Enthrallment for the Western lifestyle is greater and broader than technical savvy of modern day would admit or perhaps imagine.
Yet, sincerest strongest denial always loses calculating history’s attracting appeal, financial successes of vast television Westerns and silver screen cowboys.
Something about a horse galloping the prairies wind in face, hat, boots, dust, imagining smell of gun smoke.
Jerry and Patty Reece know that indisputable feeling all too well sensed throughout their lifetimes.
Now, the former city dwellers perhaps urban socialites although they’d likely prefer that not said are living dream come true.
And they’re anxious to share or a portion there of to those many who can’t feel the hands on touch.
“Jerry and I acquired a lifetime fascination for the West from our early years,” Patty Reece claimed.
Visiting Cheyenne, Wyoming, the sight of cowboys in jingling spurs convinced eight-year-old Jerry he wanted to be a cowboy.
On family vacations to the Southwest as a young girl, Patty became captivated with big sky, sparse rangeland and horses.
“Jerry never let go of his cowboy dream, and the romance of West always stayed with me,” Patty admitted.
After meeting, marrying, and with satisfying successful career, they discovered the Flint Hills. “We were immediately connected with the broad vistas, tallgrass, open spaces where the West really began,” Patty said.
Eventually, the couple bought a small place near Alma. “Then we got some horses, added more land and embarked on our own Western adventure,” Patty smiled.
That includes owning and riding their horses, neighboring and helping ranchers, loving the real cowboy way of life.
Of course, the Reese’s are best known for renovating The Volland Store into an art gallery and community meeting place.
Now the congenial ambitious couple’s sharing their lifestyle adventures. They’ve built an outdoor arena near The Volland Store to feature Western attractions.
“This is a place for horse shows and other equestrian events,” Jerry Reece said. “We’ll host clinics, lessons, equestrian education, a place for horse lovers, cowboys and wannabes.”
Inaugural event at The Volland Arena to celebrate the “Day of the Cowboy” is Saturday evening, July 27, 2019.
“Charro Jerry Diaz and his family will give a traditional Vaquero Equestrian Performance,” Reece said. “It’ll feature the romance and beauty of world class horsemanship and the art of the horse.
“There’ll be food, music and art,” he added.
An art show, “Law of the Saddle” will begin at 5:30, with a performance by the Topeka-based musician Mariachi Girasol de Topeka. Diaz and his family with their Andalusian horses are to entertain at 7:30.
The Reese couple has a long friendship with Diaz, his wife Staci and their son Nicolas.
“Our four horses, Paloma, Alma, Vaquero and Katrine were handpicked by Jerry Diaz,” Reece said. Katrine is a retired show horses who performed at Madison Square Garden.
“Our grandchildren have traveled to the Diaz Ranch at New Braunfels, Texas, for lessons, and the Diaz family has been guests at our ranch,” Patty said. “Because of our close friendship, we are able to present the family in an extraordinary performance for free will admission. However, be sure to bring your chairs.”
Charro is pronounced “Cha ’ro.” He is “a skilled Mexican horseman who origins date back to the 17th century.” Customs, dress, music and equestrian skills of the Charro are said to have been borrowed by the American cowboy.
A Charro dresses in traditional costume being skilled in horsemanship, bull riding, horse and steer roping and trick roping.
Gerardo “Jerry” Diaz is a fourth generation Charro continuing traditions originated with his great grandfather more than 150 years ago.
Diaz, San Antonio, Texas, native, is recognized around the world for his expertise in horsemanship and dedication to Charro traditions. In 2004, Diaz was inducted into the Texas Trail of Fame.
The Charro’s strict code of honor includes chivalry, high ethics, expert horsemanship and dedication to family and Charro traditions. “Jerry Diaz embodies all of these qualities,” Reece credited.
Four times World Champion Charro, Diaz has earned the Federation of Charros’ Golden Spur Award for commitment to Charro tradition.
His father, Jose ‘’Pepe’’ Diaz, is also a Charro and a master horseman from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. José Diaz trained horses for the family of Mexican president Lazaro Cardenas.
Beginning his career in the early 1980s, Jerry Diaz has performed his horsemanship skills and rope artistry around the country. Unaided by swivels or gimmicks, Diaz spins his rope while on foot, riding, or standing atop his horse.
Diaz made a special appearance before U.S. President George Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He has performed at Madison Square Garden and at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.
A director and lifetime member of the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado, Diaz features his productions there. They are the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza and the Evening of Dancing Horses.
“The ‘Extravaganza’ is filled with pageantry and excitement,” Reece verified. Diaz has also presented the production at stock shows in San Antonio, Fort Worth, Houston and Kansas City.
An especial event with the Diaz family is also planned July 26, at the Reece Ranch on Trails End Road. “Bring a chair, favorite beverage and snack if desired for a casual evening visit with friends and neighbors,” Reece invited.
Information is available at 913-522- 6270 or www.thevollandstore.com.