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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment July 18, 2018

4/10/2018 1:05:00 PM
Western author Rick Steber headlines 'Fireside Stories'
photo by Mary Alice Wilson
+ click to enlarge
photo by Mary Alice Wilson

By Sue Stafford

Renowned Western author, historian, and storyteller Rick Steber will close out the free Fireside Stories series sponsored by the Three Sisters Historical Society on Tuesday, April 17 at FivePine Conference Center. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7 p.m.

Steber will present his "Wandering the Native American Trail," sharing stories about Native Americans including Jackson Sundown, who was featured in Steber's "Red White Black." Sundown was born Waaya-Tonah-Toesits-Kahn, meaning Blanket of the Sun, in 1863. He was a rodeo rider who has become a folk hero for his mythic performance in the 1916 Pendleton Round-Up when in his 50s.

Sundown made his living by breeding, raising, breaking, and selling horses. To make additional money he entered rodeos, where he was best known for bareback and saddle bronc riding. He was known for his brightly colored shirts, large and elegant woolen chaps, and his long braids that he tied under his chin.

Steber, who grew up on a ranch in Klamath County, is the author of more than 40 books with sales of more than a million copies. The recipient of national acclaim for his writing, Steber has been awarded the Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best Western Novel, Independent Publishers Award for Best Regional Fiction, Western Heritage Award, Benjamin Franklin Award, Mid-America Publishers Award, Oregon Library Association Award, and Oregon Literary Arts Award. Three of his books have been optioned to movie production companies.

Steber's books are exciting contemporary stories and historical documentaries about the American West and people otherwise forgotten. His stories contain honest character descriptions and vivid landscape detail.

In addition to his writing, Steber is an engaging Western personality, and has the unique ability to make his characters come alive as he tells a story. He has spoken at national and international conferences. He particularly enjoys visiting schools where he talks to students about the importance of education, developing reading and writing skills, and impressing upon them the value of saving our history for future generations.

Before discovering that what he really wanted to do was write, Steber earned a degree in economics from Southern Oregon University and lived for a short time in Portland. He now owns his own publishing company in Prineville, Bonanza Publishing, that releases all his work.

Steber has two sons, Seneca and Dusty, and lives near Prineville, Oregon. He writes in a cabin in the timbered foothills of the Ochoco Mountains.

Copies of his books will be available for sale Tuesday night beginning at 6:30 p.m. The society still has available for sale a limited number of books having to do with the Sisters area. There will also be two special raffle prizes offered by Sisters businesses as a fundraiser for the historical society.

Steber's presentation marks the final Fireside Stories evening this year and the Three Sisters Historical Society is already planning next year's series for January through March 2019.

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