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Ian Munsick begins his “Me Against The Mountain (Wedding Video)” music video gazing at the plains at teh base of the Bighorn Mountains in Sheridan County. Munsick, a Sheridan native, married this year and has a 10-month-old son.

Wyoming was recently represented at the Grand Ole Opry by the Munsick family of Sheridan County. Dave took his father’s fiddle to back up his son, Ian. I think that was just fantastic!

Has Wyoming got talent? Boy, howdy!

“Wyoming is what the U.S. used to be” was a phrase I’ve heard and even used myself sometimes, but I’ve changed my mind. Wyoming is a stand-alone exception. This state contains many attributes of its neighbors but also seems to generate a uniqueness that escapes a specific description.

Wyoming did not “give” women and minorities the right to vote; it recognized and accepted it as a given. Years before civil rights tore other cities and communities apart, Sheridan recognized and promoted All American Indian Days, Miss Indian America and included “minorities” into the community fabric.

There were shameful exceptions that are difficult to live down when certain entities attempt to use them to vilify the “cowboy ethic."

Riders in the Sky use the line, which is an enigma to some, “It ain’t the right way. It ain’t the wrong way. It’s the cowboy way!”

T. A. Larson, author of "History of Wyoming," and author Ray Hunkins of "The View from Thunderhead," both cited statistics and reasons why Wyoming produces, by percent of population, more military service people than any other state.

I was taken aback by a statement from a former Wyoming resident. He said he had an inclination to move back, but his wife refused to live here because of “What Wyoming is.” I couldn’t believe my ears. I was speechless.

Realizing that asking for an explanation would lead to the reason we can never really speak our minds to each other anymore is disheartening. Obviously, college education of the “enlightened” 60s and 70s and the culture they had immersed themselves in has drowned out the sighing of the wind in the pines, the trickle of water over granite boulders, the soft thud of hoof on sod, the wind carrying the far off sound of the diesel locomotives straining up a long grade, or merely the silence of the prairie that carries its own message of vastness.

Esa Salminen lived with us for almost a year as an exchange student from Finland. He has returned several times, and we visited there once. When Esa left after graduating from Sheridan High School he called to say he had arrived home OK.

“Do your friends ask you about your stay here?" I asked.

“Oh yes they all ask me how I like USA. I tell them I was not in USA, I was in Wyoming!”

Yes, Esa, you nailed it! You certainly nailed it!

Mike Kuzara


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