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Brokaw praises patriotism, grit of Heart Mountain internees

in arts and culture/Community/News
1733

The more than 14,000 people held at the Heart Mountain Internment Camp near Cody showed an amazing ability to support their country despite the fact it imprisoned them, newscaster Tom Brokaw said at the camp last weekend.

Brokaw, the featured guest at the annual Heart Mountain Pilgrimage, praised those incarcerated for their patriotism while held at the camp.

“You were abused and went on with your lives and make continuing contributions to this country,” he said. “You’re here because you know you’re Americans and we all learn from you. And so I say God bless.”

The Heart Mountain camp was one of 10 established across the country to house Americans of Japanese descent during World War II because of concerns they might hold allegiance to their original homeland and pose a threat to the United States.

While in operation from June 1942 to November of 1945, the camp was the third largest city in the state. During the camp’s operation, many friendships were formed, including one between former U.S. Sen. Al Simpson and Norm Mineta, former secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation.Appearing with Simpson during the pilgrimage, Mineta recalled the sadness he felt when his government imprisoned an entire race of people.

“These placards went up,” he said. “Instructions to all those of Japanese ancestry. Aliens and non-aliens. And I was a 10-yar-old kid and I saw that placard. And I said to my brother who was nine years older, I said ‘Al, what’s a non-alien?’ He said ‘That’s you.’ And I said ‘I’m not a non-alien, I’m a citizen!”

For the past eight years, the Heart Mountain Foundation has organized the pilgrimage to the camp as a commemoration to those held there.

Shirley Ann Higuchi, the foundation’s chair, said Wyoming communities have been very supportive of the foundation’s efforts to preserve the memory of the injustice done to the families held at the camp.

“They have come around to really support us and really make us the best that we can be,” she said. “So it’s just an overwhelmingly emotional, touching, in many ways a heartbreaking experience when we try to think back historically on how many people had actually suffered here.”

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Watch artists create their works live at the Brinton Museum’s “Bighorn Rendezvous”

in arts and culture/Travel
Big Horn Rendezvous
1725

Art lovers interested in seeing noted artists at work should head for Big Horn’s Brinton Museum on Saturday for the annual Bighorn Rendezvous.

Fifteen artists will set up outside of the museum for the Rendezvous annual “Quick Draw,” where they will complete paintings or sculptures in front of members of the public over a three-hour period.

“People can come out and watch them work and ask them questions and then wander around the property and see work by different artists,” said Tod Windsor, the museum’s marketing director.

The Quick Draw will run from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The finished works will be offered for sale that afternoon, with part of the money raised going to the artists and part being donated to the museum.

Windsor said about 300 people usually attend the event to watch the artists, who largely come from Wyoming, Montana and Colorado.

Some of the artists involved are Sonja Caywood, Gary Huger, Julie Iris and Randy Stout.

“These are artists we invited to come here,” Windsor said.

The celebration on Saturday will also include the museum’s commemoration of American Indian Heritage Day, featuring dance performances and a prayer celebration by members of the Wyoming’s Arapaho tribe, along with dancers from Montana’s Crow and Cheyenne reservations.

For more information on the Bighorn Rendezvous, visit the Brinton Museum’s website.

Friends, admirers remember Frost on 30th anniversary of his death

in arts and culture/Community
1711

Friends and admirers of the late bull rider Lane Frost shared their memories this week of Frost’s death in the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo arena 30 years ago.

Frost was 25 years old when he died from injuries he suffered in the Frontier Days championship go-round of 1989. 

Dr. Skip Ross, a Cheyenne physician, said physicians and medics on hand at the rodeo could not understand why Frost did not stand up when he fell after dismounting the bull named “Takin’ Care of Business.” The bull had hit him in the back.

“It was an exciting finals day and Lane made a great ride,” he said. “We couldn’t figure out why he didn’t get up right away. The bull was standing on his chaps and kind of had him trapped. And he had one shot at him and hit him the left ribs.”

Ross said the ribs collapsed, tearing an aorta.

“I went in with the ambulance and worked on him for about an hour and a-half,” he said. 

“We really needed a chest cutter to open his chest and we didn’t have that. And you’d have to do that in the first five to 10 minutes to save him. But we’ve made some great changes since then.”

Tuff Hedeman, a longtime rodeo cowboy who frequently partnered with Frost, said he remembered the day of Frost’s death vividly.

“We went a lot of places together and did a lot of things together,” he said. “He was just a magical guy who was gone too soon. This is the 30thy year and it’s still just as fresh today as it was then. I remember every detail of that day. It was the roughest day of my life.”

River Mossberg, preparing to enter high school in Cheyenne this fall, is already a nationally recognized bullrider, having competed in the Junior National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. He said Frost is the bullrider who inspires him the most.

“It’s my dream to have my poster on some little kid’s wall just like I have his on mine,” he said.

Cheyenne Frontier Days: Behind the Chutes

in arts and culture/Community/Tourism
1700

By Seneca Flowers, special for Cowboy State Daily

You can tell it’s Cheyenne Frontier Days because the heat has finally kicked up to the 90s in Cheyenne. When the July heat starts cooking, Cheyenne Frontier Days gets into gear. Part of the magic can be witnessed by locals and tourists who can step in the arena mud and dirt as part of the Behind the Chutes tour.

The tour features a variety of history and facts narrated by guides as it passes from the Old West Museum through to the animal holding area and emptying out in to the arena near the bucking chutes and chute nine.

Public Relations Committee Volunteer Jessica Crowder is a tour guide for Behind the Chutes and has been so for nearly a decade. She said over the years, she has enjoyed meeting people from around the world.

“We have had people from Europe, South America,” she said. “I can’t think of place we haven’t seen someone from.”

One family took the tour as part of a vacation from their hometown of Bloomfield, Ind. The Holtsclaw family visited Cheyenne as part of a Wyoming and South Dakota sightseeing trip. As a child, Jarrod Holtsclaw would often visit a Labor Day rodeo in Palestine, Ill., near his hometown with his parents and grandparents. The rodeo was not as large as Cheyenne Frontier Days. He said he was impressed by the size of the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.

His son, Boone, enjoyed being up close to the livestock.

“My favorite part was looking at the bulls they had,” Boone Holtsclaw said.

Although the tour took people along the path for 45 minutes, it was a much tighter tour than it was in the past, according to Crowder. The tour used to be just one to two tour guides who had to know every detail. But nowadays, newer volunteers get to shadow the veterans and take part in guiding the tourists. This allows them to help out without having to know every part of the script.

“That adaptation really made it a lot of fun,” Crowder said.

Although she has done the tour for nearly a decade, she said she enjoys hearing about the tourists’ experiences and watching them have fun while interacting during the tour.

Thunderbirds appear in the sky over Cheyenne for 66th time

in arts and culture/Community/military
1697

The U.S. Air Force precision flying team the Thunderbirds took to the skies over Cheyenne for the 66th time on Wednesday for its annual demonstration of high-speed formation flying.

The Thunderbirds have appeared at every Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo since 1953, with pilots flying their F-16 Fighting Falcons only feet from each other as they put the aircraft through various aerobatic maneuvers such as loops.

Viewers pack F.E. Warren Air Force Base to watch the show and line up on either side of Interstate 25 near the base to get a good look at the performance.

The Air Force describes the Thunderbird team as combining years of training and experience with an “attitude of excellence.”

Today’s Cowboy Vocabulary word is: Reride

in arts and culture/Community
CSD Cowboy Vocabulary Reride
1694

A cowboy is given a second chance to ride a bull or horse, called a reride, on a new animal if his first ride was affected by equipment failure or if the livestock did not buck sufficiently. 

Used in a sentence: “Cody DeMoss only scored a 53 in his first bullride, but he was given a reride because the bull did not buck well.”

Today’s Cowboy Vocabulary word is: Pickup Men

in arts and culture/Community
1682

Pickup men are two cowboys on horseback who help roughstock riders dismount after their ride and then escort the bull or horse to the exit gate.

Used in a sentence: “The pickup men rode alongside Will’s bull to help him dismount after his 8-second ride.”

Today’s Cowboy Vocabulary word is: Roughstock

in arts and culture
CFD Rodeo vocabulary lesson rough stock
1674

Roughstock is the term used to refer to the events in which cowboys ride bulls or horses (saddle bronc riding or bareback bronc riding). Points are awarded for both the performance of the cowboy and the bull or horse he is riding. Rides last 8 seconds and during that time, the cowboy can hold on with only one hand — if he touches the animal with his other hand, he is disqualified.

Used in a sentence: “I only like to watch the roughstock events at a rodeo.”

Today’s Cowboy Vocabulary word is: Go-Round

in arts and culture/Community
Cowboy Vocabulary Go-Round
1668

A Go-Round is essentially what it sounds like: A round of competition at a rodeo.

Cheyenne Frontier Days features three go-rounds: Two preliminary rounds lasting four days each and one championship round, also called a “short go” because it lasts only one day.

Competitors earn money in preliminary rounds with good performances. The cowboys with the highest earnings for the preliminary go-rounds advance to the championship. The cowboy with the highest earnings for all three go-rounds in his events wins the championship.

Used in a sentence: “Tom did well in the first go-round, but didn’t finish his ride in the second go-round, so he missed out on the short go.”

Fort Carson cavalry keeps bandits on the run at CFD

in arts and culture/Community
1663

The Fort Carson Mounted Colorguard – stationed just outside Colorado Springs, Colorado – is at Cheyenne Frontier Days this week performing reenactments of stage coach robberies and showcasing the important role of the cavalry in the establishment of the American West. 

The active duty Army soldiers represent the 10th Cavalry Division which was the divison of the famed Buffalo Soldiers. Buffalo Soldiers was a name given to the all-African American cavalry regiment by Native American tribes who fought in the Indian Wars.

You can see the Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard all week at the Daddy of ‘Em All.

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