Walt Niekamp and his wife, Dorothy, lived in Casper years ago where they taught in the Natrona County schools. He has never forgotten Wyoming’s hospitality and landscape. Walt describes how his love for Wyoming, as well as his own career in media, inspired him to support Wyoming Public Media.
Murray "Murf" Self grew up in Centennial where his father Pat ran the Old Corral Hotel & Steakhouse. When Pat was eighteen years old, he started receiving a money from the VA on account of his own father’s death in World War I. This windfall marked the beginning of Pat Self’s tumultuous life with fancy cars.
Have you ever wondered why so many small towns have turned their old train depots into museums? In a story about his mother’s quest to open an interpretive center in Centennial, Self explains how.
This summer, StoryCorps set up a booth in Cheyenne to record Wyomingites interviewing one another and sharing their stories.
Today, we hear from two members of one of Wyoming’s most famous families. Milward Simpson, the grandson of former Governor and U.S. Senator Milward Simpson, interviews his father Pete Simpson, a noted historian, educator, Republican nominee for Governor, and former legislator. They begin their conversation talking about Pete’s parents.
Phil Round is a guitarist and singer from Jackson Hole. He’s a member of the fabled Stagecoach Band, which holds down a weekly Sunday night gig and dance at the Stagecoach Bar in Wilson. Phil shares some early memories from the bar with his son, Wilden.
Micah Schweizer, an award winning radio producer from Indiana, joined the staff as the WPM Cultural Affairs and Production Director.
Schweizer’s task is a broad one—he reports on anything and everything cultural, and includes orchestras, ensembles, bands, museums, artists, writers, among others. Online programs, such as Single Shot Live, are part of his beat. As an introduction to Wyoming, he was assigned the task of driving through the state and recording people for the Wyoming Stories series.
Left to right, Christina Kuzmych, General Manager of Wyoming Public Media, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, Susan Frye, Dean of Outreach School, University of Wyoming, in front of the StoryCorps booth in Cheyenne.
In May of 2013, members of The Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund board announced that Wyoming Public Media’s new oral histories project had been awarded a $25,000 grant to build its Wyoming Stories program. The program was kicked off in July, when the nationally acclaimed StoryCorps rolled its MobileBooth into the parking lot of the Laramie County Public Library in Cheyenne.
Bill Briggs, a Dartmouth graduate from Maine, moved to Jackson Hole and became North America’s “father of extreme skiing.” In Jackson he worked as a climbing and ski guide for many years, driven by his own passion and encouraged by the supportive outdoor community to surmount the insurmountable. In 1971, Briggs was the first person ever to descend the Grand Teton on skis, a feat most considered to be impossible. His friend Spark M asks him to describe the experience.
Bert Raynes, a distinguished naturalist in Jackson Hole, tells the story of how he became interested in wildlife. Bert has published many books about nature, and he continues to write a column titled “Far Afield” in the Jackson Hole News and Guide newspaper. Fellow Jackson resident Rebecca Huntington interviews him.
Teffany Fegler coordinates the University of Wyoming’s Student Educational Opportunity Center in Ethete, WY. The daughter of two educators, she continues her family's legacy by helping students achieve the dream of going to college.
Donna Robeson’s great grandmother came to South Pass in 1868. She was a converted Mormon from Scotland and married English immigrant Richard Sherlock. They heard there was going to be a big gold strike, so they came to seek their fortunes in mining. This dream didn’t quite pan out. Instead, the family started hotel and ranching businesses to earn a living. Donna tells historian Susan Layman what she remembers from her childhood, at the ranch and with her aunt and uncle in the hotel.
Sergio Maldonado is a Mexican-Arapaho who grew up on the Wind River Indian Reservation outside of Lander, Wyoming. He now teaches at Central Wyoming College in Riverton. In these two stories, Sergio talks about his experience with the Arapaho and Shoshone tribes. His personal history informs his understanding of Native identity.
Tom Duncan grew up in Lander. He comes from a family of Scottish immigrants that settled in Wyoming in the 1880s. In 1900, Duncan’s grandfather trailed 5000 sheep to Fremont County, where he began a ranch along the western border of the Wind River Indian Reservation. Duncan tells the family story of their Native American neighbor, Togwotee, for whom Togwotee Pass is named.
For Veteran’s Day we have a StoryCorps segment of veteran Ted Gostas telling his wife Jody Gostas about being taken as a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War and his years in solitary confinement. Gostas remained a P-O-W for 5 years, 5 months, and 15 days. Of those captured in Northern Vietnam, he was one of only four POWs to stay in solitary confinement for more than four years.