Wyoming Readers are Full of Advice and Generous with Lots of Opinions

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Bill Sniffin
Bill Sniffin
Wyomingites have varied opinions and I have been hearing from a number of them concerning recent columns.
Two weeks ago, my column featured Mark Jenkins of Laramie and reported he should be ranked among the great adventurers of Wyoming history.  
A mountaineer friend, Mike Lilygren, used that occasion to remind Jenkins how he and Steve Bechtel had done the “impossible traverse from Cloud Peak to Black Tooth” in the Bighorn Mountains when Jenkins tried the same route, and failed.
So there! Mike snorted, in jest. In truth, he totally agreed that Jenkins is a one of a kind modern adventurer.
Four weeks ago, my column was about FirstBoomers, those folks who were born from 1940 to 1950.
Ubiquitous Wyoming newspaper cartoonist Rob Pudim: “I am a First Boomer, too.  Getting old is a bitch.  I have spent an inordinate amount of time staying fit and in some ways I am in better shape now than I was in my 40s.  
“That said, I am still wrinkled.  As Rick Masten once said, ‘The feeling of being old is exactly that of feeling young . . . only something is wrong.’    
“I look at exercise as I do at meds. I hate both but they allow me to do what I want to do.”
Longtime forest ranger and forest firefighter Karl Brauneis had this to say: “My kids used to ask about the hippies and the war protests. I tell them that the number-1 and number-2 tunes on the jukebox at the Branding Iron in Greybull were You’re Walking on the Fighting Side of Me and Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer.“
So my point . . . the folks that live between Washington and NYC think they are some very important peacocks but they don't 
mean sh#@ to us out here. Be careful who writes your history.
“I put a lock around my 30-30 in my old truck nowadays. Back in the 1970s the trucks were lined along Main Street with keys in the ignition, rifles in the racks and saddles and tack in the back of the truck. We didn't tolerate stealing. Shows you how soft we are on crime today. When they fail to punish criminals we end up with a law against everything and no more fun.“
That is a key difference between the Baby Boomers and our parents. Our parents were shooting for a society where professionals called the shots . . . a more New Testament worldview. The pampered baby boomers went for an Old Testament legalism run by lawyers. My opinion of baby boomers (even though I am one) is that they piddled away the best deal any generation ever got handed to them.
Phil Roberts of Laramie said: “I considered my last days as starting the birthday that I became half the age of the state of Wyoming. I know--some smart alecks said, after I made that observation, that they didn't know Wyoming had been a state for 180 years!”
Cheyenne’s Tom Satterfield says: “I am just in the wrong generation. Too young for WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Too old for Desert Storm, etc.  But I remember being at the end of the depression and collecting tin foil, metal and stamps for war bonds.  Also sitting in front of the radio that was as big as a washing machine and listening to FDR.  And remembering the day he died and my grandparents and parents thought it was truly the end of the world.
Last week’s column was about the crazy July 4 fireworks in Lander which prompted a response by Viet vet Andy Gramlich who flew hundreds of night missions: “Lander’s sights and sounds often remind me of being in a war zone. The tracers, low level flares, smoke and firecrackers at night bring back memories.”
In a column that touted our wonderful state parks, our state parks director Milward Simpson wrote me: “South Pass City particularly is one of our rarest and special historic gems. I'm hoping we can get it to the point where the public fully appreciates just how special it is. The only historic gold mine in the nation where you have both the mine and the original town site buildings preserved and intact.“
I think going inside the Carissa is just a stunning experience. All those huge pieces of equipment that were manufactured just for that mine - in mass production. Everything in it, truly one-of-a-kind! Fabulous.” 
Check out Bill Sniffin’s columns at www.billsniffin.com.  He is a longtime Wyoming journalist from Lander who has written four books. His most recent book is “Wyoming’s 7 Greatest Natural Wonders” which is available at www.wyomingwonders.com.
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