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What Began in a Garage Now Serves Cheyenne, All of Fremont County; You’re Invited to the Celebratory Party Tonight!

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No, really, it was a remodeled garage in Riverton, Wyoming that served as the original home for Teton Therapy, founded in 2001 by Jeff McMenamy, an occupational therapist who left the corporate world to start his own physical therapy business. Fast forward to today and Teton Therapy is excited to be celebrating 21 years in business plus their one-year anniversary in a huge and completely remodeled Riverton facility. With Teton Therapy, everything is done with intention and meticulous attention to details. Today from 5:30 to 7:30 everyone is invited to experience the state-of-the-art Teton Therapy location in Riverton to see for yourself and to partake of the celebratory Business After Hours event at 1406 W Main Street, Riverton.

Teton Therapy welcomes community members, family, and friends to meet the amazing staff that sets them apart from all other physical and occupational therapy clinics, enjoy delicious appetizers, win some fabulous prizes, and tour their beautiful facility. You’re invited to do all of this while learning more about the specialized physical and occupational therapy services offered at Teton Therapy, because frankly, it can be a little confusing to the layperson. After all, when you’re in pain you care less about a title and more about the person delivering results that will make the pain disappear and allow you to get back to living your life! 

Teton Therapy is hosting Business After Hours and this evening’s lineup is not to be missed: 

We are pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Ben Francisco, MD, as a speaker at Teton Therapy’s Business After Hours on Thursday, 10/14. Dr. Francisco is an Orthopedic Surgeon treating musculoskeletal issues at Fremont Orthopaedics in Lander. As our very special guest, he will discuss modern techniques in joint replacement in a brief address.

And, our stomachs are pleased to announce that The Private Chef of Riverton will be working her culinary magic at the event. Join us for shrimp tartlets, steak tips, Swedish meatballs with fresh parmesan, and chicken spinach and mushroom puff pastry. We know we’re hungry!

To reserve a spot at this special event email, or call Teton Therapy at 307-857-7074. This event is FREE to all.

Who is Teton Therapy today?

In physical and occupational therapy, small steps turn into big progress, and the same is true of Teton Therapy’s growth. Today, there are locations in RivertonLander, and Cheyenne, with more than 33 outstanding employees (and counting!) Oh yes, Jeff McMenamy, owner and CEO of Teton Therapy is still leading the charge to make sure everybody -man, woman or child – is living their best life with movement, strength and clarity.

If there’s one thing we’ve all learned from 2020 it’s that not one of us has a crystal ball. That means we don’t know when something may happen that leaves us seeking help. For many parents it was quite the eye-opener trying to home-school their children for the first time and facing challenges of their child’s inability to concentrate and focus, which is something Teton Therapy also specializes in with Occupational Therapy (hint: it has nothing to do with your professional occupation and everything to do with activities that occupy your time, be it school, spots, activities of daily life and more). Sometimes it’s a misstep, lifting more than you have strength to pick up, injuries due to car wrecks, horse wrecks, ranching, rodeo, or pain and limited mobility that others have written off as something you should ‘learn to live with.’ Face it, sometimes life throws you a curveball. The good news is, you don’t have to go it alone! 

Don’t miss the opportunity to put faces to the names and meet the people who have one goal: to help you in your wellness journey. Whether you’re recovering from an injury, accident, illness, or managing chronic pain, expert therapists are available for you in three locations. Not only that, they have a department that specializes in what many chalk up to sheer magic in dealing with insurance companies, getting fast answers on co-pays and deductibles, and helping you sort out the paperwork so you have one less thing to worry about.  

Not only that, you’re invited to schedule a free consultation where a licensed professional will assess your situation, they will hear your concerns and find out what the challenges and obstacles are that seem to be blocking your path to pain-free living. 

Goals Met And Challenges Conquered

From managing chronic pain to recovering from athletic injury, Teton Therapy’s skilled therapists have helped real people in Wyoming live healthier, happier lives. 

Learn more about their stories:

Way-Back Wednesday Looks at Wyoming’s History Through the Lens of Film and TV

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Sponsored By Mick Pryor, Edward Jones Financial Advisor

Special thanks to Charles Lammers, Creative Assets Manager, Wyoming Office of Tourism/Wyoming Film Office 

While there is little data on film within the state from 1890-1940’s, there were quite a few films that were set within Wyoming that were either filmed in state or elsewhere during this time period.

The earliest noted film about Wyoming is “The Virginian” (1914).

Since then, there have been many films both captured in Wyoming and/or featured Wyoming as a location. 

We’re about two months away from 44th anniversary of the release of a film that for many people across the globe put Wyoming ‘on the map,’ and on their radar: Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Wyoming has what would be nearly impossible to duplicate on a movie set  that being, of course, Devil’s Tower, our country’s very first National Monument.

Close Encounter of the First Kind – Sighting of a UFO

Close Encounter of the Second Kind – Physical Evidence

Close Encounter of the Third Kind – ContactWE ARE NOT ALONE!

Now for anyone who hasn’t seen the film (excuse me, where have you been the last forty-four years?) or haven’t seen it in a while, two parallel stories are told in the film starring Richard Dreyfuss and Terri Garr. 

Dreyfuss plays the lead as Roy Neary, an Indiana electric lineman, who finds his quiet and ordinary daily life turned upside down after a close encounter with a UFO. His obsession sends him on a cross-country quest for answers as a momentous event approaches.  Simultaneously, a group of research scientists from a variety of backgrounds are investigating the strange appearance of items in primarily desert regions with sparse populations. 

If you don’t recall the plot line you most likely will recall the music. In their ongoing investigation, one of the lead scientists, a Frenchman named Claude Lacombe (François Truffaut), incorporates the Kodály method of music education as a means of communication in their work. The response at first baffles the researchers, until American cartographer David Laughlin (Bob Balaban) deciphers the meaning of the response. 

While the scientists are working on communications, family man Roy Neary (Dreyfuss) and single mother Jillian Guiler (Melinda Dillon) are among some individuals in Muncie, Indiana who experience first-hand paranormal activities before flashes of bright lights in the sky, which they collectively believe to be a UFO. The obsession both for Roy and Jillian is ratcheted up a notch when they begin to have a vision of “a mound with vertical striations on its side” as the answer to what is going on. 

While the obsession negatively affects Roy’s life as he knows it, Jillian is driven to find the key to the meaning, especially as it relates to her only child, three year old Barry Guiler (Cary Guffey), who may be more attuned to what is happening than the adult figures around him. 

The two stories potentially intersect if Roy and Jillian can discover where they’ve seen that unique mound before, and overcome what they believe to be a cover-up perpetrated by those in authority. 

While the film was not the runaway hit parade of success that was in store for another 1977 space-opera film written and directed by George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind won two Oscars and racked up 15 overall wins and 39 nominations

The scene most people remember is Dreyfuss sculpting mashed potatoes into the shape of Devils Tower. What many people don’t know of the dinner scene in the Neary household is that just before Roy piles on the mashed potatoes, the little girl Silvia (Adrienne Campbell) says: “There’s a dead fly in my potatoes.” This was unscripted and almost caused the rest of the cast to laugh, however the scene was kept as-is. 

While for some it doesn’t see that long ago, it’s easy to forget that in 1977 people didn’t live their lives with a cell phone ‘supercomputer’ in the palms of their hands but instead  navigated by road atlas rather than GPS, or simply asking Siri for directions. The coordinates received by the scientists (40°36’10” N, 104°44’30” W) aren’t at all close to Devils Tower. Movie fans have confirmed that following the coordinates will actually land you in a ranch paddock roughly 200 yards east of Highway 85, half way between the towns of Pierce and Ault, Colorado, or about 17 miles east of Ft. Collins. Indeed, the coordinates in the movie would send you to the wrong state and more than 275 miles due south from  Devils Tower. In the film they got the north latitude wrong by 4 degrees, it SHOULD have been 44°35’25″N. In addition the longitude is incorrect, it should be 104°42’54″W).

While Close Encounters of the Third Kind was dwarfed in comparison to Star Wars, it was still a very big deal for The Cowboy State. A notable and noble credit near the end of the credits reads as follows: “During the filming of all animal sequences, H.L. EDWARDS, Veterinarian of Gillette, Wyoming, was in attendance at all times to aid the filmmakers and the anesthetist in proper treatment of the animals used, and at no time were the animals harmed or mistreated in any way.” In reality, Close Encounters of the Third Kind remains one of the best-performing films that were captured in Wyoming, and you can find more about the six best-performing here

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the film in 2017, the Wyoming Department of Tourism’s Travel Wyoming took the opportunity to commemorate with  “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”: 

Why aren’t more movies and television shows filmed in Wyoming? 
No matter how critical the landscape might be to the plot, often the stories set in Wyoming aren’t filmed here — not because cheap imitations are available, but simply because Wyoming is deemed too expensive, even if the filmmakers wanted to shoot here. Charles Lammers of the Wyoming State Film Office points out a page from IMDB has a good list of films that featured Wyoming either as a filming location or storyline setting, but notes the page is not maintained by the Wyoming Film Office and is not a complete list. For example, TV series are not listed. Discovery Channel’s “Street Outlaws: Fastest in America” was filmed just outside of Casper in July of 2020 but is not included. The same is said for an episode of “Modern Family” set in Jackson Hole that was filmed in 2011. 

It’s a bitter pill when contemplating the loss of economic revenue for films and shows that depict Wyoming but are filmed elsewhere. In the 2009 film “Did You Hear About The Morgans?” the area was purported to be a small town outside of Cody, but filming actually took place over 25 days in May and June for the film starring Hugh Grant, Sara Jessica Parker and Sam Elliott in New York City (for the city scenes) and then Santa Fe and Roy, New Mexico for what was supposed to be Wyoming. Likewise the popular series “Longmire” was actually filmed in New Mexico, however The Longmire Foundation hosts Longmire Days each summer based out of Buffalo, Wyoming, even after the television series ended.
There is a revived interest in attracting to Wyoming bright lights and cameras with a  Wyoming Film Production Incentives Program with a proposed draft of incentives. 

In a summary of proceedings from the Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee Meeting held in August at the National Museum of Military Vehicles in Dubois, Diane Shober, Executive Director, Wyoming Office of Tourism, provided the Committee with an explanation of the working group’s proposal for creating a film incentive program while also discussing the previous program that had operated in the state. Karla Smith, Senior Program Evaluator, Legislative Services Office, summarized Legislative Fact Sheet discussing film incentive programs in Western states and Canada while John Brodie, LSO Staff Attorney, presented a legal memorandum discussing state
constitutional implications of creating a film production incentive program.
Since October is the month of chills and frights, this is a good time to make the effort to watch Close Encounters of the Third Kind again, or for the very first time. While some Halloween movies are too scary and gore-filled for younger kids, Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a pretty tame film and sure to become a classic film family favorite. The whole atmosphere of the UFO scenes can be quite eerie, but while there is fright and intensity it’s a film to be shared with the generations. With that said, it’ may also be a good time to plan your travels around Wyoming, and if that includes an up close and personal encounter with Devils Tower then you will know why this highly unusual formation is America’s first National Monument. 

This page from Wyoming’s rich history has been presented by Mick Pryor, Edward Jones Financial Advisor. While we can’t change the past, a financial strategy for the future can be planned. If you have questions, concerns or are simply looking for a friendly advisor to discover your goals, discuss strategy and look to your financial future, contact Mick Pryor today.

Cody Yellowstone: Check Out Some Of Our Favorite Fly Fishing Spots

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Wyomingites and visitors alike are invited to get their adventure on Outside Yellowstone. Safe, socially distanced by nature, outdoors and outside the crowds, your adventure awaits – where fish are biting all year ’round and the folks you encounter on your in-state adventure are your friendly Wyoming neighbors.
The first episode of Outside Yellowstone is here! Join us as we go fly fishing in a few of our favorite spots throughout Park County, Wyoming! 🎣

On the first episode of Outside Yellowstone, we’re going #flyfishing in Park County, Wyoming.

Here on the east side of Yellowstone in #NorthwestWyoming, you’ll find 1,500 miles of world-class trout streams — all within two hours of the town of Cody, Wyoming. That works out to over 600 pounds of trout per mile. The diversity of stocked and native cutthroat trout on offer in Park County makes fly fishing here a memorable experience.   
Today, we’re sharing three of our favorite fly fishing spots with you — Sunlight Basin, Northfork of Shoshone River, and Lower Shoshone Canyon. In this video, you’ll learn everything you need to know before you go — including what gear to bring, when to visit, and where to cast your line. 
Sunlight Basin: 44.763313593764586, -109.43354068217937 

Northfork of Shoshone River: 44.45833471252174, -109.85945329074733 

Lower Shoshone Canyon: 44.51031719464479, -109.1575263774002   

Join us in Park County, Wyoming, where the fish are biting all year round!   Subscribe to the #OutsideYellowstone channel for great #travel guides and videos highlighting all the incredible outdoor activities Park County, Wyoming has to offer.

Brought to you by Cody Yellowstoneinviting you to get Outside Yellowstone. Start planning today by requesting your FREE Adventure Guide whether for a day, a lifetime or any time in between.

Cody Yellowstone: The Great American Adventure Awaits ​​Inside The Cowboy State

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Just outside of America’s first National Park you will find your adventure! And your adventure comes with a guarantee: You won’t run out of things to do or places to go when you visit Buffalo Bill’s Cody Yellowstone!

Plan your vacation around one of our traditional events and enjoy our myriad of quality attractions and world-class museums. Use Cody as your hub for exploring the wonders of this amazing area.

Cody Yellowstone is a place brimming with adventure. It’s the place where you can climb to new heights, hike the path less traveled, ride horses, rope cattle, sit around a campfire and undulge all of your senses with choice accomodations at a working guest ranch. Cody Yellowstone is also a place filled with warmth and charm. You’re invited to indulge in the warmth and charm of Cody Yellowstone no matter your address, walk of life or skill set – we have opportunities for everyone.

Welcoming accommodations, fine restaurants, stellar shopping, plenty of things to see and do, and no shortage of outdoor fun and adventure. Come explore the communities of Buffalo Bill’s Cody Yellowstone and see that the Wild West isn’t so wild after all.

Brought to you by Cody Yellowstoneinviting you to get Outside Yellowstone. Start planning today by requesting your FREE Adventure Guide whether for a day, a lifetime or any time in between.

Statewide Telehealth Gains Popularity, Provides Convenience And Solutions For Teens

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Applications for admission to a new mental health treatment program for Wyoming adolescents opened in September. Wyoming Behavioral Institute (WBI) is now offering a statewide telehealth intensive outpatient treatment program provided by certified telehealth therapists. The model of care is designed for adolescents ages 14 to 17 who are in need of continued therapy following residential treatment or to prevent hospitalization.


Adolescent intensive mental health outpatient telehealth services support youth experiencing a variety of mental and behavioral health care challenges. Teens struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, impulse control, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, self-harm, and other diagnosable mental health concerns or challenges participate in nine hours of group therapy weekly, usually for four to six weeks. They may also attend individual and family therapy outside of the intensive outpatient group programming.

Telehealth allows people of all ages with symptoms of mental illness to remotely connect with therapists and other mental health professionals by phone, tablet or computer. Utilizing user-friendly, HIPAA-compliant video and communications technology, this service allows clients to see and speak with a therapist just as they would during an in-person consultation — all in real time, respectful of social distancing practices. WBI is a psychiatric hospital in Casper providing inpatient care for children, adolescents, adults, and seniors in crisis. For more information about inpatient care, call 800-457-9312 and ask for intake.

Mental health intensive outpatient therapy supports youth in an outpatient setting so that they can still attend school and participate in work or other activities, while receiving structured support. The WBI intensive outpatient program is held three evenings each week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. WBI’s intensive outpatient program model incorporates Expressive Art Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and other skills-based treatment methods to develop goals and treatment plans intended to increase participants’ functioning and ability to find joy in life. For more information about the WBI telehealth intensive outpatient program, call 307-439-2139 or visit https://wbihelp.com/treatment-services/telehealth/.

WBI is an active member of the Wyoming Telehealth Network, working to increase access to telehealth services statewide. Teletherapy improves access to mental healthcare by helping clients overcome barriers to care including travel and transportation difficulties, scheduling limitations, mobility restrictions, illness and childcare challenges. For more information, visit wyomingtelehealth.org.

 Wyoming Behavioral Institute is celebrating their 25th Anniversary of serving people Across Wyoming. 

For more information regarding medical eligibility, insurance coverage and any out-of-pocket costs, please contact your provider.

To speak with a member of the WBI outpatient telehealth clinic team, give them a call at 307-439-2139 or you can reach us via email at wbioutpatient@uhsinc.com.

Way Back Wednesday Looks At Wyoming History On Oct. 7, 1921

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Sponsored By Mick Pryor, Edward Jones Financial Advisor

Wyoming State News–100 years ago–Oct 7, 1921

By Patsy Parkin, guest columnist

Farmers of the Savageton neighborhood, a community 38 miles south of Gillette, have completed the construction of a stretch of road 30 miles in length.

Charles Daniels, about 23 years old and recently of Italy, was run over and instantly killed by a gravel train near Kemmerer.

Robert Gladstone, 15 years old, was being taken from Cheyenne to the Industrial School in Worland when he jumped off the train at Lysite and scrammed when the accompanying official stepped into the smoking car. Viola Fargish, 15 of Sheridan, must spend several years at the school because she is determined to take her own life and her mother and stepfather cannot dissuade her. 

A man giving his name as Orville Jennings attempted to hold up a deputy sheriff at Salt Creek. Jennings flashed a gun and took the deputy’s wallet, but as he turned to walk away, the process was reversed and he was captured and taken to jail.

It’s haying time on the 1,500 acres in Yellowstone maintained for the feeding of wildlife. 600 tons of hay are earmarked for the buffalo alone. If the bison and elk were not artificially fed during the long hard winters, they would drift out of the Park.

The estate of James Mickelson who died several days ago at Pinedale is expected to inventory at approximately $2,000,000, plus 20,000 acres of the finest ranch and farming land in the upper Green River valley, 10,000 head of cattle and probably close to $1,000,000 in notes owed by neighboring ranchers who were granted loans during the past two difficult agricultural years.

Fire destroyed twelve businesses in downtown Newcastle including the West Motor Company, Mulcahy Tailor Shop, E&M Cafe, New Edison Theater, Basketeria Grocery, Antlers Cafe, Post Office building, Wakeman’s Law Office, Miss McDonald’s Law Office, Murphy and Phillips Real Estate, and the Grover Taylor Barber Shop. Lodge paraphernalia and most of the records of four lodges were also destroyed.  

To accommodate the 65% increase in the number of school students in Casper, the board has okayed the construction of another school house at the cost of $26,000 and will okay another in a few months.

Efforts to bring Ben Conley, alleged wife beater in Casper, to justice have failed. The Illinois state governor refused to release Conley to Undersheriff Seidel when he traveled there to pick up the accused and bring him back to Wyoming.

Senator John Kendrick has returned to Washington D.C. after being in Sheridan for several weeks looking after his business interests there. He was forced to move much of his cattle to Montana owing to the poor forage in his usual pastures.

Charles Barkdull of Stump Creek was arrested after killing a cow belonging to Bishop Wood claiming it had given his cows and himself tuberculosis. He also went on to say that other cows and several people in Auburn also have tuberculosis and he will have to kill them to wipe out the disease. He has been judged to be mentally unbalanced and been sent to the state hospital in Evanston.   

This page from Wyoming’s rich history has been presented by Mick Pryor, Edward Jones Financial Advisor. While we can’t change the past, a financial strategy for the future can be planned. If you have questions, concerns or are simply looking for a friendly advisor to discover your goals, discuss strategy and look to your financial future, contact Mick Pryor today.

Sponsored By Mick Pryor, Edward Jones Financial Advisor

                                                                                                                           

Cody Yellowstone: The Great American Adventure Awaits ​​Inside The Cowboy State

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Just outside of America’s first National Park you will find your adventure! And your adventure comes with a guarantee: You won’t run out of things to do or places to go when you visit Buffalo Bill’s Cody Yellowstone!

Plan your vacation around one of our traditional events and enjoy our myriad of quality attractions and world-class museums. Use Cody as your hub for exploring the wonders of this amazing area.

Cody Yellowstone is a place brimming with adventure. It’s the place where you can climb to new heights, hike the path less traveled, ride horses, rope cattle, sit around a campfire and undulge all of your senses with choice accomodations at a working guest ranch. Cody Yellowstone is also a place filled with warmth and charm. You’re invited to indulge in the warmth and charm of Cody Yellowstone no matter your address, walk of life or skill set – we have opportunities for everyone.

Welcoming accommodations, fine restaurants, stellar shopping, plenty of things to see and do, and no shortage of outdoor fun and adventure. Come explore the communities of Buffalo Bill’s Cody Yellowstone and see that the Wild West isn’t so wild after all.

Brought to you by Cody Yellowstoneinviting you to get Outside Yellowstone. Start planning today by requesting your FREE Adventure Guide whether for a day, a lifetime or any time in between.

The Ramkota Hotel Presents: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story This Month At Ford Wyoming Center

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The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa became a loss-of-innocence shrine for fans of rock ‘n’ roll, the place where early rockers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson gave their last performances on February 2, 1959, just before perishing in a plane crash — later lamented as “The Day the Music Died” in the song by Don McLean.

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story tells the enduring tale of the musical icon’s meteoric rise to fame and his final legendary performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, before his tragic and untimely death at the age of 22. In just 18 months the Texas-born rock ‘n’ roller revolutionized the face of contemporary music influencing everyone from The Beatles to Bruce Springsteen. Inside the Ford Wyoming Center audiences of all ages will be treated to 20 of Buddy Holly’s greatest hits, including timeless classics “That’ll Be The Day”, “Peggy Sue”, “Oh Boy” and “Rave On”.

In modern times, it’s a given that many rock ‘n’ roll stars and musicians from all genres live fast and die young, but Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story will transport you to a time of genuine fun and carefree innocence of the 1950’s in America. Prepare yourself for a night where the music lives!

Secure your tickets today and be sure to book your hotel stay at Ramkota Casper

For anyone too young to recall what is now etched into rock ‘n’ roll history, it was just after midnight, February 3, 1959, in Iowa’s frozen winter landscape where Buddy Holly found himself and bandmates cold, and longing for, of all things, some free time to do laundry. So instead of riding a bus 350 miles to the next stop of the tour in Minnesota, Buddy chartered a plane to fly him there along  with his band members, Waylon Jennings and Tommy Allsup. Jennings gave up his seat to the J.P., and Tommy Allsup lost his seat in a coin toss with Valens.

Unfortunately, their pilot was an unqualified local, young like Buddy and just 21 years old. The plane, a 1947 Beechcraft Bonanza, flew only six miles before it crashed, killing the three pioneers of early American rock ‘n’ roll music along with pilot Roger Peterson, crashing in a field several miles north of the Surf Ballroom, where the early rock stars had wrapped a gig only hours earlier. It was one of the first tragedies to strike modern American music and a figurative end to 1950s culture. Don McLean coined it “The Day the Music Died” in his 1971 opus “American Pie.”

And the events that unfolded Feb. 3, 1959, at the airport in neighboring Mason City, Iowa, haunted one of Holly’s bandmates — a forefather to country music’s original outlaw movement — for years to come.

Young Waylon Jennings had been playing bass in Holly’s backing band for the “Winter Dance Party” tour and offered his seat on the plane to the sick J.P. Richardson.

1959 Winter Dance Party poster from the Randy Bachman Collection

While the tour had been unceremoniously stranded on more than one occasion that winter and, before takeoff, Holly jestingly told Jennings he hoped the bus broke down. Jennings responded with “I hope your ol’ plane crashes.”

In a 1999 interview with CMT Jennings said, “I was so afraid for many years that somebody was going to find out I said that.” Jennings continued, “Somehow I blamed myself. Compounding that was the guilty feeling that I was still alive. I hadn’t contributed anything to the world at that time compared to Buddy.

“Why would he die and not me? It took a long time to figure that out, and it brought about some big changes in my life — the way I thought about things.”

Sharon Lassiter Photo (Waylon Jennings-01/30/59, Laramar Ballroom, Ft. Dodge, IA)

Jennings and Holly had bonded in Buddy’s hometown of Lubbock, Texas. Jennings spun records on local radio station KLLL where Buddy would visit during his shifts. In 1958, the “Peggy Sue” star would produce Jennings’ first record, a cut of Cajun standard “Jole Blon.”

The friendship led to Jennings picking up a bass for the “Winter Dance,” a tour he told Rolling Stone in 1973 that Holly did only “because he was broke. Flat broke.”

Buddy Holly in Concert, circa 1959, Rolling Stone Magazine

Though bad weather and an inexperienced pilot were the immediate blame for the crash, in a larger sense it could be attributed to the economics of the early rock ‘n’ roll industry.

Holly’s royalty rate on records sold was quite favorable for the day — five percent times ninety-percent of the retail price of the records sold.

However, as a co-writer with Jerry Allison and Petty, Holly only received 16 2/3s percent of the songwriter royalties from The Crickets first hit, “That’ll Be the Day.” The other 50-percent of the royalties went to music publishing companies Peer-Southern and Nor-Va-Jak Music-the latter owned by Norman and Vi Petty.

Additionally, the purpose of touring was to promote record sales. Net revenues from touring were often quite small, especially when compared with the revenues from sales. Holly had paid for the airplane rental out of his pocket.

No doubt Petty took risks as the producer and deserved compensation for his efforts, but was his percentage more than he deserved?

The question is not easy to answer. Holly and The Crickets did not produce any hits before they recorded with Petty in his Clovis, New Mexico studio where Petty charged a fixed fee for recording rather than the hourly rate which was the standard then and now.

The “Winter Dance Party” played on for two weeks after the crash, including that night in Moorhead, Minnesota. Jennings would continue his music career, forging a celebrated outlaw sound heard on 1970s records such as “Dreaming My Dreams” and “The Ramblin’ Man.”

Jennings was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. He died from diabetes complications in 2002.

“Buddy was the first guy who had confidence in me,” Jennings told CMT. “Hell, I had as much star quality as an old shoe. But he really liked me and believed in me.”

Unlike the official “Day the Music Died” shrine at the nearby Surf Ballroom, where the trio played their final concert, the memorial at the crash site is strictly D.I.Y. In fact, the site didn’t even have a memorial until 1988, when music fan Ken Paquette made a stainless steel monument of a guitar and three records with the names of the three rockers. In 2009 he made a memorial for the pilot as well.

Much like the Surf, the crash site is the same as it was in 1959: a lonely spot in a giant Iowa field. The access point on the nearest farm road is marked by a big pair of Holly’s trademark eyeglasses. It’s a long walk from there to the crash site, but the bare patch of dirt in front of the memorial shows that lots of fans make the trek.

The memorial is a repository of offerings: plastic flowers, spare change, Mardi Gras beads, little American flags, eyeglasses, even a rusty 1959 Iowa license plate (If more people knew about the laundry story, they might leave clean socks and underwear). A whirligig made of Jello molds spins in the breeze. The fragility of these items suggests that the site is frequently policed, and the only-recent graffiti on the big eyeglasses shows that it’s probably repainted every year.

Eyeglasses.

Most visitors don’t realize that as they stand to the south of the memorial, snapping photos, they’re literally on the spot where Buddy Holly’s body was thrown from the plane, as seen in grim newspaper photos displayed at the Surf and in news reports.

Video link: https://youtu.be/k9ysfTO1Dfw

Buddy, Ritchie, and The Bopper achieved immortality, although not in a way anyone would have chosen. If they’d have stuck to their original post-concert transportation plan, who knows how long their careers might have flourished? Just like the original tour in 1959 billed as an event for those from age 8 to 80, you will find Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story appropriate for all ages. Secure your tickets today and book your hotel stay at Ramkota Casper.

Way-Back Wednesday Looks at World Famous Athlete Who Rests Today in Converse County

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Sponsored By Mick Pryor, Edward Jones Financial Advisor

Those for whom horse racing has been a passion will tell you: race horses are indeed athletes. Their innate desire to avoid danger and injury is overruled by the intense competitive spirit which burns within them, the same as it is with human athletes. This is the way-back look into the history of a world-famous athlete, America’s first Triple Crown Winner, who now rests in Wyoming. In all of racing history, only thirteen horses have achieved the Triple Crown.

The Triple Crown is a series of three thoroughbred horse races for three-year-old horses, which take place in May and early June of each year.  The Triple Crown of horse racing is considered one of the most difficult accomplishments in horse racing, and possibly all of sports championships.  The grueling schedule requires a three year old horse to win the Kentucky Derby, then two weeks later win the Preakness Stakes, and then three weeks later win the Belmont Stakes.  In a letter dated November 6th The Blood-Horse magazine received an inquiry from Casper, Wyoming, the writer requesting information concerning the stud record of Sir Barton, who for three years had been standing at Dr. J.R. Hylton’s ranch in Douglas, Wyoming, the county seat of Converse County, on the North Platte River. The letter stated: “Sir Barton is 21 years old but still very beautiful, and has the most satiny coat I ever touched. I saw him a week ago.” The letter was dated November 6th, however the former champion, and world famous athlete, had died on October 30th 

Yes, Sir Barton had been dead nearly a week when the letter was mailed. According to a telegram from Dr. Hylton to The Blood-Horse magazine, the former champion died from an attack of acute intestinal colic on October 30, thus ending an equine career which constitutes one of the spectacular chapters of American turf history.  Dr. Hylton stated that the horse was very vigorous and in good flesh, and “looked considerably less than his age,” but that he had had several attacks of colic in that final year. The telegram continued: “He had been at the Dr. J.R. Hylton ranch for the past four years and bred to some very fine mares. Several of his yearlings and 2-year-olds are in California and will start at Santa Anita. They are upstanding, fine-looking colts.”

It all began in the winter of 1915-16 when the old-time English trainer Vivian Gooch was a guest of his good friend John E. Madden at Hamburg Place in Lexington, Kentucky. It’s reported that Gooch was not in the best of spirits, and at times appeared very much depressed. Madden held with those ‘wise men’ who insist that the ownership of a young Thoroughbred is one of the best tonics a man can have, and he presented to Gooch half-interest in a foal,  yet to be born, the product of a mating of Star Shoot and Lady Sterling, the dam of Sir Martin. Lady Sterling was 17 years old in the spring of 1916, and the previous year had been mated with Star Shoot, then near the height of a great career as a sire, for the first time.

The foal that would become known far and wide as Sir Barton was born on April 26, in a barn which has since become famous as the birthplace of five winners of the Kentucky Derby. He was a beautiful chestnut colt, and when still a weanling Madden purchased from Gooch the interest he had given. In the summer of 1918 the colt, named Sir Barton, began racing under the colors of J.E. Madden.

Sir Barton was marked as a high-class horse from his first day on the racetrack, but finished his 2-year-old season a maiden, with only one placing to his credit, but that was a second in the Futurity. As a 2-year-old, Sir Barton’s lofty pedigree proved to be a bust. He raced four times for Madden, finishing out of the money each time. Plagued by tender hooves, a trait he inherited from his sire, the malady gave him a particularly nasty disposition. Grouchy and stubborn, Sir Barton had little time for people, horses, and other animals with one exception — his groom, Toots Thompson.

Sir Barton’s first start as a three-year-old was in the Kentucky Derby and over a sloppy track he led every step of the way and won from second-place Billy Kelly by five lengths. From there forward the little (15.21⁄2) son of Star Shoot was a great horse. He went on to sweep through the Preakness, the Withers, and the Belmont Stakes before he was beaten. In the Preakness Sir Barton led all the way over a fast track, beating Eternal (the best 2-year-old of 1918) by four lengths. He again handled Eternal easily in the Withers. In the Belmont Stakes he won by five lengths from Sweep On and set a new American record of 2:172⁄5 for 13⁄8 miles.

Sir Barton winning the 1919 Kentucky Derby (Courtesy of the Kentucky Derby/Churchill Downs)

At Aqueduct, in the Dwyer Stakes, Sir Barton placed second behind Purchase who beat him three lengths. Willie Knapp rode him in this race, and, according to trainer Bedwell, it was the first time a whip had ever been used on the colt. The trainer blames this fact for the defeat of the little horse which had won four of the classics of the American Turf. After the race, according to the trainer, it was found that the whip had cut him on the flank and on the scrotum.

Sir Barton did not race at Saratoga that year, but was put aside until the fall season began in Maryland. At the end of his 3-year-old season, Sir Barton was recognized as the best horse of his year, and he was the leading money winner with a total of $88,250.

But how did America’s very first Triple Crown Winner Sir Barton end up in Wyoming?

In 1920, at the age of 4, Sir Barton’s star, bright as it was, had been dimmed by the greater luster of the year’s 3-year-old sensation, Man o’ War. Abe Orpen offered a purse of $80,000 for a match between the two at Kenilworth Park, Windsor, Canada, and the two great horses met there in October. It was one of the most notable spectacles of the American Turf, but the race itself was a farce. Sir Barton, obviously not himself, was under the whip in the first quarter-mile, and never showed a flash of his true class, while the once beaten son of Fair Play galloped along in front, to a new track record of 2:03 for the 10 furlongs.

Many horsemen and turf writers thought, and still think, that Sir Barton was not in condition for this match race, that he had been sore for weeks before the race and was still sore when the match came off. But trainer Bedwell claimed that the track at Kenilworth Park was so hard that it was impossible for a horse with tender feet to perform well over it. Bedwell stated in an interview that the first time he breezed Sir Barton over the Kenilworth course he pinned his ears back, refusing to take kindly to his work. Mr. Bedwell said that he warned that the horse would not do well over that sort of track. Sir Barton, the trainer said, always had very poor feet as his soles were so thin that he had to be shod with a layer of felt above the plate at all times. And to make matters worse, Sir Barton was a horse which required much work to keep him in condition.

The match with Man o’ War signaled the end of Sir Barton as a champion. He started three additional times that fall and ran well, but not like he had in the past. He was third in the Laurel Stakes and Pimlico Serial Weight-For-Age Race No. 2, but Mad Hatter was now able to beat him at level weights. In Serial No. 3 he managed to catch Mad Hatter in the closing strides, but was second to Billy Kelly. There Sir Barton’s racing career ended. In three seasons he had started 31 times, won 13 races, finished second six times, third five times, unplaced seven times, and earned $116,857.

In early 1921, controversy over H.G. Bedwell’s support of disgraced jockey Cal Shilling forced Ross to fire Bedwell and to hire Henry McDaniel, a future U. S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee known for training Exterminator as a three-year-old. McDaniel attempted to prepare Sir Barton to race as a five-year-old, but worried that continued training would cause the Triple Crown winner to break down. Ross retired Sir Barton to stud that year and in August 1921 sold the champion to Montfort and B.B. Jones, who brought the chestnut son of Star Shoot to their Audley Farm in Berryville, Virginia, where he remained until 1932. The price paid for him was not stated at the time, but highly rumoured to be $75,000.

Sir Barton was gradually accepted as a failure, but it’s worth remembering, he was not altogether a failure. His first race was in 1924, and in the 13 years ending with 1936 Sir Barton had won 848 races with earnings topping $800,000. The only year in which he was among the 20 leading sires was 1929, when he was 20th.

Despite a lackluster stud career, sixteen foals by Sir Barton were registered in 1934, and 10 in 1935. Stakes winners sired by Sir Barton were Clear Sky, Easter Stockings, Chancellor, Nellie Custis, Trey, and Martin Barton. The best among these were the mares Easter Stockings, winner of $91,408, and Nellie Custis, whose earnings totaled $43,040.

In 1932, Sir Barton became part of the U.S. Army Remount Service, first at Front Royal, Virginia and then, later that year, in Fort Robinson, Nebraska. Thoroughbred breeder and Wyoming rancher J.R. Hylton received Sir Barton from the Remount Service and brought him to his ranch outside of Douglas.

Sir Barton died of colic on October 30, 1937 and was originally buried on Hylton’s ranch in the foothills of the Laramie Mountains. Later his remains were moved to Washington Park in Douglas where a memorial was erected to honor America’s first Triple Crown winner. Gordon Turner raised money for and orchestrated the move.

Beautiful Washington Park in Douglas is the site of the memorial to Sir Barton, the first thoroughbred colt to win the American Triple Crown, where a statue pays tribute to the famous horse and marks his final resting place. In 2019 the Sir Barton Centennial was celebrated in Douglas complete with a special logo, events and activities, not the least of which was the timing and world premiere release of Born To Rein, the documentary film that coincided with 100th Anniversary of Sir Barton, winning the 1919 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. The film’s content follows his journey, from before the founding of his birthplace at Hamburg Place in Lexington, Ky., to his final resting place in Washington Park in Douglas, Wyoming.

This page from Wyoming’s rich history has been presented by Mick Pryor, Edward Jones Financial Advisor. While we can’t change the past, a financial strategy for the future can be planned. If you have questions, concerns or are simply looking for a friendly advisor to discover your goals, discuss strategy and look to your financial future, contact Mick Pryor today.

Sponsored By Mick Pryor, Edward Jones Financial Advisor

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