Sally Ann Shurmur: If Loving Food Trucks Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right

Columnist Sally Ann Shurmur writes, "I waited my turn to order from the car window. A gal standing in line came to my car, asked what I was ordering, and got my debit card. Did I know her? Nope. But this is Wyoming and you have to have faith in people."

Sally Ann Shurmur

June 13, 20246 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

I wish I could remember the first food truck I visited and loved. I can’t.

I remember when the first few appeared in Casper and I thought it was so big city, the glitz and glamour of which have always drawn this Detroit-born, Laramie-raised girl.

I got in the middle of the nasty ordeal some years back when a downtown Casper bistro owner threw an absolute fit about food trucks parking in the heart of downtown and stealing her business.

The city council at that time caved and installed a ton of fees and scheduling regulations, evaporating the spontaneity and charm of the food truck experience.

I am grateful for now retired tennis whiz Angela Emery, who put together Food Truck Fridays in the parking lot of the Tate Pumphouse on the river for awhile.

The parking and traffic issues were not ideal, but the choices for Friday lunch out of the office were amazing.

So yes. I love food trucks.

And I use the definition of food “trucks” loosely.

We spent an afternoon and early evening in Door County when we were in Wisconsin recently.

One of the places I wanted to get to I found on Facebook. It’s a shed, not a truck, tucked into a tiny street with picnic tables out front.

It had a ramp up to the ordering window on the porch, so even though it was raining, I rolled the walker up the ramp, with my sister, brother-in-law and Owen trailing behind. I was on a mission.

As we exited the car, I yelled, “your friends from Wyoming are here,” because I had commented on Facebook that we were coming.

Krzysztof is the Prince of Pierogi, assisted by his girlfriend and his parents. It was his mom’s birthday the day we visited and everyone was in a great mood. Dad was back at the house watching soccer on TV.

We were the only customers when we arrived, so we visited and took too long ordering a bunch of stuff to sample there, as well as frozen stuff to bring all the way home.

My sister and I of course share the same 100 percent Polish paternal grandma, but while I embrace my Polish heritage, Susie primarily remembers Grandma Katie’s house smelling like cabbage.


My kids’ paternal grandparents were both 100 percent Russian, and homemade pierogis have been a part of their whole lives.

They both love them and although their grandma only made them for Good Friday, they now eat them year-round. 

The boys enjoyed Polish beer while we waited for our order, and Susie the sister really loved the cherry filled pierogi served hot with a pile of whipped cream.

I begged for mail-order shipping to be a thing, but for now, the logistics are proving challenging. So I guess more frequent trips to Door County are the answer.

A couple of months ago, I called ahead and ordered pizza and breadsticks from this pizza food truck who somehow miraculously found little old Glenrock.

This was during the time when there was literally no pizza available in town other than frozen from the grocery store.

I explained that I could not carry a pizza box to the car and the owner said to text when I arrived and she would bring it to me.

When I rolled up to the big empty lot where they park right on the main street, there were no other customers at mid afternoon. So I parked just feet from the window, rolled down my passenger window and talked with her that way.

I had cash and it was a smooth deal. She set the boxes on the front seat and when the bus driver got home from his trip, we had a delicious, relaxed dinner.

So the other day, after physical therapy and totally at the spur of the minute, I cruised to the giant store where our favorite fish truck was parked.

This was more challenging, because it was nearing noon and the line of folks was long.

Maybe this wasn’t my smartest move, but Fritz the Dad always said I had no common sense.

I inched the nose of my car perpendicular to the line of people and was prepared to wait my turn to order from the car window. I was in no hurry and was willing to wait.

A gal standing midway through the line came to my car, asked what I was ordering, and said when she got to the window, she would place my order with hers.

She went back to her place in line, and when she was closer to the front, she came and got my debit card.

Did I know her? Nope. Had I ever seen her before? Nope.

But this is Wyoming and you have to have faith in people.

She immediately brought my card back after ordering, said it would be six minutes, and said she would bring it to me when it was ready.

Six minutes later, she handed me the two boxes for my order, asked me if I liked strawberry soda, handed me an ice cold glass bottle of strawberry soda, said my receipt would be sent to my email and then said she double tipped instead of putting a tip on my card.

I had a $20 bill in my hand, thanked her repeatedly and asked her to please take the $20 for her kindness and her trouble.

She refused to take it. I asked her name and she did tell me that.

She has short hair, was wearing a ball cap, aviators, a T-shirt, work pants and work boots. She had a sparkly diamond on her left hand that glistened in the sun.

She never asked me why I couldn’t get out of the car.

Of all the other people in line, she was the one who came to my car. 

Owen thinks it was dumb of me to park that close to people in a line. He did, however, eat every crumb of his dinner.

I am working hard to be able to stand in line for 20 minutes again. Right now, I am about 19 minutes away.

And it’s impossible to carry two flat boxes while driving my hot pink aluminum walker without a seat or a basket.

I do have more sturdy walkers with seats, but this was my portable one I keep in the car because it’s so lightweight and easy to fold.

I have given up and postponed a lot.

Food trucks and football are two things I am not giving up.

So thank God for Alex, and for folks like her who make life just a little bit easier for folks like me.

We need more Alexes in the world.

Sally Ann Shurmur can be reached at:

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Sally Ann Shurmur