A collection of distilled sarcastic wisdom, numerous photographs, discussions of books and stuff to learn and more stuff to think about from a retired economics professor turned blogger and photographer.
The Half-Acre gym on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie Wyoming was so-called because, at the time it was built, it was one of the biggest gymnasiums around. For at least one summer as I recall I was a student janitor at the Half-Acre gym. In the winter, I would go to work at ll:00 p.m. when intramurals were over and start my work with a six-foot wide dust mop to sweep the main gym floor. Then I vacuumed the wrestling mats in the wrestling room. Then I swabbed out the men's showers and locker room. With luck, I would be done by 1:00 a.m. Then I walked 15 blocks to downtown Laramie where I was a janitor at the telephone company. With luck, I would get home at 3:00 a.m. Some times the weather was well below zero and the sidewalks icy and treacherous. Then the next task was to get up for an 8:00 o'clock class. More than one instructor bawled me out in class for going to sleep. And that is how I worked my way through college by doing these and a couple of dozen other jobs when these ran out. And I didn't owe a penny when I graduated, either. But part of that result was due to getting married at Christmas of my senior year to a wife who had a job and could make the payments on her engagement ring. At least she didn't complain about it and she still has the ring and we are still married. In fact, she is starting to put a new 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle together just a few feet away from me. I still have a strong affection for the Half-Acre gym. And for my long-suffering wife.
The building on the right is the Wyoming Territorial Prison. The prison was converted to the University of Wyoming dairy facility where cows were milked from the University herd and where milk was processed. And that is where I helped milk the morning milk at 4:30 a.m. three days a week for one quarter when I was as freshman at the University of Wyoming.
This building was constructed by the LDS Church to house the Big Horn Academy, or "BHA" as it was known in its day. The LDS Church ran the school until the public school system succeeded the church-run school. My mother and her siblings went to school here. They left the farm in Penrose and traveled by horse and buggy to their lodgings in Cowley, returning home each weekend. I don't know the exact distance--maybe 10-15 miles? I remember my mother telling about pranksters who somehow got a cow up on the roof. Who knows?
If you are tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, the congestion, the rude drivers cutting you off on the way to the store or to work, the ignorant dolts running red lights, the hours of wasted commuting time, etc., etc., consider buying the Town of Buford Wyoming. Located midway between Cheyenne and Laramie WY in southeastern Wyoming, the town has its own zip code, its own post office, a gas and a convenience store, and a variety of other amenities, parking lots, etc. The town comes with its own official state population sign: Buford, Population 1. I am not kidding. Please copy and paste the above web address for details. Then send me my commission if you decide to buy it.
I would never have known about this great offer except for information provided by my sister Ann who tends to know stuff unbeknownst to ordinary mortals. Ann, of course, has just bought, or is now buying , 12 chickens, a topic on which I have professionally commentated ad nauseum pro bono res ipsa loquitor.
Having lived in both Laramie and Cheyenne (Buford is about midway, or 24-26 miles away) from both urban areas where there are streets, fast food joints, and other manifestations of 21st Century civilization. I can verify that you may have to deal with whiteout blizzards, road closures, drivers along I-80 from places like Arizona or Southern Calif who will stop by in a state of utter shock and who mutter things like "I will never drive this way again." That is pure cowardice. When I lived in Cheyenne, and worked for the Wyoming Legislature, and lived in Laramie, as a student and later professor at the University of Wyoming, we thought nothing of taking off on I-80 in the middle of a whiteout blizzard. In those primitive days the Highway Patrol hadn't even thought about the possibility of road closing barriers.
So if y0u are sick of living where more than 1 person resides, consider Buford. You could be Mayor, Town Council, Postmaster, and, who knows, with these qualifications you might even run for Governor of Wyoming and move on into Cheyenne to the Governor's mansion. But then you would have to sell Buford again to the next aspiring hermit who wants to live amongst the finest manifestations Mother Nature has to offer. I thought seriously about buying Buford in lieu of moving to Ralston WY, pop 110 or so, five miles west of my home town of Powell WY and where I lived nearby during WWII. But, even though I don't drink, Ralston has at least a pub, and it is comforting to watch the pickup trucks mosey in to the pub (not a bar, for pity's sake, Ralston is a sophisticated place, after all) and depart to weave down Wyoming highways on their way home.
Being loyal to my home state of Wyoming, this article is provided as a public service announcement in my continuing efforts to inform my viewers about the great and wonderful state of Wyoming. I'd still rather live in Wyoming than in Utah. Except for the whiteout blizzards. And the 2 1/2 month summer growing season in Laramie. But I still have fond memories of Wyoming.
I decided that today is Wyoming Day. So, in honor of my home state, here are a few photos of the vast expanses of air and space that make up most of the state. If you are thinking Yellowstone and Grand Tetons, forget it. Sagebrush, snow fences, brush, vast blue skies, and peaceful nothingness stretch as far as the eye can see. I still get homesick for the wide open spaces of Wyoming. So, if you traveled from southwest Wyoming to central Wyoming and beyond, here are a few views of what you might see. Just watch out for the antelope, these beautiful animals come streaking out of nowhere and run like the wind, so keep your eyes open.
A blurry picture, but it captures the old--cattle--and the new--natural gas, the new wealth of Wyoming.
See what I mean?
The honor roll of Japanese young men from the Heart Mountain Japanese "Relocation" Center, i.e., prison camp, who voluntarily honored the country that incarcerated their families. We lived just four miles or so away from the "camp" during WWII, and we could see the searchlights from the guard towers sweeping the countryside from our windows. Something to weep over and think about. Too small to read the names, but the list speaks for itself.