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Press Release

Release Date: February 02, 2022
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Long before the American public was clamoring to view the latest cliffhanger of the Paramount western drama “Yellowstone,” Chickasaw cowboy Shawn Williams was sharing his unique insights about Western ensembles and “Wild West Wisdom.”

“Pearl Snap Fever” is his moniker choice with fans enjoying his homespun offerings weekly on a variety of social media platforms.

Always sporting his custom chipped-obsidian cowboy hat, complete with a press pass and a spare toothpick tucked into the band, the highly trained cowboy fashion reporter files a “Thursday Evenin’ Cowboy Fashion Report” on the Facebook page “Pearl Snap Fever.” He also shares “Fashion Tips and Wild West Wisdom” monthly reports for “Western Horseman.”

During the brief videos, he meticulously describes his ensemble du jour, beginning with the ever-present pearl snap shirt. He expounds on the subtle differences in shades, such as Victorian alabaster and evening clabber, and how the colors accentuate his other fashion choices, such as a buckskin vest or an electric blue wild rag worn around his neck.

Asked about his inspiration for the highly descriptive commentary, Mr. Williams answered, “I don’t make up the fashion. I just report it. Pearl snap shirts have many luxurious colors and I am just blessed to know what it is. Sometimes I find the fashion, sometimes the fashion finds me, but I always report it.”

The “Thursday Evenin’ Cowboy Fashion Report” has evolved into a brand Williams trademarked, “Pearl Snap Fever.” He hopes to bring humor and levity to Western fashion similar to what “Fashion Police” did for mainstream audiences.

“Sometimes, the reports capture the simplicity but the exaggeration of sarcasm of what Joan Rivers did with everyday fashion. Some people say I don’t look like a highly trained cowboy fashion reporter, so maybe that adds to the allure,” he laughed.

Williams’ persona inspired a new feature, “Snap and Reride: The Adventures of a Highly-Trained Cowboy Fashion Reporter,” scheduled for launch in the February 2022 issue of “Western Horseman.”

The cartoon strip, written by Williams and illustrated by Ty Skiver, is a call back to a time when the iconic publication, launched in 1937, featured cartoon strips.

“Western Horseman has agreed to a six-month run. It will be a three-to-four block cartoon on a half-page,” he said. “We are really excited and have high hopes for it.”

The characters are also featured on wild rags, or scarfs, worn around the neck.

Williams’ connection with “Western Horseman” began when the publication featured his poetry, publishing a two-page spread of his poem “The Cowpuncher’s Night Before Christmas.”

Beneath Williams’ pearl snap shirts and dry wit beats the heart of a true cowboy poet, which was forged from his experiences as a cowpuncher in expansive ranches throughout the West. Soon after graduating high school, he mounted his horse and worked for years on several large ranches in the Southwest, from West Texas and New Mexico to Montana.

The poetry really began to flow when Williams, 51, moved back to Oklahoma and worked a desk job. He would recall the people and life-or-death experiences as a cowpuncher and write.

“Working on the ranches and being out in the elements will really bring it out. Any kind of profession that has that human depth - where you have to take care of yourself or die, have seconds of adrenaline or days of monotony and boredom - it builds. A lot of art, poetry and stories come from experiences like that, no matter what you are doing,” he said.

“Everybody has a story, no matter what they are doing. I just figured out how to deliver mine.”

He began to share these poems with friends and on social media.

“It just blew me away the people who enjoyed them. People would tell me they enjoyed the stories about the poems as much as the poems,” he said.

“I’ve always had this stuff in me, I just didn’t know anyone wanted to hear it.”

Friends offered encouragement, and Williams’ first book of poetry, “Where the Wind Always Blows” was published in 2020. The poems tell the story of life as a cowpuncher, the horses he rides and the cattle determined to give him a run for his money. The book is available on Amazon.

Pearl Snap Fever is born

One evening in 2017, on horseback in the middle of the pasture, Williams decided to try out his new smartphone and filmed a video for his Facebook page, where he describes both his style choices, as well as his horse’s attire.

“I called it the “Thursday Evenin’ Cowboy Fashion Report” because it was Thursday and it was in the evening,” he said. “I wasn’t ever going to do it again, but what few friends I had on Facebook encouraged me to do another one, and then another one, so I did. I enjoyed it.

“One day I shared a poem I had written about pearl snap shirts, and it just blew up. So, I just started talking about pearl snap shirts because that is what a lot of cowboys wear, and they have since they have been invented.”

“Pearl Snap Fever” also features a clothing line of T-shirts, hoodies, ball caps and koozies available at retailers in Sulphur.

Williams has recently been invited to make appearances at the National Finals Rodeo, Legends of the Rodeo banquet, the Red Stegall Cowboy Gathering, and was the keynote speaker at the Idaho Cattle Association year-end banquet.

Chickasaw Heritage

Born in 1970 in Ada to Gene and Linda (Lowrance) Williams, he was educated in the “cowboy way” while being reared in Sulphur. He grew up in a rodeo family with deep roots in Chickasaw Country.

His Chickasaw heritage stems from his mother’s family. The Lowrance family was among the first to arrive in the section of Indian Territory which would later become Murray County.

Willis Burgess (W.B.) Lowrance and his Chickasaw wife, Mattie, established Lowrance Ranch in the 1870s near Boiling Springs, the headwaters of Buckhorn Creek, south of Sulphur.

One of their sons, Williams’ maternal great grandfather, Oscar Kennedy (O.K.) Lowrance, was a real wild-west cowboy who assumed ranching responsibilities. Born in 1883, O.K. won a gold buckle and a saddle in the bulldogging event at the 1912 Calgary Stampede, and was considered world champion.

“He was still roping calves in his late 80s and maybe even his 90s,” Williams said.

O.K. also served two terms as an Oklahoma legislator, one term as a state senator, and was a co-author of the bill which led to the creation of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Williams’ maternal grandfather, Millard, was a well-known attorney in Sulphur, who also served as district attorney. Millard was known to leave the courthouse and attend roping events still wearing his suit.

“The older I get, I realize the rich history of the Chickasaw people and this area, and to know my family was a part of it, it really means a lot,” Williams said.