Shakespeare cowboy


With less than a thousand year-round residents and an economy based largely on tourism, Bandera is the self-proclaimed "cowboy capitol of the world."

Bandera resident Jon Curry, a musician, has a way with words to go along with his style.

"In most tourist towns, there is a sense that it's orchestrated or contrived," he tells me in a born-and-raised Texan drawl. "But here there is a palpable genuineness seldom found elsewhere."

About his outfit: "It's really just a pair of blue jeans and boots."

Though on closer inspection, we counted six layers, which qualifies as deliberate dressing, in my book.

Roanoke (crazy) style


Slo Roseboro, 54, has been decorating the streets of Roanoke, Virginia, which he deems a "very spooky place," for about a decade.

He embellished the jacket he's wearing by cutting out the stars and having them sewn on by a dry cleaner in town.

"He's just slacking today," a friend tells me. "He wears some seriously colorful stuff."

A couple Nashville cuties


Katie Beth Kirkeminde, 25, left, is a hostess at Bourban Street Blues and Boogie Bar in Nashville, while Beth Walker, 26, right, plays and sings in a two woman act called A Finer Wire.
They met this Tuesday night outside popular Nashville music venue Exit/In.

Katie Beth, who does model, got her dress at Forever21. Her belt is by Another Line; the shoes are Michael Antonio and the stockings are Anne Klein.

Beth qualifies as a laid off reporter, herself. The entertainment magazine she wrote for closed down in June.
"I like lots of colors, bright colors," she tells me. "Usually I put my outfit together in my head first."
All her items are from Target except the blown glass pendant, which she picked up at a thrift store.

My own American style


In the tiny town of Calico Rock, Ark., population 1,000,  Richard Allen owns one of the coolest second-hand stores I've been to. In fact, I tried to shield my eyes and walk past, but I was drawn in by the going-out-of-business sign, table full of Louis L'Amour books and a doe-eyed mannequin.


These were staring me down as soon as I walked in.

"Everyone who comes in here looks at those shoes," Allen tells me.

I think they were waiting for me, then.
I could walk down the aisle in a short white wedding dress in these shoes. Billy Idol for the soundtrack and everything.

I did pass up a lot of denim, leather, flannel and turquoise, though, so be proud of me.

Allen now lives in Viola, Ark, about 20 miles from Calico Rock.
"I used to live in Scottsbluff, Ariz. in the sixties. I
wish I knew then what I know now" about the demand for southwest
artifacts and Indian regalia, he says.

"I got addicted to turquoise, right along with tools and oil lamps. I used to have over 300 oil lamps.
I have 1,200 wooden planes, 600 tools and 800 pieces of cast iron… Wherever I go, I end up looking for stuff."

A future not based on blood

IMG_2522 21-year-old Dusty Rennie attends the pow wow every year. He is one-quarter Kaw.
In a tribe of about 2,700, there are only five three-quarter blooded members left, he says. No full-blooded Kaw remain. The Kaw language also is considered "dead," since no no one uses it in their daily lives.
Rennie has been wearing a braid since his football playing days in high school.
"There's a lot of respect in the culture, a lot of discipline," he says. "As long as I can (continue to) go to the pow wow, my kids are going to go to the pow wow."

Urban cowgirl dollies


Friends Tori Reeves, 22, a waitress at La Parrilla Mexican restaurant in Lawrence, and Jessie Unruh, 21, a student from Kansas City, met about a year ago and frequently swap clothes. Jessie is wearing Tori's skirt in this photo. She owns about 15 pairs of boots, many unique and old. 

Tori cuts the neck out of most t-shirts. "If it's not completely comfortable, I don't care how cute it looks," she says.

A Kenyan-bound Missoulian


I met Meghan Chambers, 23, a couple days before she moved to Kenya to coach soccer. She is from Portland originally and migrated to Missoula years ago to attend school.

I was struck by the ease of her summery outfit, which conveys a European sensibility, yet comes across very "American" with her tan and straight, blonde hair.

She says her fashion inspiration is "sexy art" — appropriate since I met her during Friday night's art walk.

Her top is from Greece, the skirt is from Portland, the shoes from Anthropologie and the earrings are a gift from a friend.

Red, white and electric blue

IMG_0389 IMG_0391

"I wear all bright jackets. I grew up wearing them. I got my first red jacket when I was 8. I've got purples, reds, greens, blues, lavenders – you name it!."
The late gospel pianist Hovie Lister came to my church in South Carolina when I was 12 and I asked him, "Why are you wearing my red jacket?"

— Edward C. Cato, retired E6 in the U.S. Air Force, 75, Spokane