RURAL ELECTRIC NEWS
STRONG AND INDEPENDENT S u m m e r c p r ov i d e s i n f o r yo u w i t h v i s i m pa i r m e
a m p s i g h t s t h i o n n t s
ALISON GEE SERVES COMMUNITY AND STATE
RAILROAD Museum Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad 4-8-4 Steam Locomotive #5633
Douglas took its beginnings along the railroad tracks and trains continue to be an important part of the community’s culture and economy. They’re also reflected in many of the buildings and businesses across the community.
All aboard for a
he Douglas Railroad Museum & Visitor Center T is housed in the historic FE &
You’ll also want to ask to see the model train on display in the back room!
• Climb aboard real train cars • Historic exhibits • Model train layout
NEW for 20 Find that perfect 21! Jackalope Junctio gift at the n inside the Visitor Gift Shop, Center
Douglas Railroad Museum Hours 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. / Closed Sun.
Ample elbow room for safe exploring
& Visitor Center
121 Brownfield Rd. • Douglas, Wyo. • 307-358-2950
More at ConverseCountyTourism.com
MV Railroad Passenger Depot. The building is listed on the National Historic Register and is surrounded by seven historic railcars, including the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad 4-8-4 Steam Locomotive #5633. Visitors to the museum are invited to go inside many of the rail cars, including a day coach, a dining car and a sleeper, as well as a little red caboose.
2021 O C T O B E R
14 CENTERPIECE ON THE COVER STRONG AND INDEPENDENT: Summer camp provides insights for youth with vision impairments STORY AND PHOTOS BY ILENE OLSON
H O M ETO W N H I T S
Cover photo: Krysta Hubbard, 14, smiles after arriving at the Wyoming Lions Summer School for the Blind in June.
JUST FOR FUN 21 24 25
C RY P T O G R A M
BY KENDRA SPANJER
A N N A’ S P L A C E
BY CAROL ECKHARDT
KIDS’ CORNER B AT S
PRECORP'S K I N DA L CUNNINGHAM
A L I S O N G E E S E RV E S COMMUNITY A N D S TAT E
BY GAYLE M. IRWIN
FROM OUR READERS
ESSAYS & ANECDOTES
STATE NEWS & EVENTS
10 12 34
PEN TO PAPER W YO M I N G T E R R I T O RY
JUST PICTURE IT
LIFE OUT WEST – OUT EAST
BY SHAWN TAYLOR
HOME ON THE RANGE
THE WILD WEST IN FILM AND FICTION
BY GINA LUTTERMAN SIGEL
ENLIGHTEN US RESET
BY WALT GASSON
THE CURRENT COWBOY STATE BUZZ WHAT'S HAPPENING
Life out West – out East SH AW N TAY LO R
After getting a little punchy last month I thought
I would come back to the theme of this year’s WREN and that is “Life out West.” I’m pretty sure over the past 16 years I’ve written about how being
are all Cowboys fans now. Another had a Wyoming
from Wyoming is a pretty unique experience, and
flag flying so we went over and introduced ourselves
I, my family and some friends of ours had the
and they loved Wyoming because we gave them their
fortunate opportunity to experience this unique
phenomenon recently on a trip to New England.
Once we got into the stadium people clapped and
We went to Hartford, Connecticut to watch the
cheered for Wyoming even though it wasn’t even
Cowboys take on the UCONN Huskies. It was so fun
a college game, much less a Pokes game! Toward
to see “expats” from Wyoming living in the region,
the end of the game I stood up in the crowd and asked
and others who traveled from across the state to
if they could help us sing “Happy Birthday” to my
watch the game. It was even more fun to visit with
daughter who turned 16 that day, and it felt like we
UCONN fans who thought it was so interesting and
had the entire stadium singing to her. It was awesome.
“strange,” but in a cool way, that fans would travel across the country to watch our Cowboys. Of course we got the usual comments like, “Who’s left in the state if you all are out here?” and asking about riding horses and if we have electricity in Wyoming. They were all in good humor, but once we got past those initial comments people just really wanted to know what it’s like to live in Wyoming. After the UW game we traveled to Buffalo, New York to watch quarterback Josh Allen and the Bills take on the Washington football team. If you’re a Cowboys fan then you already know this, but just in case you didn’t know, Josh Allen played for UW, so there is a very cool synergy between the Bills Mafia (fans) and Cowboys fans. There were 10 of us on the trip and we all wore Cowboys gear or number 17 Bills jerseys to the game and to the tailgate party before the game. Everywhere we went folks recognized the brown and gold. We had one couple from Casper that saw our colors and came running up to visit. We stopped by a couple of different tailgate parties that were flying Cowboys colors, and there was even one group from Vermont that had a friend who went to UW, so they
Throughout the entire trip we talked to people of all colors, religions and backgrounds. Nobody asked our political affiliation, we didn’t talk about wearing masks or who was vaccinated and who wasn’t. We talked about football, but more than that we talked about living in Wyoming, and that’s pretty unique. I guess my point is, if people can get past all the negative news and political noise and focus on what we have in common rather than what can tear us apart, we could start to heal as a country. On this trip the common thread between the New Englanders and us Westerners was football, a quarterback and our beloved state of Wyoming.
Unplug and save up to $50 yearly on your energy bill. Your home electronics – TVs, computers and video games consoles – are constantly consuming small amounts of power in standby mode, meaning, a device that is plugged in, switched off or in sleep mode. Unplugging your electronics when not in use can add up to $50 in yearly savings.
Contact your local co-op or public power district for more energy saving tips or visit tristate.coop.
CO-OP YOUTH PHOTO BY DEVAN DENNIS
THE WREN MAGAZINE WYOMING RURAL ELECTRIC NEWS The official publication of the Wyoming Rural Electric Association The WREN Magazine, Wyoming Rural Electric News, volume 67, number 9, October 2021 (ISSN 1098-2876) is published monthly except for January for $12 per year by Linden Press, Inc., Periodicals postage paid at Cheyenne, WY (original entry office) and at additional mailing offices.
WREN: Tell us about your studies and interests.
WREN Magazine is owned and controlled by rural electric cooperatives in the interest of the economic progress of rural areas specifically and the entire population of Wyoming and the nation generally. WREN Magazine has a total average monthly paid circulation of 40,437 for 11 months ending September 2020. WREN Magazine is delivered to rural electric member/
consumers and other subscribers throughout the entire state of Wyoming and the nation. Acceptance of advertising by WREN Magazine does not imply endorsement of the product or services advertised
Campbell County High School
by the publisher or Wyoming electric cooperatives.
WREN STAFF Publisher: Linden Press, Inc. — Editorial Team — Maggie York Kelly Etzel Douglas Alison Quinn — Design Team — Dixie Lira David Merkley Shawna Phillips
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Garland Light & Power, Powell – Scott Smith, President High West Energy, Pine Bluffs – Michael Lerwick, Vice President Wheatland REA, Wheatland – Sandra Hranchak, Secretary/Treasurer Basin Electric, Bismarck, ND – Paul Baker Big Horn REC, Basin – John Joyce
YEAR OF GRADUATION:
Graduated from both Gillette College with an associate degree in general studies and Campbell County High School in 2021.
I plan to split my pre-medicine bachelor’s degree into two schools, half at Gillette College then transfer to South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City.
MAJOR STUDY INTEREST:
Pre-medicine bachelor’s with a minor in biology.
Bridger Valley Electric, Mountain View – Ruth Rees Carbon Power, Saratoga – Kenny Curry Deseret Power, South Jordan, UT – Gary Nix High Plains Power, Riverton – Matthew Frericks Lower Valley Energy, Afton – Fred Brog Niobrara, Lusk – Andy Greer Powder River Energy, Sundance – Mike Lohse Tri-State G&T, Westminster, CO – Julie Kilty Wyrulec, Torrington – Dewey Hageman
SUBSCRIPTION RATES $12 per year, Single copies $1.50 each
ADVERTISING To purchase, contact Dhara Rose:  996-6552 • email@example.com
OFFICE OF WREN OWNER 2312 Carey Ave., Cheyenne, WY 82001
SEND ADDRESS CHANGES AND CORRESPONDENCE TO PUBLISHER AT WREN Magazine • 214 West Lincolnway, Suite 21C Cheyenne, WY 82001,  286-8140 firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTMASTER — Send address changes to — The WREN Magazine, Wyoming Rural Electric News, c/o Linden Press, Inc., 223 S. Howes St., Fort Collins, CO 80521,  221-3232. Include 3-digit co-op code.
PRINTED WITH VEGETABLE INK
Wyoming’s rural electric cooperatives are proud to support our youth, giving college scholarships and lineman scholarships. In addition, our co-ops sponsor high school students on the NRECA Youth Tour in June and Youth Leadership Camp in July.
THIS MONTH: PRECorp nominated Kindal Cunningham, a motivated student who plans to become a surgeon someday. NRECA Youth Tour and youth camps were canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Your rural electric cooperative may be taking applications for next year. See the insert in the center of the magazine for contact information.
KC: I have been a full-time college student at Gillette College as well as full-time high school student since the summer after my sophomore year of high school. I find great interest in the science side of life, more specifically the medical end of the spectrum. I took the EMT-Basic course as a junior in high school and being the youngest in the class by far, I finished at the top of my class. I had to wait almost a year before I could complete the National EMS Certification, now I am a licensed and registered emergency medical technician. I also have a few other hobbies that include 4H and FFA, and I was crowned Miss College Campbell County for 2020-2021. WREN: How have your hometown, family and/or friends influenced you? KC: My best friend Rowdy Morman and his amazing mother, Dr. Monica Morman have been so incredibly kind and supportive of my future goal of becoming a surgeon and have been there for advice at any given time. My dad, Jamie, never gives up on me and always pushes me to do my best and then even better. My mom, Karen has always been there for me through the late, sleepless nights of studying flashcards. My grandparents were always helping me with books, and other countless things I ran into that I needed help with. Dr. Robert Grunfeld has been very influential and has been so supportive of my goals. The final person I have been influenced by is Taylor Jensen, who is always encouraging me in everything I do whether it is school or just plain life. WREN: What are your plans for the future? KC: I want to become a level-one trauma surgeon and drive an awesome vehicle as well as reside in a beautiful log cabin style house where I can have my horses and maybe some cows and chickens for fresh milk, meat and eggs.
RELIABLE ENERGY ISN’T JUST A PROMISE. IT’S PERSONAL.
Our roots here run deep. That’s why Basin Electric’s members and employees do whatever it takes to make sure you have the electricity you need to power your operation, heat your home and stay connected. Reliable Energy for Our Way of Life.
ABOUT THE SITE:
Old Stoney was a state-of-the-art school when it was built in 1923. It operated as a school until 1971 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
TYPE OF SPOT: I-25
WHERE YOU’LL FIND IT: Old Stoney dominates Main Street in downtown Sundance.
Historic schoolturned business and cultural center. 18 20
POWDER RIVER ENERGY CORPORATION
INTERIOR PHOTOS COURTESY OF CROOK COUNTY MUSEUM
EXTERIOR PHOTOS BY KELLY ETZEL DOUGLAS
WHY IT’S SPECIAL: With restoration of the lower two levels complete, the Old Stoney Business & Cultural Center opened in June, including the Crook County Museum & Art Gallery, offices and a conference room. A second phase of renovation will refurbish the top level and the old school auditorium. 8
The Invention of the Year The world’s lightest and most portable mobility device Once in a lifetime, a product comes along that truly moves people. Introducing the future of battery-powered personal transportation . . . The Zinger. Throughout the ages, there have been many important advances in mobility. Canes, walkers, rollators, and scooters were created to help people with mobility issues get around and retain their independence. Lately, however, there haven’t been any new improvements to these existing products or developments in this field. Until now. Recently, an innovative design engineer who’s developed one of the world’s most popular products created a completely new breakthrough . . . a personal electric vehicle. It’s called the Zinger, and there is nothing out there quite like it. “What my wife especially loves is it gives her back feelings of safety and independence which has given a real boost to her confidence and happiness! Thank You!” –Kent C., California The first thing you’ll notice about the Zinger is its unique look. It doesn’t look like a scooter. Its sleek, lightweight yet durable frame is made with aircraft grade aluminum. It weighs only 47.2 lbs but can handle a passenger that’s up to 275 lbs! It features one-touch
Now available in a Joystick model (Zoomer Chair)
Available in Green, Black (shown) and Blue 10”
folding and unfolding – when folded it can be The Zinger folds to a mere 10 inches. wheeled around like a suitcase and fits easily into a backseat or trunk. Then, there are the steering levers. They enable the Zinger to move forward, backward, turn on a dime and even pull right up to a table or desk. With its compact yet powerful motor it can go up to 6 miles an hour and its rechargeable battery can go up to 8 miles on a single charge. With its low center of gravity and inflatable tires it can handle rugged terrain and is virtually tip-proof. Think about it, you can take your Zinger almost anywhere, so you don’t have to let mobility issues rule your life. Why take our word for it. You can try the Zinger out for yourself with our exclusive home trial. Call now, and find out how you can try out a Zinger of your very own.
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Please mention code 115663 when ordering.
The Zinger Chair is a personal electric vehicle and is not a medical device nor a wheelchair. Zinger is not intended for medical purposes to provide mobility to persons restricted to a sitting position. It is not covered by Medicare nor Medicaid. © 2021 Journey Health and Lifestyle
Joystick can be mounted on the right or left side for rider’s comfort
PHOTOS BY KELLY ETZEL DOUGLAS
PRECorp celebrates future while honoring past
bright red classic car sat outside during the PRECorp annual meeting in Upton on August 21. It attracted the gaze of members as they arrived for the meeting, and by the end of the meeting, one person was the new owner of that car.
The 1972 Ford Mustang was a bright light in a sad story. It was donated anonymously and raffled off to raise money for the Shayna Ritthaler Memorial Scholarship for preschool students in Crook and Weston County. The scholarship, in memory of the 16-year-old who died in 2019, was created by her grandparents Rueben and Shelly Ritthaler, and is managed by the PRECorp Foundation. Rueben Ritthaler is a longtime PRECorp board member.
A 1972 Ford mustang was raffled off at the PRECorp annual meeting to raise money for the Shayna Ritthaler Memorial Scholarship fund.
The car was donated in July 2020 and was welcomed at every car show and dealership, said Jeff Bumgarner, who is a PRECorp employee and the executive director of the PRECorp Foundation. He said that raffle tickets and donations raised more than $63,000 for the scholarship. Board member Alison Gee and PRECorp employee Tim Velder went onstage to draw the winning raffle ticket during the meeting. The winner was Jim Hansen of Rapid City, South Dakota.
PRECorp board member Alison Gee and employee Tim Velder try not to peek as they draw the winning ticket for a classic car raffle during the PRECorp annual meeting on August 21.
STATE OF THE CO-OP Members heard several speeches during the meeting, including recorded speeches from Gov. Mark Gordon and U.S. Sen. John Barrasso. CEO Mike Easley gave the manager’s report. He said that energy extraction makes up much of PRECorp’s member base, but strategic planning has helped the co-op stay financially strong despite the challenges. PRECorp has been able to shield itself from impacts of sudden bankruptcy filings by adjusting its pay schedule with large industrial loads.
PRECorp CEO Mike Easley gives the manager's report.
PRECorp also held three elections during the meeting. Incumbents Jim Baumgartner, Mike Lohse and Paul Baker all ran unopposed and were reinstated.
AUTHOR AWARDED Shelly Ritthaler received the 2021 Earl Christensen Award for her work on the history of the co-op. Ritthaler has written two books about PRECorp.
PRECorp CEO Mike Easley, left, and former board member and Christensen’s son, Walt Christensen, surprise Shelly Ritthaler with the 2021 Earl Christensen Award.
I want you to know how “ far your co-op has come.” - Shelly Ritthaler
She said that when PRECorp was formed in 1945, they didn’t have a secretary. She could not decipher the original meeting notes and received a lot of help with the history of the co-op from founding member Earl Christensen, for whom the award is named. He’d say, “I remember” and tell her the stories, Ritthaler said. Receiving the award, she told the group, “I want you to know how far your co-op has come.”
COWBOY STATE BUZZ
AVIATOR BOB HAWKINS INDUCTED INTO 2021 HALL OF FAME ADAPTED FROM THE WYOMING AVIATION HALL OF FAME Bob Hawkins operated 19 different helicopters and 34 different airplanes across Wyoming and the West during his flying career. Before retiring from commercial flying in 2018, and before offering his last Part 135 check ride for Sky Aviation in 2019, he had logged nearly 21,000 hours of flight time— about 17,000 of those in a helicopter. He is now the 2021 inductee into the Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame. Most of his 50-year flying career involved highly specialized applications, including high-altitude mountain flying, heavy-lift
hauling, firefighting, long line, surveying and wildlife management. He was coowner of Hawkins & Powers Aviation, Inc. in Greybull from 1992-2005, and was general manager and director of operations of Sky Aviation, in Worland, from 2005-2018. He also flew with Bighorn Airways in Sheridan.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WYOMING AVIATION HALL OF FAME
Maintenance Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. After his honorable discharge, he returned home to Greybull and became a pilot with the family business Hawkins & Powers.
Hawkins hauled firefighters and assisted with firefighting in Yellowstone during the 1988 fires. He had many Growing up in an aviation other opportunities to family, Hawkins quickly fly in Yellowstone, took to the skies. As a including the wolf high school student, reintroduction he first soloed after program that 11 hours of flight began in the time in 1967, and late 1990s. In his first helicopter 1989, Hawkins solo occurred in was part of a 1975. He attended National Parks Bob Hawkins flying a Sky Aviation Casper College Bell UH-1H Huey helicopter, circa Service project to before joining the 2014, near Meeteetse to “sling” make measurements Air Force, where he a wrecked aircraft out of of the faces of Mount the mountains. served his country from Rushmore. The dimensions 1970 to 1974. He was trained of the popular national in corrosion control and spent memorial were previously unknown. With most of his time with the 366th Field a special camera mounted to his helicopter, he made several passes to take a set of photographs that were used to determine the actual measurements of the memorial. He also hauled construction equipment and fireworks to the top of the memorial. He has also been part of wild horse and buffalo roundups, and he frequently flew for the Wyoming Game & Fish Department conducting aerial surveys, planting fish in high mountain lakes and net gunning and darting, and he hauled equipment to highway projects for the Wyoming Department of Transportation. Hawkins also served the industry as president of the American Helicopter Services and Aerial Firefighting Association, and he continued a fun tradition of his father, Dan, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020, by flying Santa Clause to several Big Horn Basin communities to greet children during the holiday season.
Building Rural Homes Since 1978 Call today 402-375-4770 Visit Online at HHofNE.com
In his retirement, Bob has been president of the board and director of the Museum of Flight and Aerial Firefighting in Greybull, and he is restoring a 1949 Cessna 190.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF WYOMING NATIONAL GUARD
COWBOY STATE BUZZ
AIR NATIONAL GUARD WILD WEST AIR SHOW CELEBRATES 101 YEARS OF AVIATION ADAPTED FROM THE MILITARY DEPARTMENT The beloved community event, the Wild West Air Show, returned to the skies above Cheyenne on Sept. 11 and 12. The Wild West air show hosted a historic lineup with over 30 historic and modern civilian and military aircraft, featuring aerial acts throughout the day. Not all the action took place exclusively in the air. There were static aircraft displays, local vendors and food trucks available for the public.
created an event to keep people “We interested from start to finish. Part of keeping them interested is setting things up that are enticing the whole way through.” -Maxwell McMillan, the air show director
4STEPS TO PREVENT FOOD POISONING CLEAN SEPARATE COOK CHILL www.uwyo.edu/uwe
Jordyn Medina, 17, applauds after hearing the menu for dinner one evening at the Wyoming Lions Summer School for the Blind.
C E N T E RCENTERPIECE PIECE
S u m m e r ca m p p r ov i d e s i n s i g h t s f o r yo u t h w i t h v i s i o n i m pa i r m e n t s STORY AND PHOTOS BY ILENE OLSON
JUST LIKE ANY OTHER
Students and teachers listen to a presentation during the careers and social issues class before dinner. From left are student Hayden Roswell; Jayde Parmely, pottery and orientation and mobility teacher; and students Ally Fisk and Krysta Hubbard.
miles abound as five youth gather on a Sunday afternoon in June at the Allen H. Stewart Lions Camp on Casper Mountain.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic they’ve waited for two years for this week, and they are excited. This is no ordinary camp, and these are no ordinary campers. This is the Lions Summer School for the Blind, and the students have severe visual impairments or no vision at all. After an introduction and orientation to the camp, the student-campers use white canes to find their way from building to building.
Classes, which begin Monday morning, are specifically designed for children and teens who have visual impairments. Classes in orientation and mobility, Braille, adaptive technology, aids for daily living and careers/social issues help students develop and improve critical skills required to be successful at home, at school and in future careers. Other classes, such as music, ceramics, lapidary (grinding and polishing rocks), photography and basket-weaving encourage creativity and enjoyment of the arts. Free time and activities are included in the schedule as well.
“I like everything,” says student Krysta Hubbard, 14, of Casper, who attended the Wyoming Lions Summer School for the Blind for the first time at the age of 9. Krysta is legally blind. Legal blindness is defined as having vision no better than 20/200 when corrected, or having a visual field of 20 degrees or less. Music class and activities are Krysta’s favorites. She also likes getting together with other kids who have visual impairments. “Sometimes they have ideas that help,” she says. Krysta says she likes the chance to get away.
Wyoming Lions Summer School for the Blind Director Gary Roadifer, right, and intern Tristan Merriman-Fish prepare to raise the flag at the camp on Casper Mountain.
At home and school, she likes to hang out with her friends. She likes swimming, dancing and singing. “I’m mostly happy,” Krysta says. “I’m just like any other girl; I just have vision problems.”
Student Elly Krow, 11, dances during the Friday evening talent show.
Charlene Blackburn, who teaches Braille at the camp, said the summer school gives youth “an opportunity to develop independence and learn independent life skills, and also to interact with other kids and adults who have vision impairments. Jordyn Medina, 17, is a senior at Cheyenne’s Central High School. He has attended the Wyoming Lions Summer School since he was a young child. “I enjoy it all,” he says. “It’s like my secondary home. I love it. “I can be with people who are like me, with visual disabilities. Here, I can be the real me. At home, I feel like I’m restrained to who I’m supposed to be.” Jordyn described “the real me” as “a little crazy, kind of energetic, very helpful, very appreciative. A positive person.” While school is “very cool,” he says, “I feel like I’m alone most of the time, and I don’t reach out very well. It’s kind of hard to make friends. I feel like I stay in my own little bubble.” At the camp, however, “I feel a much stronger connection here, because of our disability.” Jordyn said people with vision disabilities shouldn’t be underestimated, but they often are. “We can do what sighted people can do; it just takes us longer.” Jordyn plans to go to Full Sail University after he graduates from high school.
“This gives them a sense of independence away from Mom and Dad and away from someone wanting to help them all the time,” she says. Blackburn is sighted and works as a teacher of the visually impaired in Pavillion. But she notes that most teachers at this year’s summer school also have vision impairments or are totally blind.
“I feel a much stronger connection here.” Photography teacher Moses Street, left, reclines on a rock while students, from left, Jordyn Medina, Krysta Hubbard and James Buley pause for a rest after hiking the Lee McCune Braille Trail.
Music teacher Pam Glasser plays "Amazing Grace" on her Swiss Alps horn during a hike of the Lee McCune Braille Trail on Casper Mountain. Ropes on the trail help guide blind and visually impaired hikers and lead them to Braille plaques describing the flora, fauna and geology of the area.
Orientation and mobility teacher Ellie Carlson, right, uses a white cane to help student Hayden Roswell know which direction to face during a dance at the talent show.
“They’re role models who can show [the students] that you don’t have to be on disability all your life. You can go to college.” Parents often don’t realize that college, careers and family life are viable options for their blind or visually impaired children, Blackburn says. Kristin Olaveson of Cheyenne is one of those role models. She teaches the aids for daily living class at the summer school. Her lessons at the camp focus on adaptive skills and techniques that blind and visually impaired people can use to be more independent in their daily lives. “I don’t want them to get eight or nine hours away from Mom and Dad and not know how to make a meal or wash their clothes,” she says.
Summer School as a youth, beginning at age 8. The things she liked best were the chance to be with other kids who had visual disabilities, and opportunities to take classes that she normally didn’t get to take in school—“like the art and that kind of stuff,” she recalls. “I wasn’t thinking social skills and independence. I was thinking fun and friends, and not really seeing the value. But I got the value. I was learning stuff without even knowing it.” Olaveson remembers discovering ways to do things independently at the camp, then bringing that knowledge home.
“Mom, I can do it, this way!”
Cleaning and cooking simple recipes are among the skills her students practice. One of the “Aha!” moments she observed while teaching this year was when one of her students figured out how to peel an apple after trying unsuccessfully several times. “When she finally got it, she was so excited!” Olaveson says. That’s a feeling Olaveson knows from personal experience. A native of Wheatland, Olaveson is legally blind. She attended the Wyoming Lions
“I was so excited when I got home from [aids for daily living] and said, ‘Mom, I can do it, this way!’ Then my mom put [those techniques] into play at home, and she just kept building on that.”
One of the first things her mother did was to attach toothpicks to the knobs on the stove and the washer so Olaveson could feel the position of the knobs and operate both appliances independently.
That was the beginning of her road to independent living. Olaveson later graduated from Wheatland High School, then went on to attend Laramie County Community College and the University of Wyoming. She and her husband, Roy, have a 6-yearold son, Conner. Olaveson also owns a budding children’s clothing business.
Hayden Roswell poses for a portrait during a photography class taught by Moses Street.
“I am very independent, and I am capable of doing anything that I want to.”
I WANT PEOPLE TO BE AWARE Hayden Roswell, 13, was the student who was so excited to find a way to peel an apple. Legally blind since birth, she woke up one morning some months ago and realized she couldn’t see anything at all. Since then, she’s been working to adapt to the loss of what little vision she had. “It definitely took a long time, and it was very hard,” she said. “I wasn’t used to using my [white] cane 24/7. Now, I’m constantly using my cane” to navigate a world gone dark. It didn’t help that she was experiencing bullying at the school she was attending in western Colorado at the time, or that her music teacher limited her participation in concert band, apparently believing that Hayden’s blindness made her incapable of participating. Hayden and her parents had to push to get the school administration to support her in both situations. At the end of the year, things had improved. “My music teacher complimented me on how well I was doing,” Hayden says. “I think that was an eye-opener for her.” Krysta Hubbard holds a shell horn during music class.
Penn Street shares her experience with her dog guide, Beethoven.
Hayden hopes she paved the way for future students with visual disabilities to succeed at that school. “I really want people to be aware of who us blind individuals can really be,” she says. “I am very independent, and I am capable of doing anything that I want to. Maybe it has to be changed a little so I can do it, but I can do it. I want people to not think of me as disabled and handicapped, but as someone who is strong and independent.” People sometimes assume she’s standoffish, Hayden says. But that’s usually just because she can’t see when someone is near her. She just needs people to say “Hello,” so she knows who’s there. “Just because I can’t see doesn’t mean that I won’t talk to you. I’m totally social once you get to know me,” she says.
Ally Fisk plays a recorder during a group rehearsal of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by students, teachers and staff.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ILENE OLSON
Gary and Ilene Olson at the Allen H. Stewart Summer Camp just after they were married.
This year’s Summer School for the Blind on Casper Mountain served as history coming full circle for my husband, Gary, and me. For us, that history started in late July 1972, when he attended the camp as a student, and I as a helper, or intern. The Allen H. Stewart Summer Camp witnessed a turning point in my life; I turned 16 there. Gary and I both lived in Cheyenne at the time, and we had met a year earlier. But our acquaintance was limited to greeting each other in the halls as we were on our way to classes in the old Central High School. He’d been a senior the previous school year, and I was a sophomore. We’d had no classes together, and no chance to do more than say a passing hello a few times each week. That all changed during summer school that year. Gary and I finally found ourselves in the same class—aids for daily living. His mother had told Gary, who is totally blind, that it was time for him to learn how to sign his name to
increase his ability to be independent. The ADL class was where he would learn that skill. The teacher was a wonderful lady named Billie Taylor, who taught during the school year at the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind in Colorado Springs. Billie handed me some large books with pages that were embossed with tactile shapes of capital and lowercase letters written in cursive handwriting, and said, “Here you go, Ilene. You teach Gary how to sign his name.” Billie knew that I liked Gary. She also knew my father, Kent Jensen, who was legally blind, and was currently serving as assistant director of the summer school. She was confident that I would have the insights and skills to help Gary feel the shapes of the handwritten letters, then to make the movements with a pen to reproduce them in his signature. She monitored our progress and made suggestions if she saw something that would help either of us with our efforts. By the end of summer school, Gary knew how to sign his name, and we knew each other much better. We’d become good friends.
Ilene teaches Gary how to write his name at camp in 1972. Author’s note: I think my dad might have taken the photo. He had a passion for photography, even though he was legally blind.
Nearly two years later, after I graduated from Central High School and Gary had completed his sophomore year at the University of Wyoming, our friendship blossomed into a romance, which then led to our marriage a year after that.
My father, who was a consultant for the visually impaired for the Wyoming Department of Education, later became the director of the Wyoming Lions Summer School for the Blind. And much later, Gary followed a similar career path, also working as a consultant for the visually impaired, and eventually going on to direct the summer school as well. During that career, he signed his name to correspondence and government forms countless times. His mother’s foresight was prophetic. Gary taught lapidary (his hobby, grinding and polishing stones for jewelry) at the Wyoming Lions Summer School for the Blind for several years, and later spent 10 years in leadership positions there. I, however, returned only as an occasional visitor. Gary and I had five children, and they were my full-time job at home. When they were all in school, I returned to school as well to study journalism, then moved onto my full-time journalism career. This June was the first time that Gary and I had a chance to be at the camp together again. He taught lapidary again, and I supervised the interns and served as camp photographer. For me, it was a really neat experience. For him, it was pretty much déjà vu with a new twist, since I was with him this time. The summer school was a lot of work for both of us, but it also was a wonderful trip down memory lane.
IT’S VITAL Gary Roadifer of Pine Bluffs directed this year’s summer school for youth. Roadifer is a retired teacher and principal as well as a past district governor of the Wyoming Lions. He currently serves as first vice district governor of the Wyoming Lions, a Lions leadership development instructor, and a trustee on the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute Foundation. Roadifer said the teachers who are blind or visually impaired made a big difference in this year’s summer school. Another vital element was the career and social hour, which took place before dinner each day. During that time, experienced professionals who are blind or visually impaired talked about their careers, dog guides, recreation opportunities for the blind and visually impaired, and other important topics. “It is vital that our students learn more about careers,” Roadifer said. Roadifer hopes that schools in Wyoming will begin partnering with the Wyoming Lions Summer School for the Blind to increase independence for visually impaired students. He’d like to see attendance at the camp written into individual education plans for students who would benefit from it. It’s also important to educate the public about what blind and visually impaired people can do, what help they might need and how members of the public can assist them, he said.
The Allen H. Stewart Lions Camp on Casper Mountain was started in 1926 by the Casper Lions Club as a “milk camp” and summer program for undernourished children. It moved to its current location in 1928. From 1933 to 1935, the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration, both depressionera programs, built a few buildings in the camp that are still in use today. Hellen Keller, who was deaf and blind, challenged the Lions Club to become “knights of the blind.” Lions around the country, and later around the world, took that challenge to heart. In 1946, the Lions camp became a camp for the visually impaired. It was named for Allen H. Stewart in 1966. The camp now consists of 14 buildings. Ownership of the camp was transferred in 2012 to the Lions of Wyoming Foundation, which receives an annual grant from the Montgomery Trust Fund for the Blind to fund the annual Summer School for the Blind.
People are afraid of doing the wrong thing, so they often don’t do anything, Roadifer said. But that’s an easy dilemma to solve:
Ilene Olson is a freelance photographer, writer and editor in Powell.
For a more comprehensive history of the Allen H. Stewart Lions Camp,
HELEN KELLER Helen Keller was born in 1880 and lost her sight and hearing due to illness before her second birthday. With the help of companion Anne Sullivan, Keller learned to read Braille at a young age and became a worldrenowned disability rights advocate, author, political activist and lecturer.
BY KENDRA SPANJER Can you decipher this famous Helen Keller quote, which is transcribed into Braille in the box above? To solve the puzzle, use the key below to learn what each letter looks like in Braille, then write the corresponding letter in its place—either in the message below or in the letter key.
NEED A HELPING HAND? NAVIGATE TO PAGE 38 FOR THE SOLUTION.
HOME ON THE RANGE
The Wild West in film and fiction BY GINA LUTTERMAN SIGEL When I was 14 years old, I started volunteering at the Wyoming Territorial Park in Laramie, home of the Territorial Prison. During those days, the park offered a charmed setting and as I grew older, the magic of a paid gig. My summer jobs included tour guide, mercantile shopkeeper and oldfashioned printer, among other job titles, dressed head-to-toe in 1890s fashion. I made many friends who worked and played in a fictionalized portrayal of the Old West. It was 1994, 100 years later than our costumes suggested. The park was doling out the Wyoming experience in spades and the parking lot was packed most days with travelers passing through. There were stagecoach rides, high noon shootouts, saloon performances and an Old West town. But how much of the fact could be found in the fiction? The settings of Old West towns possess a character unto themselves. Wyoming towns might be laid out based on their own founding industry—cattle towns tended to have different features than mining towns, for example.
Casper's origins as a trade town and Army post, along the Platte River, influenced its character. Cheyenne, like Laramie, was a “Hell on Wheels” town that sprang up practically overnight following the line of the railroad. In these towns, populations would swell to the thousands for a short time while that section of railway was built, only to leave business-minded residents with the task of building a lasting community. But much of the folklore of these Western towns is founded in truth. There were stagecoach stops, wooden boardwalks to keep dresses and boots out of the mud, general stores and saloons as staples in a frontier town. The buildings were often made of wood and had the false fronts that are immortalized in film to add interest to typically uninteresting buildings. Downtowns were frequently victims of fire, often even more than once. Main street might be big enough for a wagon to turn around in, but the buildings were close together. Old West towns were often dirty, smelly and packed tight; outhouses were located out back of the buildings. There were not typically residences, mainly due
to dust and mud from the traffic on the main roads. Some places even had “reputable” businesses in one area of the town and “disreputable” business in another. The violence of Wyoming and other Western towns has proved to be inflated, however. Scholars have disputed the actual homicide statistics, converting the deaths into the criminologists' "per 100,000 population'' ratio, which helps shed light on a more docile reality. Some numbers suggest that less than a third of victims returned fire and that many of them were not even armed. In fact, accidental deaths made up a fair amount of the body count. Still, there was a balance between wanting to uphold decency and not deter business from rough-and-tumble clientele who wanted to blow off steam and spend money having a good time (think Vegas). And while prison breaks were not, historically, a twice-a-day occurrence happening promptly 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. as they were during my days at the Territorial Park, there is a whole section of
all day long, featuring U.S. marshals in old Hollywood Westerns. It was called “The Gunman: Romance and Reality.” I’m pretty sure I can still quote all the edited snippets in order, word for word.
the museum dedicated to the escape attempts of the real-life convicts who were housed in Laramie. Lawlessness was fairly rampant, due to the transient nature of the population and undefined structure of the emerging frontier. The National United States Marshals Museum was housed at the Territorial Park during my time there. Known as the "America's Star" exhibit, it traveled around the United States in honor of the marshals’ 200-year bicentennial celebration before landing in Laramie from 1991-2003. There was a film montage that looped over and over,
One of the legendary figures that the montage featured was Wyatt Earp—an entire selection of scenes played by various actors with a wide range of interactions. There was the rugged hero, confidently introducing himself as the new figure of law and order. There were relieved townspeople who met him with awe and reverence. And there were thwarted lovers in madefor-Hollywood scenes that cursed him, practically belching his name in vain. The real Wyatt Earp probably existed somewhere in the middle of all these character portrayals. Did these Western films attempt to humanize the legends? Or were they working to immortalize the real-life characters? Owen Wister’s book, “The Virginian,” published in 1907, also painted pictures of Wyoming figures and used the book as a backdrop to discuss the moral codes being defined in the West.
His perspective was unique, viewed from his outsider status as a visitor from Philadelphia and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Wister’s extensive time in The Occidental Hotel in Buffalo, Wyoming is said to have inspired his characters and fueled his preoccupation with the lore of the archetypal cowboy figure. Themes of revenge and vigilante justice run rampant in his fictionalized saga of the West. This was the birth of such subjects in Western literature, based partially in both fact and fiction. Wyoming is certainly at the heart of the fascination with legends of the Old West. But it begs the question: are the point of Western legends in film and fiction to capture an authentic time and place for a true Western experience? Or is it to elevate the Western experience to make it larger-than-life? The truth probably lies somewhere in the wide, open expanse between … not unlike the untamed Western prairie itself. W Originally from Laramie, Gina Lutterman Sigel draws inspiration from five generations of agriculture to tell the stories of rural living.
B OB O KO K G IR VE EV AI WE WA Y
ANNA’S PLACE CAROL ECKHARDT DESCRIPTION BY THE AUTHOR
Anna Royer and her daughter Elizabeth are haunted by the raw Wyoming landscape they left behind years before. Their memories of the immensity of sky, the breadth of distance, the demons of weather and spirits of the "Old Ones" conspire to draw them back to see what remains of their life there. What they find confronts them with confusion and death and changes their lives forever. This is the first of three books by Carol Eckhardt. The next books in the Bear Valley series are “Homing” and “Echoes.” After an academic and social services career, Carol Eckhardt writes in southeast Wyoming where she has been a rancher, wool spinner and watcher of weather. She currently divides her time between a small historic community and the northwest coast.
ORDERING INFORMATION: 2016 | 156p. | $14.95 paperback ISBN: 9781460295755 Publisher: FriesenPress Available online and at local booksellers, by writing to P.O. Box 7, Chugwater, WY, 82210 or by calling 307-331-5765.
COPY JULY’S BOOK WINNER:
ENTRIES DUE BY NOVEMBER 15 One entry per household, please.
c/o WREN Magazine 214 W. Lincolnway, Ste. 21C Cheyenne, WY 82001
ILLUSTRATION BY ANDREA PEREZ
Ecological superhero What’s that flying in the night sky? It’s not Superman or Batman—it’s a bat, a true superhero of the world! There are more than 1,400 bat species in the world, 18 of which can be found in Wyoming. All Wyoming bats are insectivores, and they help farmers by eating insects that destroy corn, potato, cotton and wheat crops. A colony of 150 big brown bats, a common Wyoming species, can eat approximately 1.3 million insects in one season! In other parts of the world, insectivorous bats eat the pests that threaten rice, chocolate and sugar crops, to name just a few. Nectar-eating bats pollinate many of the foods that we love to eat such as banana, mango and agave. Next time you’re eating a snack, thank a bat!
Seeing with sound All bats can see, but insectivorous bats rely on a process called echolocation to help them navigate and find food. As they fly, bats make sounds out of their nose or mouth. The sound wave bounces off any objects surrounding the bat, which tells the bat where something is, how big it is and even the texture of the object. Echolocation calls can be very loud, but they occur at frequencies higher than humans can hear. That is probably a good thing: a big brown bat’s echolocation calls are as loud as a smoke alarm!
Appreciate from a distance Although bats are amazing to have around, they are wild animals and should be admired from a distance. If you find a bat, do not touch it! It could be sick or injured, and might bite you to protect itself. Bats can best be observed as they fly around at night looking for food, or as they emerge from caves, mines, bridges or bat boxes at dusk.
IS BAT APPRECIATION MONTH Fun bat activities are available at www.batweek.org/educate.
Next summer, join the UW Biodiversity Institute on a Summer Bat Walk in a community near you! Bat walks are fun, free and family-friendly. Learn more at wyomingbiodiversity.org/index.php/outreach/ bat-walks or submit a request for a Bat Walk in a community near you at email@example.com.
CO-OP SPOTLIGHT Alison Gee and her husband, Shaun, take a break after hauling hay.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ALISON GEE
opportunity for me to learn more about the energy market and our cooperatives and also serve. I thought [serving on the board] was a neat intersection of opportunities.” She’s been impressed with the cooperative system. “Powder River Energy is just such a great organization, and I’m really honored to get to serve the membership,” Gee said. “I’ve learned a lot from being part of the organization. It’s been a really great experience.”
BY GAYLE M. IRWIN
“I got second in the country in pole bending, 15th in barrels, 15th in cutting,” she said. “My horse was runner-up for horse of the year, and I was a wrangler-academic all-around cowgirl. It was neat.”
PRECorp board member serves community and state When Alison Ochs Gee participated in high school rodeo, little did she realize how that agricultural background would play a large role in service to her community as an adult. Gee, who serves on the board for Powder River Energy Corporation, has loved rodeo all her life. “I grew up on what you would call ‘a gentleman’s ranch,’” Gee said. “I started riding when I was about two.” She competed on the Campbell County High School rodeo team. She participated in the National High School Finals Rodeo during her senior year with exceptional results.
She continued her enjoyment of the sport while attending the University of Wyoming as a member of the school’s rodeo team. Her agricultural background, as well as her work history and desire to serve the community, brought her to the PRECorp board. First elected in 2017, Gee was re-elected in 2020. “I was in the energy industry, and the company I was working for was really interested in energy costs and understanding the co-op and all that goes into that,” she said. “With my legal background, and being born and raised in Gillette, I’m kind of an energy nerd. It was a neat
Despite the downturn in much of the energy sector and the uncertainty clouding other portions of that industry, she finds hope and inspiration within the workings of her cooperative. “The leadership for Powder River has done a really nice job of focusing on the good and the problems we can solve,” Gee said. “It’s pretty inspiring, even when things have been kind of tough.”
Serving the community and state Gee serves Gillette and Wyoming in other volunteer capacities, including as a board member for the Campbell County Child Development Services; as a precinct committeewoman for the Campbell County Republican Party; and as an organizer for the Little Levi Rodeo that took place in July. She also serves a leadership role in the Wyoming State Bar Association. “I represent the 6th Judicial District, which is Crook, Weston and Campbell counties,” she said. “We meet every other month and
help with strategy and vision for the bar. It’s nice to get to know other attorneys around the state; it’s pretty fun.” Gee, whose mother and sister are educators, is also serving on the board of trustees for the newly organized Gillette Community College District. “I do better when I’m busy,” she said.
Alison Gee’s daughter, Anna, and her pony Bunny attend the Betty Hough Memorial Youth Rodeo at the Campbell County Fair.
Alison Gee’s son, Finn, and his horse Rusty attend the Betty Hough Memorial Youth Rodeo at the Campbell County Fair.
From agriculture to attorney
Returning to her roots
doing interesting work, and helping nice clients—it’s really kind of a dream.”
Upon graduating from the University of Wyoming and leaving the rodeo circuit, Gee traveled to Colorado to attend law school at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She chose law for three primary reasons.
Upon graduating with her law degree, Gee had the opportunity to work for a Denver firm. However, Wyoming beckoned her, and she worked at a Sheridan law firm for seven years.
Gee married her husband, Shaun, who is originally from Nebraska, in 2013. They teach their three children the joys of living in Wyoming. Nature provides opportunities to hike, camp, fish and downhill ski. The kids are also learning to ride horses.
“I really wanted a challenging career where I would be learning something all the time,” she said. “Also, I really enjoy helping people. I was raised in a philanthropic family so it was kind of instilled in me that you should help people and serve. I thought law would be a great opportunity to challenge myself, learn new things and help people. I also like solving problems and that’s kind of what I get to do: listen to people’s problems and figure out how to help solve them.”
Then came the opportunity to move back to her hometown upon an offer from an energy company. She took the job. “I’m through-and-through a Gillette girl,” Gee said. She stayed with that business for seven years also, and then in 2019, she opted to return as a law firm attorney. “I can work late if I want to and then take time to spend with my kids, go watch their games,” Gee said. “It was just a better fit for where my family was. Working with good people,
“We built an arena on our property this past summer,” she said. “We’re passing down the love of horses and rodeoing to our kids, which is fun!” Gee finds deep satisfaction amid her family, career and volunteer service. “I’m excited to be a member of our firm, getting to volunteer in our community, and raising my kids and helping them grow into helpful, productive people. I just feel so lucky,” she said. W
Gayle M. Irwin is a freelance writer based in Casper.
A partner at Lubnau Law Office, Gee specializes in estate planning and taxes. She helps clients with business planning and management, real estate, minerals and “contracts related to all that,” she said. “I literally learn something new every day,” Gee said. “I love it! Sometimes it’s really exhausting, but I really enjoy it. I’m in a great spot.”
PEN TO PAPER
Wyoming Wonder Wyoming Wonder will call your name. What is this “Wonder” you say. It’s the wind in your hair, the scent of the air, It’s the laughter that ripples through time. It’s the sun in the sky, the mountains on high, It’s running along fence lines. It’s the freedom that calls, the night when it falls, It’s the glory of stars in the sky. It’s the horses and cows, it’s the absence of crowds. It’s watching the Eagles fly. It’s childhood dreams, it’s long lazy streams, It’s the Deer and the Antelope bands. It’s Aspens of gold, large stately Oaks, It’s wildflowers across the land. It’s the first and the last, the future and the past. It’s knowing that life goes on. It’s hearing your name in the wind and the rain. It’s Heavens’ eternal song.
MARIE ANTOINETTE HAINES
So you have a cabin in Wyoming on a river but What do you do? It's a landscape of wide shoulders slashes of valley green split by fast waters
Territory DAVE BRIGHAM
Bottom lands point upwards to benches, mountains an unending sky patched with lazy white Solitary, spec I am Before ancient time A geography of silent truth buried but ever beckoning. But what do you do!
A people not sudden rounded hearts used to scratchin there for each other Arid surfaces of rock hard earth and gnarled pines reach out from weathered determined faces Set out to make it do knowing the land is still its own not yet quite theirs But What do you do? You're not listening!
We share a selection of WREN readers’ creative writing (poems, limericks, haiku, short verse, and prose) every issue as space and content allow. To be considered for publication, please include the author’s consent to be submitted, his or her mailing address, and confirmation that the work has not been published elsewhere. If you would like us to return your work, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
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firstname.lastname@example.org |  286-8140 214 W. Lincolnway Ste. 21C Cheyenne, WY 82001 wyomingrea.org/wren-submissions
CAMP COOKING COWBOY'S HASH 1 LB BACON 1 SMALL ONION 1 SMALL GREEN PEPPER 4 MEDIUM POTATOES 1 CUP SHREDDED MOZZARELLA CHEESE
CAMP BREAKFAST 6 SLICES OF BACON, CUT CROSSWISE INTO 1/4 INCH PIECES 2 TBS BUTTER 2 WHITE POTATOES, CUT INTO SMALL CUBES SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE 1 ONION, CHOPPED 6 EGGS, BEATEN Cook bacon in skillet over medium heat until crispy. Place bacon on paper towel lined plate to drain.
First, heat cast iron skillet over open fire. Place bacon slices in skillet and cook bacon thoroughly on both sides. Drain bacon on paper plate. Using the leftover bacon grease in the pan, thoroughly cook onions and peppers. Peel and chop potatoes into very small squares and add to mixture in the pot. Carefully turn the mixture until potatoes are tender. Crumble up the bacon into small pieces in the pan and top with shredded cheese. Remove skillet from fire and let it sit about 5 minutes until cheese is melted. JENNIFER ROBERTS
Add butter to skillet, heat over medium heat, add potatoes, onions, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until potatoes are brown and crispy. Return bacon to the skillet. Pour eggs over the potato mixture. Cook and stir until eggs are set. NANCY DENK
FEAST 1 LB PRECOOKED LINK SAUSAGE OR BRATWURST 2 LBS POTATOES 1 ONION 2 BELL PEPPERS 6 CARROTS, PEELED 4 TBS BUTTER ALUMINUM FOIL
Chop sausage, potatoes, onions and carrots into 1-inch chunks so they are all about the same size. Clean peppers and slice them into four pieces each. Set out four 12x12 inch sheets of aluminum foil. Top each sheet with 1 tablespoon of butter and one-fourth of other ingredients. Fold the foil to cover the ingredients completely and fold again to create a spill-proof packet. Wrap each foil packet in an additional layer of foil. Cook the wrapped food over a campfire, a grill, or in the oven at 350 until potatoes are fork tender and meat is cooked, between 20 and 25 minutes.
This meal can be prepared ahead and kept in a cooler for a hot meal at the end of a long day hunting. KELLY ETZEL DOUGLAS
HOT DRINKS FOR COLD DAYS 30
Send Sendcomplete completerecipe recipeby byMarch NOVEMBER 10! 15! Please Pleaseinclude includeyour yourname, name,address addressand andphone phonenumber. number. S SU UB BM M II T T A AR RE EC C II P PE E
email@example.com | |  772-1968 286-8140 firstname.lastname@example.org  214 214W. W.Lincolnway LincolnwaySte. Ste.21C 21CCheyenne, Cheyenne,WY WY82001 82001 wyomingrea.org/wren-submissions wyomingrea.org/wren-submissions
01 02 03
Worth the frostbite, Elizabeth French, Fort Collins, Colorado
Backwoods camping partners, Heather McLaughlin, Upton
Camping beauty, Mary Anne Ackatz, Burns
There’s no place like home, Bernie Borland, Gillette
Rise and shine, Carrie Miller, Laramie
S’mores Denette Price, Newcastle
JUST PICTURE IT
DECEMBER (DUE NOVEMBER 15):
That time these brothers put a hole in the tent, Kelly Etzel Douglas, Cheyenne
Camping ‘50s style, Carolyn Droscher, Wheatland
On top of the world, Elizabeth French, Fort Collins, Colorado
Playing in a tent fort with Mom, Joel Douglas, Cheyenne
Wall tent at -17 degrees, Benjamin Etsinger, Riverton
Elk camp in the Bighorns, Mark Walker, Hartville
Uncle Dave at hunting camp years ago, Carrie Miller, Laramie
Indian campsite at Fort Laramie, Rob McIntosh, Torrington
Mountain lake, Bernie Borland, Gillette
Good company at Pole Mountain, Christie Lumpkin, Fort Collins, Colorado
SUBMIT A P H OTO
email@example.com 214 W. Lincolnway Ste. 21C Cheyenne, WY 82001 wyomingrea.org/wren-submissions Please include your name, hometown and a title.
Please submit high-quality digital files* or an original we can scan, as well as details about the artwork, the artist’s name, and the co-op. *Use the highest quality setting on your camera, or save digital artwork as a .jpg or .tif file with at least 300 dpi resolution. If you would like your work returned, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
WHAT’S HAPPENING REGIONAL MAP
01 | SOUTHEAST
02 | NORTHEAST
C H U G WAT E R
B U F FA L O
Live Music: Music venue open for Thursday night jam session and weekend performances. Nov 5 Karaoke, Nov 6 Ja’net Eastman, Nov 12 Pioneer Road, Nov 13 Thin Smoke. Stampede Saloon & Eatery, info 307422-3200, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grand Encampment Museum: Main Gallery and GEM store open Tue-Sat 10a-4p, info 307-327-5308.
LAGRANGE NOVEMBER 5-6
Homemakers' Holiday Hoedown: Concessions available. 2-7p Fri, 9a-4p Sat, LaGrange School Gym, info on Facebook.
W H E AT L A N D NOVEMBER 4
Sip and Shop: Sip and Shop in Historic Downtown Wheatland at participating businesses, 4-7p, info 307-331-1500. NOVEMBER 27
HURRAH FOR THE COWBOY, MEN OF THE OPEN RANGE
Christmas Parade and Shop Small Saturday: 5p, Historic Downtown Wheatland, info 307-331-1500.
Bluegrass Jam Session: 6:30p, Occidental Saloon, free, info 307-684-0451.
GILLETTE NOVEMBER 28
Museum Store Sunday: Browse Wyoming made products and more at the store and enjoy light refreshments. Museum will be open. 1-5p, Rockpile Museum, info 307-682-5723, rockpilemuseum.com.
Hulett Museum and Art Gallery: 8a-4p Mon-Fri, free, info 307-467-5292. ONGOING
Senior Center Events: Carry-in dinner 12:30p third Sun. Rolls and coffee 9a Thu. 145 Main Street, info 307-467-5743.
West Texas Trail Museum: Now open yearround 9a-5p, Mon-Fri. Info 307-756-9300.
NEWCASTLE NOVEMBER 10
GiGi’s Closet: Providing free gently used clothing for the family. 9a-1p, First United Methodist Church basement entrance, info 307-746-4119, Facebook.
ONGOING An exhibition of vintage engravings 1867-1911 illustrating cowboy life on the range on the Western frontier. On display November 2021 through October 2022. PIONEER MUSEUM IN LANDER Info 307-332-3339
YODER NOVEMBER 6-7
Pheasant Season Dinner: Fundraiser for Yoder Women’s Club. Coffee and homemade pie 8a, lunch served 11a. Menu Saturday includes cheeseburgers and chili; Sunday chicken and noodles, real mashed potatoes. Yoder Community Building, info 307-534-5673.
S U N DA N C E ONGOING
Crook County Museum: Winter hours for the Crook County Museum are 8a-4p Mon-Fri Labor Day through Memorial Day. Museum features prehistoric, Native American and pioneer history of the county with over 7,000 items from local pioneer families. Gift shop with local artists and Wyoming gifts. Old Stoney, 120 N. 4th St, info 307-283-3666.
03| NORTHWEST DUBOIS ONGOING
Acoustic Music Jam: Join in or listen as musicians and dancers perform. 6:30-8:30p, Holiday Inn Convention Center, free, info 307-856-8100.
Dubois Winter Farmers' Market: Featuring local produce, baked goods and bread, dairy products, jams and jellies, herbs and salves. First and third Thu 3-6p starting Oct 7, Nostalgia Bistro, info 307-455-2027.
The Arapaho Way: Contemporary photos of Arapaho people by Lander photographer Sara Wiles on display through the fall. Pioneer Museum, info 307-332-3339.
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LANDER Acoustic Music Jam: 11a-1p, Lander Bake Shop, info 307-332-3237.
Riverton Saturday Farmers’ Market: Starting Oct 2, shop all winter on Saturdays from 9-11a, Little Wind Center at the Fremont County Fairgrounds. Info 307-851-7562.
THERMOPOLIS SECOND FRIDAYS
ArtStroll: Stroll on Broadway Street in Historic Downtown Thermopolis. Info 307-864-3002, email@example.com.
We are updating the event dates for the What’s Happening section. Please send events occurring in January and February. Also, be sure to include the date, title, description, time, cost, location, address and contact information for each event. Photos are always welcome.
Look for more events at wyomingrea.org/news
QUESTIONS & SUBMISSIONS:
 286-8140 214 W. Lincolnway
Ste. 21C Cheyenne, WY 82001
04 | SOUTHWEST ONGOING
First Friday: New artist and local musician each month. Art show reception 5p, music 6p. Middle Fork Restaurant. Info 307-335-5035, facebook.com/MiddleForkCafe.
MEETEETSE THROUGH DECEMBER 11
Art of the Basin: An Artistic Rendering of Northwest Wyoming: Juried art show and sale. Tue-Sat 10a-4p, Meeteetse Museums, info 307-868-2423.
R I V E RTO N NOVEMBER 3
Miseducation of Thanksgiving: Speaker aims to shed light on the real history of Thanksgiving and addresses the misconceptions often taught to us as children. 6p, Riverton Museum, free, info 307-856-2665.
LY M A N THURSDAYS
Storytime: 11a, Lyman Branch Library, all ages are welcome, free, info 307-787-6556, uintalibrary.org.
M O U N TA I N V I E W OCTOBER 29
Buddy Watch Walk: Event to raise awareness of veteran suicide and the Mission 22 organization. 4p, Benedict’s Ace Hardware, info 307-780-7589, 307-747-7779.
R E S E T
BY WALT GASSON
I’ve been blessed with a great job. I love my work,
I love the people I work with and I think we’re doing
some pretty awesome things out there in the real
world. But once in a while, I just have to unplug from it.
e did that yesterday. We pushed the reset button on our lives. We took the afternoon off to spend a few hours with Connor at the ranch. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? Let me explain.
Our grandson Connor was born connected to Wyoming. The same umbilicus that connected him to his mother connected him to generations of Gassons before, and through them to the wild things and wild places that have made us who we are. His first word was “Elk!” He grew up loving horses and dogs and pickups, with a map of the Cowboy State seared in his soul. It was only natural that he would find his way to the ranch and into the hearts of the people who run it. The ranch is a cow-calf outfit, a place steeped in the history of central Wyoming. It’s a family operation, a working landscape for generations past and generations to come. The boss would tell you that it’s fueled by pure and simple hard work. That’s unquestionably true, but lots of places can say the same. I think it’s much deeper than that. I think it’s
about this place as a legacy, something
will go back to college soon, but they’ll
precious that was handed down to this
show up to ship the calves late in the
generation in trust for the generations
fall. When the snow flies the cows
to come. It’s a connection to the land
will go to winter in the lower country.
and to those who came before and
Winter will come, and the grass will
those who will come after.
rest for a season. Then in the spring,
That became clearer as Connor took
it will all begin again.
us around and talked to us about the
After a hot and delicious dinner we
land and the people and the history
headed for home. We talked about
that unites them. He told us about the
other outfits and other families we’ve
different pastures, where the fences were and who they border, where the elk tear up the fences and where the springs bubble from the granite. Even in the heat of this dry summer, the creeks run strong. These tiny streams at the headwaters of one of America’s iconic rivers take their time. They meander and seep out to feed grass in the meadows. The grass feeds the cows and the cows feed the calves and the calves grow stout in the summer sun. After a few days in one pasture, Connor and the rest of the hands will move them to fresh grass. They’ll do that again and again, using their cow-calf pairs and some leased heifers to carefully harvest the grass. The younger hands
been blessed to know, families who have been on the land for generations from Bear River to the Bear Lodge. On family ranches like this, young people will become one with the place and with the generations before them. In the rhythm of the land, they will learn to care for it and care about it. And in the process, they’ll find peace and meaning in a world where it’s hard to find either. I hope that once in a while, they’ll let us come out from town and push the reset buttons in our own lives there on the ranch. W Walt Gasson is a fourth-generation Wyoming native and the director of endorsed businesses for Trout Unlimited.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
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GAY WOODHOUSE DEBORAH RODEN TARA NETHERCOTT JOANNE SWEENEY HOLLI WELCH KATYE BROWN JEFF VAN FLEET CHRISTOPHER BRENNAN
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CATEGORIES 01. EQUIPMENT 02. FOR SALE 03. HORSES 04. LIVESTOCK 05. POULTRY 06. REAL ESTATE 07. WANTED 08. CRAFTS 09. OPPORTUNITIES 10. MISCELLANEOUS 11. BUSINESS CONSULTING 12. FOR RENT 13. HELP WANTED 14. DOGS 15. EMPLOYMENT SOUGHT 16. BUILDING SUPPLIES 17. TRAVEL & RECREATION 18. HEALTH 19. PERSONAL
02 | FOR SALE
07 | WANTED
Life is a Garden Party Vol I, II, III, IV available via Amazon. Gardening Observations w/Spiritual Applications.
Want to purchase minerals & other oil/gas interests. Send details to: PO Box 13557, Denver, CO 80201.
New & Used Coal Stokers, parts, service & advice. Available for most makes. Thanks. 307-754-3757. Shaver Outdoor Wood Boiler Furnace. Aermotor Windmills and parts, cylinders, pipe, rod, submersible pumps, motors, control boxes, Hastings 12 ga. bottomless stock tanks and more. In business for more than 75 years. Herren Bros., Box 187, Harrison NE. 1-308-668-2582.
We Pay Cash For Mineral & Oil/Gas Interests producing & non-producing. 800-733-8122. WANTED CJ or Wrangler reasonably priced. Any condition but rusted. 512-797-1664. Antique Collector Looking For Oil Company Gas Pumps, Globes And Signs. Will pay fair market value! Also looking for general antiques for our antique shop. Please go to our website FrontierAutoMuseum.com. Located in Gillette WY, our passion is to preserve Wyoming history and the nostalgia of the past, especially Parco, Sinclair, Frontier, Husky and any car dealership along with all brands. We are also always looking for WY license plates and WY highway signs and State Park signs. Please call Jeff Wandler 307-680-8647 firstname.lastname@example.org or daughter Briana Brewer 307-660-2402 email@example.com.
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RAISING KIDS WITH
Curious Minds What can you do with pumpkin seeds? Lots of cool kid stuff.
Make a Snack
Pumpkin seeds are full of nutrients for strong and healthy bodies!
This is a great sensory experience! Talk with your kids about how the seeds look, feel, and change.
Wash seeds to remove any pulp
Encourage your kids to use their imaginations! What could these seeds grow into?
Add seeds to a pot of boiling, salted water; simmer for 5 minutes
Toss seeds with olive oil and salt; spread on a baking sheet
Try drawing a picture first, then “coloring” it by gluing on pumpkin seeds.
Bake at 400°F until crisped and browned around the edges
For more fun activities to do with your kids, visit wyqualitycounts.org/wren
This month’s activity
Add food coloring
Drain and rinse seeds; pat dry
With just some paper and glue, these seeds could become a tree, a flower, a bird, a rainbow, anything they can think of!
Mix 1 ½ tablespoons of vinegar and ½ cup cold water in a bowl
Add dry seeds; stir to coat Leave for at least 30 minutes; longer for darker colors Spread on a cookie sheet to dry
Get Moving! Easy Indoor Exercises
WY Quality Counts, housed in the Department of Workforce Services, helps Wyoming parents and child care providers identify and create quality learning experiences for children, thanks to the funding of the Wyoming Legislature.
All WY Quality Counts activities are supported by the Wyoming Early Learning Foundations and Guidelines, as well as the Domains of Development, which include: COMMUNICATION
SENSE OF SELF & RELATIONSHIPS
STRONG & HEALTHY BODIES