, Pam, who served on the dinner arrangement committee. When I complimented her embroidered jacket, Pam bragged it was originally from a consignment shop. She also confided that they had a ranch with 800 pregnant cows. What do you say after that?
Photo by Marie Griffin Dennis/The Colorado Statesman
Deedee Decker was a standout in a hand sewn silk Japanese robe from the 1930’s. Decker chose to wear it to honor the background of Dr. Matsushima. Spouse Peter Decker is the former Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture.
Photo by Marie Griffin Dennis/The Colorado Statesman
Lisa Edwards wore drool-worthy black and white python boots lent to her by her aunt.
Photo by Marie Griffin Dennis/The Colorado Statesman