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.
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.”
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.
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.
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:
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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.