5 Things I Learned During My Unforgettable Time in Wyoming
It's not easy for me to admit that I've learned something. My wife can confirm this. However, even a stubborn man like me must admit that I have learned some great lessons during my unforgettable time in Wyoming.
The truth is I could probably list 50 things, but I care about you too much to ask you to read something that long. Here are 5 simple yet profound to me things this state and its people have taught me.
1. It's still possible to treat strangers as if they were your friends.
I'm the sort of guy who will say hello if I make eye contact with you. It's the way I was brought up. Have to confess that the last few places in America my family lived, very few said hello back. That changed (for the good) here. I can't recall a time when I spoke to someone out of politeness that the other person didn't say hello back. It seems like a small thing, but to me, it's not. Not at all.
2. There is no equal to the Wyoming wind
Several years ago when I was considering relocating to Casper, I asked someone about the legendary wind here. They laughed. Now I know why. You really can't appreciate the sometimes constant rush of the air here until you experience it. I have never had to use ear plugs to sleep until I arrived in Casper. You just don't win a battle you fight against the wind here. By the way, this is not a complaint. The wind is part of what reminds you that this part of America will always remain wild and untamable.
3. Radio still matters
That might sound like a funny admission from someone who's spent nearly 40 years as a radio guy, but I had seriously started to wonder. With the advent of the internet about 25 years ago, let's be honest and admit that people have a lot of options for entertainment. Thanks to social media, anyone can turn their phone on and speak to an audience. Wyoming made it obvious to me that radio still matters here. I have been blown away by the audience response to Thankful Thursday, Stuff the Van and the many efforts made to help the community. We ask and you respond. Radio remains alive and well in Wyoming for sure.
4. Honor and common decency have not become extinct
I could list several different instances of this, but I'll limit myself to a couple. One of the first snow storms I experienced in Casper, my family vehicle (which had practically bald tires) slid into a snow bank not once but twice. Both times, I had multiple people stop in the middle of the road to help get me recover. Amazing. One more. In the midst of the pandemic, I was in a grocery store and sneezed (inside my mask). At least 3 people said "Bless you". You might laugh, but that was incredibly meaningful to me. It's not common other places and you should be proud that it is here.
5. The world does need more cowboys
It's a slogan for UW, but it's also a basic truth I will carry with me. The honorable way that people carry themselves here is something I will proudly adopt as my own. I always felt like I was chivalrous and honorable. Wyoming took that to another level and I will attempt to elevate my own behavior to match it.