Wyoming Stories

Inspired by the 2013 StoryCorps visit to Cheyenne, Wyoming Stories captures history through the memories of those who live here. Over the years, Wyoming Public Media has had the privilege to record stories at various events around the state that capture a full panorama of what it means to live in Wyoming.

 

Since its inception, Wyoming Stories has grown with a statewide oral history collecting campaign in 2014 and 2015 and a StoryCorps visit to Jackson in 2018. The rich history of the state is best preserved by the people who know it firsthand, and this project would not be possible without their support.

Click on each initiative to learn more: StoryCorps in Cheyenne | Wyoming Stories Statewide Initiative | StoryCorps in Jackson

The Wyoming Stories project has also been supported over the years by the following groups and organizations: The Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, ReMax Capitol Properties, Cheyenne Light, Fuel, and Power, Century Link, The Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, Center of Wonder, Teton County Library, The Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

In honor of Veterans Day, stories from the Vietnam and Iraq Wars.

Wyoming Stories: Community Recordings in Cheyenne

Nov 25, 2013

Listeners in Cheyenne! Wyoming Public Media will be at the Laramie County Library on December 9th to capture your Wyoming Story or favorite Holiday Memory.

To reserve a recording time, visit the registration site: Wyoming Public Media: Wyoming Stories - Cheyenne 

Micah Schweizer

Jason Williams is an Iraq War veteran from Lander. In 2004, he was part of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed to Najaf.

Micah Schweizer

Following World War I, veterans were offered land in Wyoming. Laurie Quade's grandfather was one of the veterans who started a Wyoming homestead. Now living in Cody, Laurie remembers the home her grandfather built in Torrington.

Micah Schweizer

Steve Gyorvary first came to South Pass, Wyoming in 1978. Ever since, he’s been working as a geologist and hard rock gold miner. He tells how he got into gold mining and acquired his own mine.

StoryCorps

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. 

Micah Schweizer

Ruth Michels lives in Cody, but she grew up in Laramie. Here, she remembers a childhood encounter with a black bear at Yellowstone National Park.

Micah Schweizer

Meeteetse residents Jim and Joan Dunrud remember Jim's parents' famous neighbor at the Double D Ranch, Amelia Earhart.

Micah Schweizer

Cody resident Martha Kinkade tells her daughter Becky the story of a wild horse only she could ride. Martha’s future husband, Harley, needed someone to ride the horse while he was gone during the summer, so Martha took the reins.

And in this story, Martha recounts moments from her school days.

Larry Struempf

Laramie resident Larry Struempf recalls the challenge of learning to read as a college student. He now teaches at Laramie County Community College in Laramie and is working on his doctorate.

Micah Schweizer

Eric Quade remembers one of his teachers at Torrington High School. Since then, Eric has received a PhD in mathematics, which he now teaches at Laramie County Community College in Laramie.

Stories about domestic abuse, burlesque dancing, Buffalo Bill’s chef, and learning to read.

StoryCorps

We’re going to hear now from a woman who was blind for the first 38 years of her life. At that point, a doctor told her he could make her see. After four surgeries, she finally gained her vision.

The woman’s name is Pat Logan, and we’ll hear a conversation she had with Dave Stratton, the chaplain for the Program for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly, in Cheyenne. The interview was recorded as part of StoryCorps, a project that records conversations between loved ones.

Courtesy Story Corps

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we’re going to hear a story about abuse that stemmed from alcoholism. This interview was recorded as part of Story Corps, a project that records conversations between loved ones. In this case, 89-year-old Myrtle Forney talks with her grandson, Nate Swinton. After her first husband (Nate’s grandfather) passed away, she married another man, named Ken.

Micah Schweizer

In this installment of Wyoming Stories, Stephanie Reutner interviews her neighbor Noel Richardson, both residents of Jelm. Richardson worked for the Forest Service in 1957, spraying trees against beetle kill around Cody and Yellowstone. He remembers a chef that cooked for the camp.

The chef, named Phonograph Jones, was in his 80s then and had also cooked for Buffalo Bill Cody and Prince Albert I on his trip to Wyoming 100 years ago. His great great grandson, Prince Albert II, is in Wyoming this week.

 

Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times

Wyoming Public Media's project, Wyoming Stories, was recently featured in an article by the Los Angeles Times by reporter John M. Glionna. Click here to read the full story.

StoryCorps

This summer, StoryCorps set up a booth in Cheyenne to record Wyomingites interviewing one another and sharing their stories. Today, we’ll hear from a burlesque performer. Her stage name is Stella Fox, and she talks with her fiancée, Jonathan Green, about her burlesque career.

The piece was produced by Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden with interviews recorded at StoryCorps. StoryCorps is a na­tional nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

Wyoming Stories Community Recordings - Cody

Aug 15, 2013

Wyoming Public Media will be recording Cody’s Wyoming Stories on Thur. Aug. 29 and Fri. Aug. 30 at the University of Wyoming Outreach School in Cody - Park County Complex, 1501  Stampede Avenue.

For additional information and to reserve a recording time, please visit the Cody Wyoming Stories registration site .

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StoryCorps

This summer, StoryCorps set up a booth in Cheyenne to record Wyomingites interviewing one another and sharing their stories.

Today, we’ll hear from 95-year old Pinedale native Guy Decker, better known as “Bud”. Decker tells his longtime-friend Jim Latta about what it was like to grow up on the Wyoming Frontier.

Produced by Rebecca Martinez with interviews recorded at StoryCorps, a na­tional nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. (storycorps.org.)

Stephen Watt and Mark Farnham are best friends. But it’s a friendship that came out of violent circumstances. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov spoke to both of them at the Torrington Medium Correctional Institution, where Farnham is an inmate. In the first part, Watt and Farnham talk about how they met. In the second, they discuss how their friendship has changed their lives, they say, for the better, and their desire to work towards more restorative justice programs in the criminal justice system. 

This story first aired June 21, 2013 on Wyoming Public Radio.

Willow Belden

During World War II, thousands of Japanese Americans were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, near Cody. Heart Mountain was one of 10 internment camps across the U.S.

There is now a museum on the site, and each year, the Heart Mountain Foundation hosts a pilgrimage. During this year’s pilgrimage, Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden sat down with several former internees and produced this piece.

Click here to listen to other pieces in our Wyoming Stories series.

Willow Belden

Raymond Uno is a former judge from Salt Lake City. He was one of thousands of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, near Cody, during World War II. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden interviewed Uno and produced this Wyoming Stories piece.

Willow Belden

Takashi Hoshizaki and his family were confined at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center during World War II. While confined there, he received his draft notice, and decided not to report. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden interviewed Hoshizaki and produced this Wyoming Stories piece.

Willow Belden

LaDonna Zall is the acting curator for the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation. Her family moved to Powell when she was 10. That was during World War II, when thousands of Japanese Americans were confined at the nearby Heart Mountain Relocation Center. Zall and her parents didn’t know much about what was going on at the camp, but she vividly remembers internees leaving after the war ended. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden interviewed Zall and produced this Wyoming Stories piece.

Willow Belden

Shigeru Yabu and his family were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center when he was 10. While there, he strove to make pets out of insects, worms, amphibians, and finally a bird. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden interviewed Yabu and produced this Wyoming Stories piece.

Willow Belden

Sam Mihara is a rocket scientist who worked for Boeing and later started his own high-tech consulting firm. He was incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center during World War II, and he now travels around the country speaking about that experience. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden interviewed Mihara and produced this Wyoming Stories piece.

StoryCorps coming to Cheyenne July 12. Reservations are now open

Jun 19, 2013

StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs, will record interviews in Cheyenne from Fri. July 12 to Sat. Aug. 3 as part of its cross-country MobileBooth tour.

StoryCorps’ MobileBooth—an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio—will be parked at the Laramie County Library.

Wyoming Stories Sample Questions

Dec 19, 2012

Background on the storyteller:

Virginia Dale Stage Station Oral History

Dec 13, 2012

Bill and Carol Loyer are interviewed by their daughter Anne Brande. Anne asks her parents about growing up in the west, their history, and the many people they knew during their life at Virginia Dale Stage Station.

View photos of the Virginia Dale Stage Station

State Fair Interviews

Oct 9, 2012

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