by Karl Brauneis, guest columnist
As the economy crumbles, the stock market crashes, the southern border is overrun, gas prices rise and the world prepares for war it is very important that we get the names of our persons, places, and things in order.
Today, we struggle under the federal government’s desire to re-name Squaw Creek and other names from our past. The “Little Miss Hell on Wheels” women from the Interior Department (Deb) and BLM (Tracy) are set to rename everything “Inappropriate” and their “Appropriate Train” is coming to your own home town soon. Get ready.
I get it. I have seen this for years in a more “undercover behavior”. Long ago, in the dark of night, the cartographers dropped Whorehouse Creek and replaced it with Warhouse Creek in the Upper Greybull River Country. I think they meant Warehouse Creek but that’s what happens when you work under cover of darkness. It’s tough to get it right burning the midnight oil.
Fortunately, they left the tributary ladies of Bonne, Maybell, Elenore, Betty, and Venus and the others who worked their trade in the area “undefiled.” I guess the revisionists didn’t know enough of the local history to get into the women’s names. Thank goodness.
But in talking to all the old timers, not one of them could ever remember a warehouse or a warhouse up there. But they do remember a whorehouse. Or could it have been a “wee little bit” of deception and “Tom Foolery” to save the local culture? Pronounce “Warhouse” fast. Even under oppression and repression the English language will often rise to the challenge in an array of different forms governed only by man’s creativity. I just wanted to get that straight before I go on.
So, the Lander City Council wants to get ahead of Deb and Tracy. They asked us all to kick around a few ideas and send them in. Please, no public comments. This is a civil society and we don’t want things to get out of hand.
Here goes with two suggestions;
For Squaw Creek my daughter recommends “Squawk Creek.” That would require less money to make the name change. Just add a K. You can buy the reflective K’s down at Ace Hardware and just slap’em up on the signs. She’s a pharmacist and they like to work in the micro environment of chemistry and pills. I could have guessed at her choice.
Still, I am more of a realist and recommend the following;
Deer Slaughter Road. The commuters to Lander have drastically reduced the wildlife herds via the road kill method in our area. Talk about a heavy ballistic projectile. Kinda puts the old 45/70/405 in its place. It would be a tribute to the New West of commuting and talking and texting while driving at high speeds through wildlife herds to get to and from town.
Also, I have read the exhaustive history of Colonel Lander of which our town is named. The Colonel surveyed the route over South Pass and recommended it as the best way west to exclude the southern route (Santa Fe Trail) and the northern route those “Damn Yankees” wanted. Congress and the President approved of Lander’s westerner reasoning and behold the Emigrant Trail was born.
The Colonel was later promoted to General and unfortunately killed early in the Civil War. General Lander led from the front and those Johnny Rebs could shoot the tick off a bear’s rump at a 100 yards. Not good for a courageous general who always led the charge.
Problem is that in many parts of the country WOKE folks don’t like to be reminded of the history of western expansion. They fight to remove names associated with the migrant west and in particular the names of Americans who fought American Indians.
Colonel Lander fought “Hostile Indians,” Outlaws, and Highway Men. The latter two of little importance unless Hillary Clinton returns and gives criminal felon prisoners the right to vote. But what about “Hostiles” and their defiance to and combat with Colonel Lander? If we are to get ahead of the “Hell on Wheels” gals then action must be taken and taken fast.
Let’s change the name of Lander to “Little California.” Jackson missed out on that one and we could capitalize on their mistake. But it’s not just about west coast and east coast transplants and generational changes. There’s more to the why and how this will make for a perfect name change.
I learned recently at the Lander City Council meeting that according to one councilman our town of Lander is a harbor of racism and discrimination and it has been that way for a long, long, time. It’s what they call systemic racism in places like Washington DC.
This particular councilman believes that the discrimination is so bad we need federal social workers to come in and clean up the mess. I didn’t know this about Lander and I have been living here for over 30 years. I always thought that folks came to Lander because it was open and friendly and its back door is the great outdoors. And don’t forget the free camping at City Park.
Not so. It’s for the racism and discrimination. So, Little California might truly fit for a name change. This is why it is so important to attend town council meetings and be educated by your elected officials.
Years ago, I was on a forest fire in Northern California. When off the fire line and in camp many of us wore our cowboy hats. Mine being a Montana Peak like Charlie Russell and the old cowboys, Indians, and rangers wore. I was told to remove my cowboy hat because it was a symbol of White Oppression.
I didn’t and neither did any of the other men. I tried to understand the complaint but I just couldn’t make the connection with all the Shoshone and Arapaho cowboys working the Wind River Country in cowboy hats like my Heroes (see Willie Nelson). I finished the fire assignment in three weeks and headed back to Gods Country with this one truth etched in my brain: No matter who you are, or where you live, or how WOKE you think you are — one day the WOKE will be coming after you.
Be Prepared and Run Like Hell when they come to town.
Personally, I’m thinking of becoming a commuter. I just gave up my flip phone and my wife got me a modern 5G phone. She is going to teach me how to text. This should be fun.