May 19, 2015
We got home late Monday night, so I’m posting Tuesday morning. We attended the monthly meeting of the Pahaska Corral of Westerners at the Sunset House Restaurant in Cody last night. The featured speaker was Brian Liesinger, executive director of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, the group that runs the Interpretive Center. We had met Brian last week at the center and then in Shell where we photographed the barracks that the center plans to move to Powell.
According to the Billing Gazette, “The Pahaska Corral of Westerners is the local chapter of Westerner International, an organization dedicated to stimulating interest and research in the history of the American West.” We weren’t sure what the meeting would be like, but it turned out to be a nice dinner (no host) at the Sunset House. I bought Sharon and me a raffle ticket for $1.00 each to win a book on Wyoming mining, but we didn’t win. You are obliged to wear western duds, if you don’t you are fined one quarter. My denim Uniqlo shirt and Eastern Mountain Sports trousers didn’t qualify, so I placed a quarter in the jar, which you also contributed to if you cussed.
Before the dinner, Sheriff Jeremy Johnston (not an actual sheriff but the president of the corral) led us in a salute of a buffalo skull, which I think was referred to as Buffalo Bill. New attendees introduced ourselves, so Sharon was able to put a plug in for our project.
Brian gave a very nice talk on ‘misery” but weaved interesting connections with romanticized views of the west and hardships undergone by camp incarcerees, homesteaders and others. The audience of about 35 were receptive and asked many questions about the camp and its relation to the Cody-Powell region.
Earlier in the day we met “Tiny” Collar at her original homestead where the 88 year-old still lives in the former barrack transformed into a house. She described two of the storage buildings on the property as being reconstructed by her late husband out of reclaimed lumber from other barracks.
A couple of shots from Monday.