October 3, 2002
“Life is a gift: thank someone every day.” I dreamed that last night (Wednesday).
On the way back from my mom’s last Monday, I stopped in Shishoni at the local drug store which is famous for its malts and shakes (or so said the desk clerk at the Cody Holiday Inn). I went in and sat at the counter. There was a hub bub going on. A local guy with his name on his shirt came in and sat on the stool next to me. Three of the “girls” behind the counter were talking loudly about being “bitched out” by the owner. One of them brought over a yellow legal pad paper and handed it to the guy sitting next to me. Of course, I had to look, but I couldn’t really make much out of it. There were little hearts and a demand to “clean off racks.” But I knew one thing: it was written by a crazy person. The girls were on a roll. “Why don’t she bitch out that nephew she hired that pilfered $60 out of the till?” the cook sneered. “She expects me to do the books. I ain’t doing no books if she ain’t payin’ me!” That was offered by the young woman making my blackberry milk shake. I wondered what it would take to get my staff to be so revealing and entertaining in front of customers. It may takes some doing but I intend to get them to open up a little. It was a sight to see and hear. It was actually excruciating. A real cringer.
Pee Wee was my waitress. She was diminuitive and sweet, and seemed like the mother figure. She didn’t really participate in the owner bashing like the others who were younger, more harried and stupid beyond belief.
The blackberry milkshake was good ($3 cash, plus $1 tip to Pee Wee). As I went out the door I noticed the place was for sale. The Texaco with the Fast Forward market-takeout seemed much more appealing as I drove by this time. I took one more look at Patti’s Walleye Cafe (it looked closed but I assume there were dozens of people inside) as I shot up 789 towards the Wind River Canyon.
Stopped at Meeteetse and visited the museum. Cute little Old West town. The Meeteetse Mercantile across the street form the museum was shut down. It looked like a substantial business with a soda fountain and a recent remodel but evidently they couldn’t make it. I imagined some easterners coming to town with big plans, sinking $250,000 into the remodel but all their grand scheming fell thru. They are now divorced. The kids are suffering. Of course I’m making all this up, but I imagine I’m not too far off.
The museum had a ton of photos of the Pitchfork ranch. So many of them are classics that you’ve seen a hundred times. The herd in the snow which was used in Time-Life’s The Cowboys and ran as a doubletruck came from here (and it dates from the 1920s, not the 1880s as the series played it). Also, the Pitchfork is the location for all of the Marlboro ad campaign photos. I always assumed it was somewhere in Colorado (I don’t know why) but once you see the area and the photos, it all comes into focus. Beautiful country all around, just not very good at providing a living to anyone. Ha.
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