Wyoming Spring Creek – A Lesson

Davey was born on an airplane and has two social security numbers. He’s bandy-legged in his riding boots and sweating through his felt hat – a character and a cowboy, a great roper and a decent teacher. It’s 4th of July in Rock River and we’re taking turns swinging his lariat at a barbecue grill. I’m practicing my heel loop when he tells me to “quit swinging that damn elbow around. You look like Mickey Mouse trying to. . . ” Yikes. But I laugh – that’s constructive criticism, and Davey’s sharing his proud culture with a goofy college kid that asked him to. Roping is a game to me, but to him, it’s an essential skill. Watching Davey snap his rope around that grill illustrated the life of a Laramie River Valley cowboy and how different it is from my own. He doesn’t miss; I’m getting better. We rope and we talk about horses – my trail horse and his working ranch horses and we’re different again. What’s a hobby of mine is his way of life.

The culture in Wyoming isn’t the same as in Pittsburgh. That’s intimidating, but I’ve adjusted to Wyoming by embracing it headlong. I asked an old cowboy to throw his rope. I brushed up on my swing dancing, broke out my Cinch jeans and square toes, and talked to strangers. I’ve had some terrific encounters that I would have missed out on otherwise. I got the local fishing scoop, a rundown on high-school basketball politics, and heard from a prison cook about all the things inmates can do with hand sanitizer. I think I’ve learned something from everyone I’ve talked to. I’m sure I’ll learn even more keeping with this approach.

Stay posted,


Leave a Reply