By Ernie Over


This past week was a good one for live music performances. There was the Central Wyoming College Bell Choir and Collegiate Chorale concert a week ago Tuesday and then on Friday, the CWC Community Band and Times a Wasting’ Jazz Band concert was held. Saturday, Jeremy Garcia, a classical and flamenco guitarist from Houston performed in Lander. It’s hard to beat live music, no matter what the style. Oh, and Garcia also made stops at local schools, senior citizens center, CES and other locations. Thanks to Lander Performing Arts for his appearance (formerly Lander Community Concert Association). Pretty soon we’ll have live music in our city parks with the Hot Notes, Cool Nights performances, plus Lander Live, Sugarbeats in Riverton and Shoshoni’s summer series. There’s always live music up in Dubois, too.

I attended Saturday’s Sheep Shearing event at the Lander Pioneer Museum and watched my sheep rancher friends Ivan Laird of Lander and Marvin Schmidt of Kinnear at work. They only had two sheep to shear, and there was a big crowd watching every move, along with an interested llama in an adjoining pen with its ears erect. Kids could pet the ewes and lambs in another pen. Then inside the livery stable, members of the Fremont Fiber Arts Guild were busy with demonstrations of their skills and there was a craft table where kids could make masks. It was a fun afternoon with lots of kids attending and learning about wool and how it’s raised and used. Then there was the grilling of lamb sliders and hot dogs with all the fixin’s. The event drew a big crowd with cars filling the parking lots and parked way down the street.

After the event, my brother Jim and I decided to take a drive out into the country, via Fort Washakie, Diversion Dam and Morton. Out next to the fence at Morton were bison from the respective herds of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho. It was great to see the bison out on the range. At Fort Washakie, I stopped at the Eastern Shoshone Path of Honor Veterans Memorial. There was a big bus parked there, so I stopped to see where it was from. Lo and behold, the first person I ran into there was our own Helen Wilson from the Wind River Visitors Council. She was the step-on guide for the bus tour with Wyoming Travel Center employees from Sundance and Cheyenne. It was a “fam” tour, or familiarization tour. Those folks staff the two big travel centers as traffic enters Wyoming from the east and south. It was great to see them learning about Wind River Country. Before they left for home, they visited the Upper Country around Dubois, the Wind River Reservation, Lander and South Pass area, and Riverton.

When I was a staff member at the former Wyoming Travel Commission (now the Division of Tourism) I hosted such tours many times each year with AAA Auto Club travel counselors, writers and photographers, the National Press Women, and groups from California, Nebraska, South Dakota, Colorado, Utah, and other adjourning states. At the end of one such tour, the National Press Women presented me with a proclamation noting all my “favorite spots” in the state. The joke was that wherever we went, it was one of my favorite places. And I wasn’t kidding.

On my drive around the country this past weekend I didn’t see any Indian Paintbrush. So, the watch is on. I was thinking all this moisture we had would generate lots of them, but so far, they are still hiding underground.

Have a good week.

Ernie Over is an employee owner and a staff member of The Ranger, Lander Journal and Wind River News. He’s also the news director of the five-station WyoTodayMedia Radio Network in Fremont and Hot Springs counties, and the editor of the award winning Internet local news site.