Sunday, July 25, 2021

Sunday morning round-up, Wild West edition

Cheyenne Frontier Days is underway. I live maybe a half-mile from Frontier Park, home of the rodeo and night concerts. On most nights, I can sit on my front porch and hear the concerts. Not so Friday night when Garth Brooks was on stage. I could hear a rumble way off in the distance but that's it. My wife and I saw Garth when he performed at the 100th anniversary of CFD. He's got that rock star in him, which sends him zooming all over the stage. One highlight of the performance is when Chris LeDoux joined him on stage. Chris was a country-singer who also rode the rodeo circuit. That gave him an edge on the CFD experience. Cancer took him in 2005. CFD celebrates him this year with a program and posters with original artwork of the LeDoux sculpture they unveiled this year. He means a lot to Wyoming. He bought his first guitar in Cheyenne as a kid whose father was stationed at Warren AFB. He later won at CFD and performed here. He bought a ranch near Kaycee in Powder River Country. Kaycee dedicated a pocket park to LeDoux after his untimely death. It's right off I-25. I used to stop there and sit by myself amongst the prairie flowers. Why? Peaceful. A great place to meditate. After awhile you don't even hear the trucks hauling goods from Denver to Sheridan. The birds, yes, and maybe a guitar note or two. 

I volunteered as greeter at the Botanic Gardens front desk yesterday. I volunteer Thursday and Saturday afternoons. Up until yesterday, the summer crowds have been heavy. Tourists are back on the road after the Covid hiatus and they are drawn to our fine gardens which includes the Conservatory, Children's Village, and nine acres of outdoor gardens. CFD claims most of the attention during the last week of July. The afternoon rodeo and the night concerts are packed. The Indian Village, the vendor fair, and Old Trail Town claim the rest. Yesterday I was on the lookout for visitors in western gear and only one family of six fit that description. Must you wear western gear to CFD? Not mandatory but expected. Kind of like Wyoming's face mask directive -- never mandatory but expected (kind-of). I don't go anywhere without my mask. The Botanic Gardens brought back its big plexiglass sneeze barrier for the duration. We volunteers, mostly seniors, urged the staff to take precautions in what could be a super-spreader event. The Conservatory also kept its distance protocol, although nobody pays it much attention. Covid cases are up in the county, most of the ruthless Delta Variant. But we can't let an invisible bug get in the way of the county's biggest revenue generator. I enjoy the excitement. But I was fully vaccinated back in February. I know that most CFD attendees are on the conservative side. They believe the virus is a hoax and part of a vast liberal conspiracy that includes election-rigging, defunding the police, putting an abortion mill and a taco truck on every corner, force-feeding the 1619 Project to innocent schoolkids, and removing statues of heroic traitors and Indian-killers from our public squares.

Early in the Covid shutdown, I kept track of the stats on these pages. I gave it up as I lost hope that it would never end or I was an optimistic fool believing it would run its course either tomorrow or the next day or certainly the day after that. I was wrong on both counts. Get the latest stats from the Wyoming Department of Health.     

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