Xeric Thoughts: Got Style? Well, maybe
Got Style? Well, maybe
What defines us as being in or from Wyoming?
People from various parts of the country have distinctive accents. I don’t think we have an accent. I don’t sound funny to you, do I?
What type of architecture might define us? The southwest has some distinctive building designs, but what do we have? Friends reach right away for “log cabin” as a defining build for Wyoming. Sorry, they were building log cabins in Massachusetts 200 years before anyone was building here. Sure there were folks here, but they lived in tepees and wikiups – the original mobile homes. Then came wagons, handcarts, prairie schooners, sheep wagons, chuck wagons, tent camps and lots of other mobile dwellings. Come to think of it, we are still a very mobile bunch, so maybe the mobile home does define who we are as well as anything else. If it has wheels, we’ll try living in it.
What about apparel – cowboy boots and hats? Every trucker from Georgia to Oregon has boots and a hat. Maybe a ball cap and Carhartts are a better uniform for Wyoming. My grandfather used to herd sheep wearing a tie. Ties are another fashion that has passed us by. My pastor doesn’t even wear a tie anymore.
A friend once told me he could easily tell a Wyoming cowboy from an Idaho buckaroo just by his trappings. That may be true, but that is also a distinctive costume. Not many folks wear spurs in downtown Cheyenne these days.
What about food? When it comes to fresh, we are at the end of the food chain, or maybe I should say we are at the end of the truck route. Southerners have Cajun food, whole hog barbeque, peanuts and a whole bunch of stuff with “Texas Style” in front of it. Maybe we need to exploit something like Wyoming Fresh Lamb. People from New Zealand are doing it and getting away with it, too. Bison from Buffalo, cows from Casper and Big Horn Beef could catch on. What do those folks at the Wyoming Department of Agriculture do besides measure the honesty of gas pumps anyway? In a few seconds, I’ve come up with some lame marketing slogans. Why haven’t they done a bit more of this?
Anyway, I have always been proud of Wyoming and my heritage here, so it sure would be nice to have a way of identifying with some significant ingredient in our greatness. Coal trains and oil wells are paying the bills, but they are a little hard to cuddle up to. I could go on, but I’m running out of space here.
I would love to hear what you think about the Wyoming identity. If you have something to share, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maybe we can work together to discover who we are.