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Bill Sniffin

Bill Sniffin: Today’s Grads Face Both Head Wind And A Tail Wind

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher

Today’s grads face one of the most uncertain times in history.

I call it a merging of two seemingly mutually-exclusive ideas – they have a tail wind behind them PLUS a head wind facing them.

The tail wind is the fact that there just are not enough workers for the jobs that are out there. If you have skills, a good resume showing success at previous jobs, and a good attitude, your future should look very, very bright.  One of my mottoes is that someone is looking as hard for you as you are looking for them – you just have to knock on enough doors.

The head wind is the fact that the world is changing.  With the spending of trillions of dollars on new programs, there will be a tax bill to pay some day. It will fall to these young people.  Here in Wyoming, we are suffering because fossil fuels have fallen out of favor. That may force some young people to leave the state.

This is a about what grads should be thinking about looking ahead at their future life. For years at this time, I have written a column called my “message to graduates.” 

To you grads, your youth is your greatest asset.  You sit there at your graduation as an “unformed human being.”  Your whole world is out there ahead of you.

I recall my high school graduation.  The overriding thought that ran through my head was “what is going to happen to me?” 

Although scary, this is the most exciting time to be alive. Approach these times with optimism and love for your fellow human being and you should turn out just fine.

A favorite quote: “The problem with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.”  How true.

So, to you new grads, what can you do about it?  How can you make a good future for yourself in the face of such uncertainty?

As an old guy, I can stress your number-one advantage in coping with all this is your anticipated long life span.  However this all turns out, if you work hard and pay attention, it can be argued you will be a better person because of all these uncertain times you will live through.

Responsibility and good character often do not come from an easy life.  They come from overcoming adversity and surviving tests that are often unpleasant.  The real definition of maturity is where a person ends up after dealing with a series of problems and solving them. You do not mature by running away from or hiding from your problems. Or having someone else solve your problems.

I believe it was free enterprise, capitalism and rugged individualism that made this country great. I hope you grads can grasp these concepts and realize how they can make a big impact on how you will be able to survive these difficult times.

My parents and grandparents used words like “gumption” to describe someone who worked extra hard to try to get ahead.  What your generation of graduating seniors needs, to cope with what’s ahead, is gumption.

Now here are five secrets about what you should do to get ahead:

• Although working hard is a virtue, working “smart” is genius. 

• Education is the key but I am not talking about advanced degrees here.  I am talking about identifying a field you would like to work in and then learning everything you can about it. Best way to do this is talking with people in the field.  Or volunteering to work in the fringe parts of that industry.  Scanning the Internet for everything you can find out about trends in that field helps, too.  You can never learn enough.

• It is not who you know or what you know that counts in getting a good career going.  It is who you know AND what you know that will make all the difference. Locate and cultivate mentors.

• Responsibility, honesty and ethics are critical.  Many in your generation are assumed to be lazy and not loyal.  If you are loyal to those who you work with and for, you will be stunned by how far that will get you in your career.

• Timing is the single most important thing in getting ahead.  You must stay on top of trends and always, always check which way the economic winds are blowing.  You must be a man or woman of action.  Jump when you need to, but look before you leap.

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Bill Sniffin: What You Do When Things Go Bump In The Night

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher

My nervous “afraid of the dark” wife is amazed that her brave husband will get up in the middle of the night to check out all the strange noises she hears.

This has been going on for more than half a century and, frankly, even I am impressed by my fearlessness.

Patiently, during the entire time of our marriage, I have been awakened in the middle of deep slumber to a voice saying: “Honey, did you hear that?”

I roll over and say, “What? I didn’t hear anything. Go back to sleep, it will be all right.”

A few minutes later: “I can’t sleep. I am worried.”

Now this could be my cue to shush her and go back to sleep.  Other husbands out there who believe in the adage that “a happy wife means a happy life” know what comes next.

You get out of bed and start wandering through the house looking for the offending noise.  You actually make a few noises yourself going down the basement so your wife knows you are down there checking things out.  Sometimes you also have to go upstairs, such as times of high winds when a branch is brushing against the house.

Our house is 41 years old and it rumbles and squeaks all the time.

For years we had a cranky water boiler furnace that creaked and groaned all night during the winter. We got used to it but guests would complain about all that racket. Bill Jones Plumbing installed one of those new hot water systems a few years ago. It quieted that down.

We also used to have a cuckoo clock that we bought in Germany. It would sound off on the hour all night long. Again, our guests went nuts. Finally, it broke and the pieces are sitting in a box. 

Actually, right now, our home is remarkably quiet at night. To me, at least.

One winter, we heard some consistent noises that really were “bumps in the night.”  It was so often and so consistent, I knew it was not a burglar but what the heck was it?

Armed with a spotlight I finally looked under our deck and there were two buck deer with nice racks. During the night as they moved around, their antlers would strike the bottom of the deck, which was not far from our bedroom.  Mystery solved. But there were some sleepless times before we figured that out.

We live on the edge of Lander and there are lots of critters that roam the woods and the Popo Agie river and Big Dickinson Creek, that are on or near our property.  

For years, we had pet ducks.  And there have been dozens of nights where Nancy would wake me up and say she thinks our ducks are being attacked. I would get up and turn on the outside lights. Then I would go out into the dark in a rescue attempt.  Often I would locate a flock of terrified ducks huddled together on the island in our pond.

Obviously a fox or coyote or owl had been in the vicinity.  Sometimes you would find a pile of feathers that revealed that Mother Nature had visited the Sniffin Domestic Lunch Counter that night. Nature is cruel.

Right now, we have five pairs of geese roaming our property. As I mentioned, we live near the river and Big Dickinson Creek flows through our property. We also have some small ponds. These geese have been laying their eggs here for decades.

All night long, the geese are fighting with each other over the best places to lay eggs. It is a true cacophony and, again, I hear those fateful words: “I think something is attacking the geese. Will you check on them?” 

When we first moved to our home just inside the city limits on the extreme edge of town, a local cop mentioned to my wife: “Boy, if I lived down here I would sure keep a gun handy.”  That was 23 years ago and Nancy has never forgotten that.  Never mind that I own 16 guns (I know, I know), she always wonders what we would do if a burglar came by.

Since I make sure the guns are locked up and safe, I am not sure what exactly I would do if a burglar came by. In recent years we have installed two different kinds of security cameras and if some unfortunate burglar did try to break in – I can guarantee you we could handle the situation.

Some friends suggest we get a dog. Our last one died some years ago and I just do not have the heart to replace her.

Besides we plan to get some loud attack ducks later this summer after the geese leave, so they will be our first line of defense.

If that fails, I know that I am sleeping next to an ever vigilant sentry who can literally hear a pin drop 100 yards away.  Who needs a watch dog when you have one of those sleeping in your bed?

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Bill Sniffin: My Wyoming Bucket List For 2021 Includes All Of The Cowboy State

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher 

There are literally millions of Americans who will be visiting Wyoming this summer seeking out those secret spots.  I will be one of them.

This column is my annual “Wyoming Bucket List” of those places that I have always wanted to visit. Some of them were featured in my three- volume trilogy of coffee table books about Wyoming but many were not. 

Either way, I am eager to go see them. 

Now readers need to know that Wyoming is full of many of the most scenic places in the world, such as Yellowstone National Park, Teton National Park, Devils Tower National Monument, the Medicine Wheel,  the Oregon Trail, the Red Desert, and the Wind River Indian Reservation. 

I have been to those places and, if you have not, I would encourage you to go there.   Be smart about it, though, as you will be joined by millions of Americans who have been yearning to get “out there,” and nobody does “out there,” better than Wyoming. 

This is the year that I will finally visit Fossil Butte National Monument near Kemmerer. Hopefully Vince Tomassi will be my tour guide as we sort through all those millions of year old fossils there. 

Dave Peck of Lovell will be on my speed dial this summer as Nancy and I want to finally see the Big Horn Canyon and Reservoir. This amazing place spans Wyoming and Montana and it’s time to go take it all in. 

My friend John Davis and his wife Celia of Worland have been wanting a tour of the Oregon Trail.  Hopefully, I can be their tour guide and show them some of the sights here in Fremont County. 

I am very familiar with the bands of wild horses that roam the Red Desert between Lander and Rawlins and Rock Springs. But Pat Schmidt, who grew up in Greybull and was publisher of newspapers in Lovell and Thermopolis, says it is time to see the wild mustangs near Lovell.  We have never explored the Pryor Mountains and we are overdue. This area also spans both Wyoming and Montana.

Wyoming’s most noted historian Phil Roberts of Laramie grew up in Lusk and has always touted the “breaks” north of Lusk. I would very much like to see them and with his help, this might be the year. 

One of the oddest places I have ever seen is Rawhide Butte near Lusk. Quite a story attached to that place which is celebrated each year in that Niobrara County seat. The buttes are a geological marvel.  Would not mind seeing them again. 

East of Jeffrey City is a rock formation called the Castle or Stonehenge. You can see it from Highway 287 but it is quite a trek to get to it. Charlie Smith promised me he would take me there some day. Hopefully, this will be the year. Lots of pioneer names scrawled on the walls I have been told.

Afton publisher Dan Dockstader is a busy guy, being the president of the Wyoming Senate besides his day job. But I am hoping for a tour of the Afton Star Valley area. It has been a long, long time since I have been over there. 

Here are a few more of my favorite places: 

Did you know that Fort Laramie in Goshen County was the preeminent place in the northern Rocky Mountains for 50 years, from 1830 to 1880? It is a fantastic site with restored buildings. It is a national site and closes at 4:30 p.m., so do not get there late. 

In Cheyenne, a tour of the newly-refurbished State Capitol building is on my list.  It cost over $300 million and from what I hear, it is spectacular. 

Devils Tower was the country’s first national monument. I love everything about Northeast Wyoming.  The Gore Buffalo Jump is incredibly impressive, as is Ranch A. Little Hulett has one of the nicest golf courses in the state, too. 

One of the more unique small parks in Ayer’s Natural Bridge in Converse County.  A cool spot that is truly cool on a hot summer day. 

Our mountain ranges are spectacular. My favorite mountain roads will give you goose bumps. Highway 14A out of Lovell, the Beartooth Highway north of Cody, the Loop Road outside of Lander are some of the most scenic.  Shell Canyon out of Greybull and Tensleep Canyon out of Worland are terrific mountain passes with good roads. 

The brand new National Museum of Military Vehicles just south of Dubois will take your breath away.  At a cost of over $200 million, Dan, Cynthia, and Alynne Starks have created a modern masterpiece. 

Those a few of the places listed on my 2021 edition of the Wyoming Bucket List.  What are some of yours?

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Spring Donor Drive For Cowboy State Daily Continues – Thanks For The Financial Support And Wonderful Comments

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***For All Things Wyoming, Sign-Up For Our Daily Newsletter***

By Bill Sniffin, publisher

Dear friend,

“Don’t just watch us grow – join us” has certainly come true this past year as our subscriber list has surged.

And now during our Spring Donor Drive, the donations are rolling in, which helps us bring you the news every day in two big ways:  First, we send you this daily newsletter which we like to call Wyoming’s Morning News and second, with our big web page, which is updated all day long with statewide stories.

Because we have so many subscribers — lots of you folks do not realize you can go to www.cowboystatedaily.com at any time and see the news updated all day long. You can even scroll down the site and catch up on the news for the past week.

We also love the compliments.  Deb Lohse says: how refreshing to read your news each day! Thank you for real news. Keep up the good work!”  Deb is from Linch, WY and sent her compliment on a note that read “I am having a Bad Horse Day,” ha. Thanks Deb.

“Keep up the good work. I really enjoy the Cowboy State Daily every day!” said Joanne Sterling of Lander.

Part-time Wyoming resident Susan Brown emailed us with: “Thank you for the great job you do covering Wyoming news every day. Your politics there are really crazy to me!”

Most of our donors donate by clicking on the “donate” button and paying by credit card. Unfortunately, this does not allow for comments.  Thus, if you want to comment, please email them to news@cowboystatedaily.com or send comments to bsniffin@wyoming.com. We appreciate hearing from you.

We had over 200 responses on the first few days of our Spring Fund Drive and the checks and credit card payments are coming in.

With COVID pretty much in our rear view mirror, now is a time to be optimistic and look ahead.  Cowboy State Daily has never been more popular and with that in mind, we invite you to donate during this Spring 2021 donation drive.

During tough times like we saw in 2020, it helps to have someone to turn to. In the past year, Wyomingites turned to Cowboy State Daily in record numbers. We anticipated your questions and we provided the answers.

Our staff answered these questions with nearly 2,000 stories, photos, videos, and by providing a daily newsletter to thousands of readers. That journalism helped thousands of people better understand how our state’s policies would impact their lives. 

To top it off, the Wyoming Legislature just finished its session and we feel nobody covered the issues better than Cowboy State Daily.  

Thanks for helping us continue our mission of keeping Wyomingites informed. In a year when information literally saved lives, we came through, thanks in no small part to your loyalty, which means so much. 

Cowboy State Daily is owned by YOU.  We are a 501 C 3 non-profit corporation. With ownership comes responsibility.  We are reaching out to our 13,000-plus subscribers and asking you to make a tax-deductible donation to help us do our job.

Cowboy State Daily continues to grow.  We have been adding 1,000 new subscribers per month for the past year. That pace is actually increasing this year.

Whether you chip in with a donation or with your continued attention, we’re so grateful for your support.

Please click on the donate button and donate by credit card or send your check to: Cowboy State Daily, Box 900, Lander, WY 82520.

***For All Things Wyoming, Sign-Up For Our Daily Newsletter***

Spring Donor Drive For Cowboy State Daily Continues – Thanks For The Financial Support And Wonderful Comments

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher

Dear subscriber,

We love hearing from our subscribers, especially now during our Spring donor drive.

Denise Arthur from Cody writes: “Thanks for the news, insights, and daily updates on Wyoming! Keep up the good work.”

Michael Stocks of Rock Springs writes: “Keep up the great work! Love the CJ Box updates and everything Wyoming.

“I like Dave Simpson’s humor and enjoy emailing with him occasionally, one old geezer to another.

“I think we have reached a general consensus the world has gone to hell in a handbasket! Hope this donation helps.”

And now during our Spring Donor Drive, the donations are rolling in, which helps us bring you the news every day in two big ways:  First, we send you this daily newsletter which we like to call Wyoming’s Morning News and second, with our big web page, which is updated all day long with statewide stories.

Because we have so many subscribers — lots of you folks do not realize you can go to www.cowboystatedaily.com at any time and see the news updated all day long. You can even scroll down the site and catch up on the news for the past week.

We also love the compliments.  Deb Lohse says: how refreshing to read your news

Most of our donors donate by clicking on the “donate” button and paying by credit card. Unfortunately, this does not allow for comments.  Thus, if you want to comment, please email them to news@cowboystatedaily.com or send comments to bsniffin@wyoming.com. We appreciate hearing from you.

We had over 300 responses on the first few weeks of our Spring Fund Drive and the checks and credit card payments are coming in.

During tough times like we saw in 2020, it helps to have someone to turn to. In the past year, Wyomingites turned to Cowboy State Daily in record numbers. We anticipated your questions and we provided the answers.

Thanks for helping us continue our mission of keeping Wyomingites informed. In a year when information literally saved lives, we came through, thanks in no small part to your loyalty, which means so much. 

Cowboy State Daily is owned by YOU.  We are a 501 C 3 non-profit corporation. With ownership comes responsibility.  We are reaching out to our 13,000-plus subscribers and asking you to make a tax-deductible donation to help us do our job.

“Don’t just watch us grow – join us” has certainly come true this past year as our subscriber list has surged.

Cowboy State Daily continues to grow.  We have been adding 1,000 new subscribers per month for the past year. That pace is actually increasing this year.

Whether you chip in with a donation or with your continued attention, we’re so grateful for your support.

Please click on the donate button and donate by credit card or send your check to: Cowboy State Daily, Box 900, Lander, WY 82520.

Cowboy State Daily Donors Offer Up Fan Mail, Too – We Love It! Keep It Coming

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***For All Things Wyoming, Sign-Up For Our Daily Newsletter***

By Bill Sniffin, publisher

Dear friend,

We love the donations and we love the nice comments from donors, too!

For example, Doctors Michael H. Erlich and Stephanie S. Erlich from Cheyenne sent in a nice check with the following comment: “Your unbiased, well-written journalism is a rarity these days. Thank you very much.” And thank you for those kind words. Our professional and experienced staff works hard to living up to the standards you are seeking in your daily news source.

From her ranch near Lingle, Carol Morrison sent us a nice check with the following comments:

“Cowboy State Daily is my connection to the rest of the state. I scan the Daily when it hits my email, read through it quickly then come back later in the day for a more in-depth perusal of the articles.”

Carol hails from the famous 7X Ranch, which is famous for its fantastic Angus cattle, some of the best in the world.

She continues: “I enjoy how the columnists dial into the pulse of Wyoming making it very easy to relate to many topics that are written about. Adding humor to the mix just ramps up the columns. Jimmy Orr never fails to amuse, in addition to being right on in his commentaries. Don Day’s podcasts are a must listen to every day to get weather info not available elsewhere.” Then she adds: “Updates of 399 and her brood are a must read, too.”

Letters like Carol’s are priceless to us.  We really are striving to provide the best statewide journalism available her letter just provides us further incentive to work hard.

We had over 120 responses on the first day of our Spring Fund Drive and the checks and credit card payments are coming in.

With COVID pretty much in our rear view mirror, now is a time to be optimistic and look ahead.  Cowboy State Daily has never been more popular and with that in mind, we invite you to donate to us for our Spring 2021 donation drive.

During tough times like we saw in 2020, it helps to have someone to turn to. In the past year, Wyomingites turned to Cowboy State Daily in record numbers.

We anticipated your questions and we provided the answers.

Our staff answered these questions with nearly 2,000 stories, photos, videos, and by providing a daily newsletter to thousands of readers. That journalism helped thousands of people better understand how our state’s policies would impact their lives. 

To top it off, the Wyoming Legislature just finished its session and we feel nobody covered the issues better than Cowboy State Daily.  

Thanks for helping us continue our mission of keeping Wyomingites informed. In a year when information literally saved lives, we came through, thanks in no small part to your loyalty, which means so much. 

Cowboy State Daily is owned by YOU.  And with ownership comes responsibility.  We are reaching out to our 13,000-plus subscribers and asking you to make a tax-deductible donation.

Cowboy State Daily continues to grow.  We have been adding 1,000 new subscribers per month for the past year. That pace is actually increasing this year.

Our motto: Don’t Just Watch Us Grow – Join Us!”

Whether you chip in with a donation or with your continued attention, we’re so grateful for your support.

Please click on the donate button and donate by credit card or send your check to: Cowboy State Daily, Box 900, Lander, WY 82520.

***For All Things Wyoming, Sign-Up For Our Daily Newsletter***

This Goose Qualifies As ‘Mother Of Year’ As She Sits On Her Eggs In A Snowbank

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By Bill Sniffin, Cowboy State Daily

Each year some five pairs of geese visit the Sniffin yard in April where they fight with each other for places to lay eggs.

The winning pair found a site on an island in a pond, which should have been perfect. 

Then about 16 inches of wet snow fell over a week’s time and the goose continued to be buried by the snowfall. 

This photo shows her sticking her head up through the snowbank as she faithfully sits on her eggs.  Yes, this Mother Goose is one heckuva a mother.  She deserves applause. 

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There Are Good Reasons Subscribers Are Donating To Cowboy State Daily Right Now

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher

Dear friend,

With COVID pretty much in our rear view mirror, now is a time to be optimistic and look ahead.  Cowboy State Daily has never been more popular and with that in mind, we invite you to donate to us for our Spring 2021 donation drive.

During tough times like we saw in 2020, it helps to have someone to turn to. In the past year, Wyomingites turned to Cowboy State Daily in record numbers.

We anticipated your questions and we provided the answers. You asked us about COVID-19, hospital capacities, school issues, government tax proposals, remote learning, the failing economy and yes, elections, too. 

Our staff answered these questions with nearly 2,000 stories, photos, videos, and by providing a daily newsletter to thousands of readers. That journalism helped thousands of people better understand how our state’s policies would impact their lives. 

To top it off, the Wyoming Legislature just finished its session and we feel nobody covered the issues better than Cowboy State Daily.  

Thanks for helping us continue our mission of keeping Wyomingites informed. In a year when information literally saved lives, we came through, thanks in no small part to your loyalty, which means so much. 

Cowboy State Daily is owned by YOU.  And with ownership comes responsibility.  

We are reaching out to our 13,000-plus subscribers and asking you to make a tax-deductible donation.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is donate-here-button.jpg

We love it when people tell us how much they like Cowboy State Daily. Here are some examples:

Joe Glode in Saratoga says: “I sure like your daily news feed.  It sure beats Cable!”

Judy S. in Buffalo says: “I sure enjoy the Cowboy State Daily. I look forward to it every day.”

Dan T. of Centennial says: “Your updates on the Mullen Fire last spring have been particularly important since I was one of the people who got evacuation notices. Thank God for the snow. Keep up the good work and I plan to donate annually.”

Mary Paxson made a nice donation and said: “I love the Cowboy State Daily. I love the writing especially. I think you are the last stand of journalism in Wyoming! I do enjoy the news along with the humor of the delivery.”

Janice S. of Jackson heaped a bunch of praise on Cowboy State Daily. Part of what she said was: “I have enjoyed the daily briefings of happenings around the state, which helps me feel more connected with the goings-on in Wyoming. I am a Wyoming local and have lived in several Wyoming towns.  I also enjoy the bit of humor and lightheartedness that each report bring – the daily bears and the daily dancing men. Thank you for the tasteful humor which adds a chuckle to my morning and thank you for providing updates on news around our beautiful state and the people of Wyoming. I‘ve recommended that friends and family sign up to receive the Cowboy State Daily!”

These are just some of the many wonderful comments and notes we have received.

Cowboy State Daily continues to grow.  We have been adding 1,000 new subscribers per month for the past year. That pace is actually increasing this year.

Our motto: Don’t Just Watch Us Grow – Join Us!”

Whether you chip in with a donation or with your continued attention, we’re so grateful for your support.

Please click on the donate button and donate by credit card or send your check to: Cowboy State Daily, Box 900, Lander, WY 82520.

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Bill Sniffin: Why Fathers Worry So Much About Guys Dating Their Daughters

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher

Although it is a long time ago now, I can remember vividly how worried I was about any of our three daughters when boys came along to take them out on dates.

Our daughters Alicia Haulman, 54, Shelli Johnson 52, and Amber Hollins 50, will probably snicker when they read this. They always dated nice boys but as their father I was pretty darned protective of them when they were in their teens some 35 years ago, or so.

One of those guys dating our daughters was a young up-and-coming fellow named Ron Hansen. So, it was with some amusement as I read what he wrote on Facebook recently.  He posted these comments under a photo of his daughter and two other beauties, all dressed up for the prom.

Ever the protective dad, he exclaimed: “Lord give me strength to get through this!”

Here are some other comments he offered:

“Want to know why dads can’t sleep, have short tempers, drink, and have lots of firearms, knives and other torture devices? This is why. Lord, give me strength to get through this and not go to jail.

“To the boys/young men in these young women’s lives: you have been warned to keep your hands to yourself, treat them like gold and treat their mothers with respect. Should you not do so then please know that this dad/almost uncle Ron is coming looking for you. I will find you and it will be quiet, quick, but quite painful – to which I will enjoy way too much.

“Oh, and remember, we parents have eyes everywhere. There is nothing you can do without us finding out about. NOTHING.

“Now, where did I put that beer? Oh, there it is – right next to the body stretching rack. Have a wonderful time, boys. This talk went well. I will be right over here cleaning my shotgun.”

Well said, Ron.  I believe he really did date one of our daughters.  And I kept a sharp eye on him.  Turn-about is fair play, Ron, or as they say: what goes around, comes around.

When our daughters started dating, I decided to take a pro-active approach when it came to protecting their virtue and their lives. I always walked my daughters out to the car with the guy and made them buckle their seatbelts in front of me. I said if you are not buckling up, you are NOT leaving this driveway.

Then I wished them luck but reminded them that I would be waiting up and might just walk out to the car and greet them when they got home.

This seemed to work although Lish, Shel, and Am might have something to add to my spiel.

As for Ron and all those other young dads, good luck. You and those other parents are headed for some sleep-deprived nights. It all turned out great for us, though, and I hope it does for you, too .

And of course, the REAL reason these dads are so protective of their daughters is that they can vividly remember what their own hormones were kicking up about back in the day.

So, to all you young teen boys out there – remember these old guys who are the dads of the girls you are dating – well, they were young once, too. They have a pretty good idea of what some of you are thinking.

Perhaps the biggest disaster concerning proms in Wyoming this year are the big spring snowstorms.  Our central part of the state has been clobbered and towns along Interstate 80 have been getting buried, too.

Now that can take the curl out of a girl’s pretty hair and cause their new dresses to be soiled and wet.  Even the guys nice suits mess up. Plus, there is always the chance of getting the family car stuck becomes real, too.

Wyoming weatherman Don Day confirmed this in his April 14 forecast, saying there were really no good days ahead. 

“Spring is on spring break, folks,” he said. “This is a long stretch of cold and occasionally damp weather. We’re going to have off and on snow, rain, fog through this region.”

I recall taking my wife Nancy to her senior prom in western Iowa way back in May of 1965.  It was a really special time. Hard to believe it was 56 years ago.

We did not have to worry about spring snow storms there in little Harlan, Iowa, but thunderstorms in tornado alley could wreak havoc, too.

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Bill Sniffin: A View From Over The Hill, Some Wisdom Over The Years

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher

A human lifetime is like an Arc to me.  Sort of a big rainbow that we start as youngsters and in the end, you end up like me – looking back in wonder at all the amazing things that happened.

And the reality is that my last birthday three weeks ago revealed the number “75” on my birthday cake. Whew. That sounds awful old to me.

And yet, I feel young. I think young. 

How does this work?  How can you physically be 75 but still think you are 50?

Not all my 75-year old friends feel as good as I feel but lots of them do. And we all ponder how it is that in our heads, we still wake up each morning with the same enthusiasm and wonder that we always did.

Keep in mind, that I am not talking about running marathons like a few 75-year old’s do. Or regularly play racquetball like my friend Dean McKee, who is a year younger than me.  Or water ski like Gary Weger, who also is in his 70s.  Or like my 86-year old friend Del McOmie who still excels at bowling.

My idea of exercise is  to get 10,000 steps of walking a day about five days a week and play cornhole and even an occasional game of golf.

Having been conceived in June of 1945, it is easy to assume I am the oldest baby boomer alive.  And being the first boomer brings with it some responsibility,.

We had dinner recently with Stu and Debbie (Disney) Pummel, Casper, both of whom were born in 1964. That makes them the youngest baby boomers.

There were a total of 85 million baby boomers who came after me. The scary fact is that 22 million of them have already died. Obviously, they did not feel as good as was mentioned earlier in this column.

This column is not about baby boomers, it is a column about life. The Arc of life.

When talking with members of the senior class of Wyoming Catholic College recently, we discussed how they are literally at the beginning of their Arc of Life, while I was explaining how it feels to be at the (gulp) end of my Arc.  Actually, I am hoping for at least 20 more years.

They were anxious to hear about any special secrets of life that they could use going forward.

The biggest decision you will ever make is choosing your spouse.  And we are asked to make that decision often at a very young age. Nancy and I were 19 and 20 when we were married 55 years ago. I was blessed to get the right partner.

They needed to hear that despite all their good intentions, there are going to be some terrible bumps in the road.  If they are good-hearted, honest, and hard-working, I told them, they needed to anticipate that most of these failures will not be their fault. They will need to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and move on.  A loving and supportive spouse sure does help get you through times like that.

In a column published last year, I pointed out the 20 things that I learned in 50 years of business.  Many of these things are also good life lessons.

One of these lessons is that it is important during your life to cultivate mentors.  Locate folks who are older and more experienced than you.  These folks can be guideposts to you as you work your way through what often can be a difficult life.

Back to my Arc of Life: At my age, I am working a full-time job as publisher of the Cowboy State Daily, a daily digital news service for Wyoming. In that job I have to keep up with youngsters like Jimmy Orr, Jim Angel, Wendy Corr, Ellen Fike, Jen Kocher, and even Dave Simpson.

With folks like these keeping an eye on you, you better not trip too often.

One of most amazing things about being this old is that we have children who are middle age or older. Our three daughters are in their 50s!  One is a grandma, which means we are great grandparents. Did I say I was old?  Yikes.

It is important to apologize for this column.  It is a total mish-mash of feelings, observations, and speculations.  Yet it feels good to be sitting on some sort of a mountaintop and look down at all that has happened over three quarters of a century.

Have I gained wisdom?  Probably yes. But maybe the most important thing is that I am still learning.  Hang on, folks the best is yet to come.

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