Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Few Wyoming Photos

Nice Buck Looking at Me
I have been on a bit of a writing break, or summer vacation the last couple of weeks. With that time off, I missed my post last week but never fear I am back, be it good or bad.
Here We Are, Spending Time in the Blackhills Last Week

When the weather is nice, I try to spend as much time as possible in the woods, forests, and mountains of Wyoming.
This One About Four Miles From Home

This week, doing some research for a project, I ran across the works of John Hector St. John. Although he never ventured farther west than New York State he had some profound things to say about what he viewed in the west or wilderness of early America. At the time and his writing it was the middle and late 1700s, well before even the first mountain men came west.
Mountain Man Camp at Fort Laramie

Crevecoeur was a Frenchmen who moved to America became a citizen/farmer and later writer. His volume of essays, Letters from an American Farmer, quickly became a best seller in Europe making him one of the first Americans to experience a best seller in Europe. His stories gave Europeans a first look at what one of their own thought of America.
Wonder if St. John Had Views Like This to Write About?


Today I thought I might share a few of my favorite photos from my time in the woods this summer. Not exactly the essays of St. John, but still nice.
Albino Mule Deer Peeking From Behind a Bush


I must tell you, that there is something in the proximity of the woods, which is very singular. It is with men as it is with the plants and animals that grow and live in the forests; they are entirely different from those that live in the plains.

J. Hector St. John Crevecoeur
Elk - I Snapped This Just At The End of Daylight



Enjoy, now it’s time for us to head out to Guernsey State Park and spend some time in the woods. 
Looking Good In Tall Grass

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Forty Liars and Other Lies

With all the craziness that comes with every big election year, seems the news is full of name calling, accusations and finger pointing, it is always fun to take a look back. When we do we find that although years change, not much else does.

Over the years I have made several posts about one of my all-time favorite Wyomingites, Edgar Wilson (Bill) Nye.


In this case, the trash talking was not among politicians but newspaper editors Nye of his Laramie Boomerang and the editor of the Sweetwater Gazette, in Green River Wyoming. Here is what Nye had to say in the 1884 squabble.

We have nothing more to say of the editor of the Sweetwater Gazette. Aside from the fact that he is a squint-eyed, consumptive liar, with a breath like a buzzard and a record like a convict, we don’t know anything against him. He means well enough, and if he can evade the penitentiary and the vigilance committee for a few more years, there is a chance for him to end his life in a natural way. If he don’t tell the truth a little more plentifully, however, the Green River people will rise as one man and churn him up till there won’t be anything left of him but a pair of suspenders and a wart.

Taken from Bill Ney’s Book, Forty Liars and Other Lies

My First Edition

Sounds much like politicians or political reporters in the present day. It is always fun to read the humor of Bill Ney, some of it is timeless. Nye had a great take on life, especially life in the west. I believe all of his books are available as reprints but most all of his works can be found, free online, and give him a look.


Great way to spend a lazy summer afternoon.

This is not a bad way either

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Get Along Little Dogies

Almost anyone with an interest in the history of the American West, Western movies or Television Westerns, has seen cattle drives and night herding cowboys at work. Lonely riders circling the cattle singing. The singing was both to calm the cattle and to keep the Cowboys awake and alert. It's a shame so many of these songs are lost. On the other hand, it's wonderful that some were written down and saved for poor stiffs like me to write about a hundred, or so, years later.

At times they sang about guys like this but normally it was the little ones cowboys sang about

One of my favorite songs, popular in the Hartville area of Platte County recounts the problems facing the night herder as he watches and puts up with the troubles presented by small motherless caves referred to as dogies. The term dogies might also apply to weak calves that have trouble keeping up.

-Go Slow Little Dogies-

Go slow, little dogies, why don’t you slow down?
You’ve wandered and trampled all over the ground
Oh, graze along dogies, Go slow, kinda slow
And don’t be always on the go.
Move slow, dogies, move slow.

Oh say, little dogie, why don’t you lay down?
And quit this forever siftin’ around?
My arms are weary, my seat is sore.
Oh, lay down, don’t be on the go.
Lay down, dogies lay down.


Simple song but it says a lot about the work of the cowboy on night herd. Oh, and he mentions his seat is sore. Too much time in the saddle will do that to the best of Cowboys.

This was me herding little dogies this winter - well, maybe not
But it is a very cool Wyoming Traffic Jam

Friday, August 5, 2016

Oh What Can We Do

A little different slant on today’s posting. I seldom post anything, on any of my blogs, about political goings on. No, not the presidential race, actually no race at all, but instead the all-important money. In politics, money matters.


Wyoming as I am sure all readers of this blog know is going through some tough times, extremely tough. Natural gas prices are down, crude prices are low and for all practical purposes, it looks like the coal industry may be on its last legs. So what can we do?

I, like most, am not sure, but what I do feel strongly about is where we are cutting money. Now don’t take this wrong, we need to cut, what we once had may be gone forever. In the last day or two, I have read several articles about cuts, most talking of why every area needs to be cut.

Every area, really – WHY? This is turning into the equivalent of the modern-day idea that everyone is a winner. Which by the way, they are not. We do not need to keep everyone happy by cutting something from everyone. Cut where and what we must, but not everything.


Tourism

Yesterday I read of deep cuts to the tourism advertising budget. Tourism is fast becoming our number one industry and soon will be. Instead of cuts, this is the one area where we need to spend more, not less. Tourists and their money is Wyoming’s lifeline, and we need it now more than ever.


If we take money from tourism, especially from advertising, or from State Parks and Cultural Resources, we are giving up. Might as well just throw up our hands and ask Washington for money, like so many others.

Just my thoughts but remember the old saying – Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is? We talk about the importance of tourism and supporting our parks and cultural areas because they bring money into the state and reflect well on Wyoming. It is time to back it up.


Oh – Oh – Where Should We Go?

Nearly everyone has heard of Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Jackson Hole and Devils Tower, I have visited and love everyone, but we have more, so much more. How about a trip to see one of the following.·        Hot Springs State Park·        Buffalo, Wyoming and the area around·        Cody, the city, and Museum·        The Trails Center in Casper·        Cheyenne, the capital and Frontier Days·        Any and all of Wyoming’s National Forests and Mountain Ranges·        Fort Laramie – The fort that opened the West·        The incredible Civilian Conservation Corps Museum at Guernsey State Park·        Wild horses, Buffalo, Bears, Elk, Deer and other wildlife·      Hunting, Fishing, backpacking, camping, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, snow machining or how about a Cowboy or Cowgirl game in Laramie?


That is just ten quick things off the top of my rather worn out mind. I am sure there are many more, people, places and things that need to be visited in our great state. Things to do year round, summer, fall winter, spring. We need to keep this in the minds of tourists everywhere, it might be our lifeline to the future.


**All photos today are things I believe everyone enjoys about Wyoming
There you have it, Now if I can just get down from my pedestal . .

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Fort Fetterman

On July 31, 2016, Fort Fetterman turned 149 years old. Fetterman became an unnamed military fort on July 18, 1867. It was designated as a supply fort for the Indian wars. Two weeks after it opened it got its name, Fort Fetterman. The wooden fort was named after Captain William J. Fetterman who along with his entire company of 81 men was killed near Fort Phil Kearny seven months earlier.

Fort Fetterman today

photo -  www.conversecountytourism.com  

Within a few years, Fetterman reached the pinnacle of its success serving as the starting point for several Indian expeditions. After only 15 years, in 1882, the government gave up on the fort. The Indian wars were all but over, and the government no longer needed the fort. But it didn’t go away, not immediately.  It went on to enjoy a brief life as a woolly and wild frontier town, but by 1886 it was only a memory.

Fort Fetterman lives on, yet today in history, through the stories of famous people who passed through. Calamity Jane spent some time there; stories vary widely as to how much, and the writings of Owen Wister are only two areas that perpetuate the life of the fort. Wister, most famous for writing, The Virginian, describes Fort Fetterman City (after the closure of the fort) in his novel, Lin McLean, published in 1897. He changes the name calling the fictitious city, “Drybone,” but it is unmistakable that he wrote about Fetterman City.


A Stream a few miles west of the fort







Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Wyoming History - Top Ten Politicians

Like many Americans, I watched a bit of both the Republican and the Democrat conventions in the past two weeks. Makes me think about some of Wyoming's most famous politicians.

I am not a fan of modern day politicians, but maybe that’s more an age thing. After all, Harry S Truman was president when I was born. It seems to me that compromise is dead when it comes to politics, and it is something that is sorely needed.

Enough editorializing, here is my list, of all time best politicians from Wyoming – listed in alphabetical order so as not to make anyone mad, now that is a compromise.  


     -Top Ten Wyoming’s Greatest Politicians-

John A. Campbell - First governor of The Territory of Wyoming 1869-1875.

Robert D. Carey - Governor of Wyoming and the first to be both a governor and later a U.S Senator from the state.

Dick Cheney - Love him or hate him, the man had quite a political career. Working for both presidents Nixon and then Ford, where he became Chief Of Staff. After his white house years, he was elected six-time as Wyoming's lone Representative to Congress and later was Secretary of Defense for the first President Bush and Vice President for the second.

Clifford Hansen - Governor in the early 60s and then two-term U.S. Senator.

Lester C. Hunt - Governor 1943-1949 and U. S. Senator 1949-1954.

John B. Kendrick - Governor 1915-1917 and Senator 1917-1933  Quite an accomplishment for a Texas cowboy who came north as a 21-year-old pushing cattle and stayed to become a Wyoming legend.

Cynthia Lummis - She came from a well-known Cheyenne ranch family, but made her mark serving as both a Representative and Senator in the Wyoming State House. Later she served two terms as Wyoming Treasure and them multiple terms in the United States House of Representatives.

John Osborn - Served in Wyoming’s Territorial Assembly, elected as the third Governor of the state, later he served as Wyoming's representative in the U.S. House. Oh, and if you are wondering, he was a physician and had a pair of fine boots made from Wyoming bad man Big Nose George.

Nellie Tayloe Ross - First woman, elected governor in the United States, later ran the U.S Mint in Denver.

Alan K. Simpson - Possibly the most influential politician Wyoming has produced, he served in the Wyoming legislature and then 18 years in the United States Senate.

Francis E. Warren - first elected Governor of Wyoming and then a United States Senator for 37 years.

There you have it, my list, a pretty good group of leaders. In the unlikely event anyone is counting, I know that my top ten list is actually 11, but who has ever heard of a top 11 list?


Feel free to comment on others that should be included, after all, they might find their way into one of my books someday. Actually, they already are, except the book is unfinished, tentatively titled, It’s All About Time, it is my take on the history of our great state. Someday it will be published, hoping for next summer, but then I am the eternal optimist. 
Little Know Fact
I once ran for Wyoming  Superintendent of Public Instruction

Wyoming History - Top Ten Politicians

Like many Americans, I watched a bit of both the Republican and the Democrat conventions in the past two weeks. Makes me think about some of Wyoming's most famous politicians.
I am not a fan of modern day politicians, but maybe that’s more an age thing. After all, Harry S Truman was president when I was born. It seems to me that compromise is dead when it comes to politics, and it is something that is sorely needed.
Enough editorializing, here is my list, of all time best politicians from Wyoming – listed in alphabetical order so as not to make anyone mad, now that is a compromise.  


     -Top Ten Wyoming’s Greatest Politicians-

John A. Campbell - First governor of The Territory of Wyoming 1869-1875.

Robert D. Carey - Governor of Wyoming and the first to be both a governor and later a U.S Senator from the state.

Dick Cheney - Love him or hate him, the man had quite a political career. Working for both presidents Nixon and then Ford, where he became Chief Of Staff. After his white house years, he was elected six-time as Wyoming's lone Representative to Congress and later was Secretary of Defense for the first President Bush and Vice President for the second.

Clifford Hansen - Governor in the early 60s and then two-term U.S. Senator.

Lester C. Hunt - Governor 1943-1949 and U. S. Senator 1949-1954.

John B. Kendrick - Governor 1915-1917 and Senator 1917-1933  Quite an accomplishment for a Texas cowboy who came north as a 21-year-old pushing cattle and stayed to become a Wyoming legend.

Cynthia Lummis - She came from a well-known Cheyenne ranch family, but made her mark serving as both a Representative and Senator in the Wyoming State House. Later she served two terms as Wyoming Treasure and them multiple terms in the United States House of Representatives.

John Osborn - Served in Wyoming’s Territorial Assembly, elected as the third Governor of the state, later he served as Wyoming's representative in the U.S. House. Oh, and if you are wondering, he was a physician and had a pair of fine boots made from Wyoming bad man Big Nose George.

Nellie Tayloe Ross - First woman, elected governor in the United States, later ran the U.S Mint in Denver.

Alan K. Simpson - Possibly the most influential politician Wyoming has produced, he served in the Wyoming legislature and then 18 years in the United States Senate.

Francis E. Warren - first elected Governor of Wyoming and then a United States Senator for 37 years.

There you have it, my list, a pretty good group of leaders. In the unlikely event anyone is counting, I know that my top ten list is actually 11, but who has ever heard of a top 11 list?


Feel free to comment on others that should be included, after all, they might find their way into one of my books someday. Actually, they already are, except the book is unfinished, tentatively titled, It’s All About Time, it is my take on the history of our great state. Someday it will be published, hoping for next summer, but then I am the eternal optimist. 
Little Know Fact
I was once ran for Wyoming  Superintendent of Public Instruction