A slew of transplants are folded into the population of Wyoming — doubly so for the garden spot in your northwest corner. Have you noticed nearly every resident you meet comes from some …
A slew of transplants are folded into the population of Wyoming — doubly so for the garden spot in your northwest corner. Have you noticed nearly every resident you meet comes from some other state? Me, too.
I thought it might be of some small interest to relate how two invaders, specifically Good Wife Norma and yours truly, came to plop ourselves uninvited, right in your business. It’s kind of a long story, but I’ll pare it down so as not to abuse your time or the Tribune’s expensive newsprint.
When our daughter, the youngest of our brood, finished college and was off on her own, GWN became enamored with the notion of a last great adventure somewhere — anywhere — far away. I was measurably less courageous than GWN, but she — as was her habit even then — persisted.
My aunt Hazel Birge lived most of her adult life in Cody, so I had been out your way to visit her and for mountain vacations since I was a kid.
Hazel, clearly a hoarder, passed away, which meant a three-level condo jammed with “stuff” had to be mitigated. Norma and I set aside a week to help my parents in this monumental task. While there, we fell into the habit of working like crazy one day, then driving a loop tour the next.
This is when GWN’s affection for Cody country blossomed, ultimately launching our (mostly her) dream of salving our Empty Nest Blues over the hill from Yellowstone.
I put together a packet of my best work at the Tri-City Tribune in Cozad, Nebraska, added a fistful of Nebraska Press Association awards and sent the whole works off to the Cody Enterprise. Nothing.
Thoroughly discouraged and miffed, I kissed off northwest Wyoming “with prejudice” as your new judge, Joey Darrah, will be heard to say from the bench. (Well done, my PVFD friend.)
I put it out of mind until, a couple years later, duck hunting buddy Tim Root introduced me to his brother, railroader Dan Root. Tim had mentioned a couple times in the duck blind that his brother had history in Cody, so naturally it came up over a cold beverage when Dan and I finally got to chat.
Telling Dan of my unrequited courtship of the Cody paper, he exclaimed, “Mose! You don’t want to live in Cody. You want to live in Powell!”
“OK, I’ll bite. What’s a Powell?” paraphrases my response. He extolled the virtues of you folks and even scared up Dave Bonner’s home phone number.
“Dave is a great guy. You would love working for him,” Dan effused.
So, in no small part due to Dan’s insistence, I called Dave. It was a Sunday evening. Knowing I would be an unsolicited interruption of this man’s private time, I fully expected to get the old, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”
Not a bit of it. Dave was warm and engaging, his interest in what I had to say sincere. We talked for a long time, one thing led to another and a few months later I was the proud, card-carrying Powell Tribune sports editor.
GWN went to work for the orthopedic surgeon at the time, Dr. Frank Haydon, and before we had all our boxes unpacked, your community embraced us both without reservation. Swept us off our feet.
That I was scurrying about covering Panther sports almost daily set up a force-fed community immersion for me; exactly what I needed.
One of many personal highlights of my years in Powell came when I was walking downtown one afternoon, near the post office. A car honked a couple times. I looked up to see a load of PHS kids smiling, waving and shouting a raucous greeting to Ole Mose as they drove by.
That I remember the mutual affection of that moment to this day is perhaps the most heart-felt tribute to your town I could offer. Thanks to each and every one of you who made two strangers welcome then ... and still.