Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Repairing Hats and Leatherware is an Authentic Cowboy Business
Sometimes, a pair of boots or a favorite hat fits so well that, over the years, it becomes like an old friend. Parting with them is hard, especially if there are memories attached. Replacing them can be expensive. So, repair is an option. Bob Urbach helps people hold onto their favorite hats and shoes. He also takes care of people's saddles, bridles, purses and other leather items. It's the kind of Western business that you won't find too many of "down the hill." Urbach thinks he's the only person in nearby-Ramona who has hung out his shingle to do this kind of repair. His workshop in a cubicle in Ramona Business Barn on Main Street is like stepping into a cowboy's world. He has a steamer, to gently shape felt hats, which are made from the hair or fur of a variety of animals, such as rabbit. "A felt hat like this is so sturdy that you could dunk it in a water trough and it would hold up," he said. There's also a heavy sewing machine that will do fancy stitching on leather, and a variety of tools hang from the walls. Real skulls of a buffalo and a steer hang on the white walls. A glass case displays spurs. "I collect bits and spurs," Urbach said. "I also collect hats, like this Stetson from about 1929 or 1930. It's probably almost a 10-gallon." Urbach also sells hats made of woven palms from Mexico and Central America...more