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From the kitchen table Hindsight is 2020

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Published on Jan. 18, 2020

The year fits the saying….     

            2020, when I was in grade school and the teacher asked, “What will the year 2020 be like?”  

            I’m sure it was so far out of my realm of reality the question was unanswerable. If people were told then they would be able to carry a small device with them nowadays that holds the answers to the world’s questions they would be skeptical. 

            By the way, if anyone is interested, I know where a slightly used set of encyclopedias is. They look nice on the bookshelf.

            But here we are. The holidays are over, the Christmas decorations stored for another year, most are back to work and school. High school basketball is the social event again in most small towns in Wyoming.

            And speaking of small towns, we sure have enjoyed watching Josh Allen play quarterback for the Buffalo Bills.  I have been hearing an “urban legend” telling folks that Josh sent out a 1,000 emails and the Wyoming coach, Craig Bohl, was only one of two to respond.       Well first of all, there aren’t a 1,000 Division 1 schools, more like 100. Josh probably did send out a mass email to colleges, as most athletes do, but that’s not how he was recruited.

            As a three-sport senior and active in FFA member, Josh grew up on a farm near Firebaugh, Calif., population 8,000.

            He was offered no scholarships to college. Fresno State was an hour away, but wasn’t interested. Josh ended up playing for Reedley Junior college, a school an hour away from Fresno to the east. 

            He played there a year until a coach on Bohl’s staff discovered him. In December of 2014, the University of Wyoming offered Josh Allen a scholarship. UW was the only school to do so. And as they say, the rest is history.  

            Josh Allen led the Cowboys to a Mountain West Conference division title and two bowl games.  He was drafted by the Bills in the first round as the seventh overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, becoming the highest drafted NFL player from Wyoming and the highest drafted quarterback in Bill’s history. 

            He’s only 23 and barring injuries, could play in the NFL for a long time.

            So, speaking of hindsight, John Elway, it would have been nice to have him closer to home.

            During these winter months, when it’s dark early, we have been watching Jeopardy.  If you have been living under a rock, or without the small device mentioned above, the host of the show, Alex Trebek, is fighting a very serious cancer.  He has been the host of Jeopardy for 35 years and the one I’m familiar with.

            Bob and I enjoy the show and are able to shout out answers occasionally.  I fanaticize that I could be on the show- as long as the categories are something of a more garden variety.   

            “I’ll take Farm Animals for a thousand, Alex.”  

            “What is a neutered bull called?” 

            If I remember correctly, this was a question in 2019. With my luck, the categories would all look like “13thCentury French Dysfunctional Artists” or the like.

            I do happen to know a lifelong fan. Frank (Pinky) Ellis and his brother TJ would trail their sheep and cattle up the 33 Mile Trail to the southern Big Horns for the summer months.  They had a small tv in their camper and everyone knew that they wouldn’t be moving the bunch until after the 5 pm. showing of Jeopardy. When the show moved to 6 p.m. they had to stop watching and move up the trail.

            As Susan Anderson, a Casper journalist and author, writes in her 1990 book, Living in Wyoming: Settling for More, “The boys carefully plan their cattle drive up the historic 33 Mile stock trail to summer pasture so they can stop each afternoon at 5 p.m..  That schedule is not dictated by watering holes, tired animals, or even a desire to eat dinner. No, 5 p.m. is when the game show Jeopardy can be picked up on the tv in their traveling trailer home, and they don’t intend to miss it.”

            Pinky Ellis and his wife Jackie are still avid fans and schedule their dinner time around Jeopardy. Right now, we are all very interested in the outcome of the special, Jeopardy, the Greatest of All Time, that is pitting the three highest money winners in the game’s history against each other.  When you are reading this, it will be over and either Ken, James or Brad will have another million to add to their pot.

            With the small device mentioned earlier, you could probably stream the show on your miniature screen.  I never seem to have enough battery power or know-how to accomplish this, but, I have been able to record Jeopardy or football games or whatever on my DVR.  As long as there is a daughter or son or a 12-year-old neighbor kid available to help me through the rough spots.            One thing about this year, we’re all seeing 2020!

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