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Usually I don’t pay much attention to the e-mails I receive, but this one caught my fancy so I’m passing it along to those of you who read this column. Enjoy. – Dick Perue
    An old cowboy was riding his trusty horse followed by his faithful dog along an unfamiliar road. The man was enjoying the new scenery, when he suddenly remembered dying, and realized that the dog beside him had been dead for years, as had his horse. Confused, he wondered what was happening, and where the trail was leading them.
    After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall that looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch topped by a golden letter “H” that glowed in the sunlight.
    Standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like gold.
    The cowboy rode toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. Parched and tired out by his journey, he called out, “Excuse me, where are we?”
    “This is Heaven, sir,” the man answered.
    “Wow! Would you happen to have some water?” the old cowboy asked.
    “Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.”
    As the gate began to open, the cowboy asked, “Can I bring my partners, too?”
    “I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.”
    The cowboy thought for a moment, then turned back to the road and continued riding, his dog trotting by his side.
    After another long ride, at the top of another hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a ranch gate that looked as if it had never been closed. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.
    “Excuse me,” he called to the man. “Do you have any water?”
    “Sure, there’s a pump right over there. Help yourself.”
    “How about my friends here?” the traveler gestured to the dog and his horse.
    “Of course! They look thirsty, too,” said the man.
    The trio went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with buckets beside it. The cowboy filled a cup and the buckets with wonderfully cool water and took a long drink, as did his horse and dog.
    When they were full, he walked back to the man who was still standing by the tree. “What do you call this place?” the traveler asked.
    “This is Heaven,” he answered.
    “That’s confusing,” the old cowboy said. “The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.”
    “Oh, you mean the place with the glitzy, gold street and fake pearly gates? That’s hell.”
    “Doesn’t it make you angry when they use your name like that?”
    “Not at all. Actually, we’re happy they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.”
‘This Time Around’
By Roy Welton

After the snow,
And the wind don’t blow,
When the skies turn blue
from gray;
Then comes dust
Rocks and rust –
God just made it that way!
You wait for spring
The usual thing –
And vow you’ll never complain....
So, how can you lose
Your love you can choose;
And everything else to gain!
So, this time around
You can toil the ground,
And feel like you’ve gained some slack –
So, pay the preacher, the butcher and teacher,
And bring your memories back!

    Saratoga/Encampment area historian Dick Perue has a new book out about the history of the Sanger/Jenkins/A-Cross ranch south of Saratoga. The 130-year-old spread was in the same family for five generations before being sold in 2007. Perue has compiled 230 photographs, plus a narrative, into a 178-page coffee table publication.
    For years Perue has used the slogan, “Preserving local history one picture at a time.” However, it wasn’t until he had finished this book that he realized how true it was. The new owners of the A-Cross have removed every, cabin, corral, barn and house from the property. The only record left of the several dozen or more historic buildings on the homestead are the photographs – provided by the families who settled the ranch – which appear in the book.
    Persons wishing to purchase the book may do so from Historical Reproductions by Perue, Box 447, Saratoga, WY 82331, or by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Cost is $75 per book plus $10 for tax and shipping.
    Perue is a former newspaper editor, publisher and printer who was recently inducted into the Wyoming Newspaper Hall of Fame. He has spent over 60 years collecting historic photographs and manuscripts of the Upper North Platte River Valley, extending from Walcott Junction on the North to the Wyoming/Colorado state line on the South. He has compiled and published several books and pamphlets of local history, and has also presented numerous video programs. He also writes Postcard from the Past for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup.
Pioneer dogs – A girl and her dog enjoy a slide down a cabin-high snowdrift in a mountain town atop the Continental Divide in south central Carbon County. Historical photos show that dogs were plentiful in most pioneer towns in Wyoming. – Jack Ledbetter photo, courtesy of Grand Encampment Museum, circa 1900. Historical Reproductions by Dick Perue, Saratoga

    Years ago, when Wyoming’s small towns began licensing dogs, the cost of tags were one dollar per male and three dollars for a female.
    An editorial in a local weekly newspaper noted that town hall records showed only one productive female dog in the town.
    The editor wondered, “Just where in the heck are all the dogs coming from around here? This is probably what anyone looking at the Town Clerk’s records would ask when they saw that, of the 65 canine tags sold, only one was for a productive female. And that was a Mexican Chihuahua!
    “The other 64 licenses sold during the past two months were either for male or spayed female dogs. Yet, the town has a growing dog problem. You figure it out.”

Articles in a January 1919 issue of a Wyoming weekly newspaper report that World War I is just over and that flu is rampant.
    The lead story notes, “Dr. Irwin has been called to the French Creek tie camp three times during the past ten days to attend flu patients, something over half the population of the camp, which totals about 60 persons, having contracted the disease.
    “The camp has no nurses and lack of care for the patients is presenting a serious obstacle in combating the disease.
    “The first death in the camp from this cause occurred Tuesday evening, when a young Swede, whose name we did not learn, succumbed to the disease. Several others are reported to be in a very serious condition, but no new cases have developed since the first wholesale outbreak of the malady there last week.”
In our neck of the woods this year’s weather is exceptionally warm and nice compared to last year’s record snowfall or the weather of more than 100 years ago.
    An article in the Jan. 30, 1903 issue of the Grand Encampment Herald notes, “Along the Continental Divide in southern Wyoming the depth of the snow fall has been increased to about eight feet on the average. The snow, being light, rapidly settles into a solid mass, almost solid ice, and it is generally estimated that ten feet of new snow will settle into one foot of solid.
    “By wrapping the big mountain range (Sierra Madres) in such an icy mantle, which often gets to be several feet thick before the winter is over, nature has provided a storehouse for irrigation which defies all the devices of man. Rivulets, ten thousand strong, flow out from under these icy banks to bless the crops in the valleys below, which planted in an arid country, would neither sprout or grow were it not for Nature’s generous assistance from the snowcapped peaks above.”
    The story continues, “When the sun shines bright upon the snow in the spring, many victims are tortured with a dose of ‘snow blind,’ which is certainly one of the features of dwelling in snow land that is not coveted.
    “Snow blind is treacherous and lasting and victims seldom fully recover. It is well to take every possible precaution against this calamity, and the man who is jeered because he puts on the black veil for the day’s trip is not so much a fool as the man who trusts his precious eyesight to the elements.”
    Story reprinted courtesy of Grandma’s Cabin, Encampment – “preserving history – serving the community.”