A cowboy-hat clad Dean Smith and his wife, Debby, proudly rested their eyes on a blue jean Wrangler jacket.
The jacket features a bit of everything from Dean’s past as an actor, stunt man and Olympian. Naturally, it’s punctuated with a Western flair and will be exhibited and auctioned at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum’s Catwalk in Cowtown event Oct. 23 at the Fort Worth Stockyards.
The first-year event is sponsored by Wrangler, which donated Smith’s and several other jackets. It’s also sponsored by Hobby Lobby, which donated crafts to decorate the jackets. Catwalk in Cowtown is designed to raise awareness and appreciation for the lifelong achievements of Hall of Fame inductees, as well as the museum’s mission of supporting children’s education and preserving Western heritage.
Smith has done and seen a lot in his day. He has been a stunt man and stunt coordinator in more than 80 films, has acted in 54 films and has been in a handful of documentaries. That’s a lot to capture in just one jacket — but the Smiths and local businesses in Breckenridge pulled it off.
The jacket’s motif features embroidered quotes from the movie “Cheyenne Autumn,” leather detailing with accompanying tassels and buttons across the shoulders and cuffs of the arm that look like buffalo nickels.
A large screenshot was hand-stitched onto the back of the jacket and bordered with fabric that looks like leather. A strip of beadwork lines the bottom, and classy bone breastplates cascade down the front. Like Smith, it has a lot of elements working together to create a rich and diverse collage.
“I think it’s magnificent,” Smith said as he stared at the screenshot on the back of the jacket. “It reminds me of so many things, especially the movie I made (“Cheyenne Autumn”), being with John Wayne and being with Indian boys back when I was working.”
He said that while making “Cheyenne Autumn,” he and the crew lived in tents and had a big tent where they ate. It was filmed in the Navajo Indian Nation. He remembered that 50 years ago when he worked with those guys, he looked like a little skinny kid from Texas.
Read more in Wednesday's Graham Leader.