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.

StoryCorps: Hitchhiking - A Love Story

Jun 14, 2019
StoryCorps

When StoryCorps came to Jackson last summer, Jay Edwards sat down with his daughter, Melodie, and told her about the time in the early 60s, when he and Melodie’s mother hitchhiked from California to Mexico…before hitchhiking up to Iowa to meet her mother’s family.

StoryCorps: 'But We Did End The War By Voting'

Jun 3, 2019
StoryCorps

When StoryCorps came to Jackson last summer, former Marine Corps Captain Bob Morris sat down his friend Jonathan Schechter to talk about his opposition to the Vietnam War and how he tried to end it.

StoryCorps: Learning From Fear

May 24, 2019
StoryCorps

  

Todd Skinner was a world renowned rock climber. His climbing achievements included the first free ascents of many routes around the world. 13 years ago Skinner died in a climbing accident on El Capitan. When StoryCorps came to Jackson last summer Mattie Sheafor sat down with Todd’s widow Amy Skinner to discuss his death and why they keep rock climbing.

StoryCorps

As a chef for a Jackson Hole outfitter, Christine Semrow struggled to find an affordable place to live in Jackson.

When StoryCorps came to Jackson in 2018, Semrow sat down with StoryCorps facilitator Madison Mullen to talk about what it’s like to be part of the 99-percent in Jackson.

StoryCorps

When StoryCorps came to Jackson last summer, friends Stephanie Thomas and Carrie Krose sat down to discuss how the affordable housing shortage in Jackson is affecting children. 

StoryCorps

When StoryCorps came to Jackson last summer, Sarah Ross sat down with her mother, Alexandra Fuller, to discuss an article she wrote in the Jackson paper about her teenage experience with sexual assault.

StoryCorps

When StoryCorps came to Jackson last summer, friends Arne Jorgensen and Anne Cresswell discussed the lack of concern for affordable housing in their community.

StoryCorps

When StoryCorps came to Jackson last summer, Teton Science School Executive Director Chris Agnew asked former board member Jean Jorgensen to recall the school's early days…and how it all started with the founders Joan and Ted Major. 

StoryCorps

Maria came to the U.S. illegally with her mother when she was a little girl…so they could meet up with her father, who was working in the country legally. When StoryCorps came to Jackson last summer, Maria told her son Jorden about how she ended up in Idaho.

StoryCorps

Christine Semrow survived addiction by moving to Jackson and immersing herself in the wilderness.

When StoryCorps came to Jackson last year, Semrow sat down with StoryCorps facilitator Madison Mullen to talk about the first time she felt at peace in nature.

StoryCorps: Charismatic Megafauna

Jan 17, 2019
StoryCorps

When StoryCorps came to Jackson last summer, Scott O'Hare sat down with his wife, Kacy, to talk about memorable encounters they've had with moose. Both of them grew up in cities, so neither of them were accustomed to a lot of wildlife before moving to Jackson.

StoryCorps: 'How's The Weather Up There, Cowboy?'

Jan 16, 2019
StoryCorps

The Meeteetse Chocolatier has been featured by the New York Times, the Toronto Star, and ABC News. But when Tim Kellogg was younger he was a saddle bronc rider. Even though it isn’t the most popular rodeo event, many cowboys say it’s the toughest to master.

When StoryCorps came to Jackson last June, Kellogg sat down with his friend Annessa Melnick to talk about his younger days as a saddle bronc rider before becoming the Meeteetse Chocolatier.

StoryCorps: 'The Prettiest And Smartest Girl In Law School'

Jan 15, 2019
StoryCorps

When StoryCorps came to Jackson last summer, Nancy Guthrie sat down with her friend, Alice Widdess, to talk about how she become lawyer despite her father’s disapproval.  

StoryCorps

Jackson is the most economically unequal city in the U.S. That's according to the Economic Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank. A study found in 2016 that the income gap between the bottom 99 percent and the top one percent is widest in Jackson.

That makes affordable housing challenging. When StoryCorps came to Jackson in June, friends Marcela Badillo and Cristina Briones sat down to talk about what that means for immigrant families. 

StoryCorps: Conservation In The Jackson Valley

Jan 11, 2019
StoryCorps

The Murrie family played an important role in preserving wild places in the Jackson Valley…and around the U.S. When StoryCorps came to Jackson this summer, friends Nancy Leon and Jean Jorgensen remembered Mardy Murie and the contributions her family made to conservation.

StoryCorps: The Day The Towers Fell

Jan 8, 2019
StoryCorps

On September 11, 2001, Sara Lashbrook was teaching kindergarten in downtown Manhattan…just three tree blocks away from the World Trade Center. At StoryCorps in Jackson, her friend Jessica Sell Chambers asked Sara what that morning was like.

StoryCorps: A Panorama Of Jackson

Jun 27, 2018
Anna Rader

On June 21, 2018, members of the Jackson community joined Wyoming Public Media and StoryCorps staff at the Teton County Library to listen through some of the stories gathered during the Mobile Booth's stay at the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum from May 24 to June 22, 2018. 

StoryCorps: Rory And Primm Loudenslager

Jun 27, 2018
StoryCorps

Lorelei "Rory" Loudenslager (7) talks to her mom Primm Loudenslager (32) about their old apartment, their new Habitat for Humanity House, the building process, and favorite things she likes to do, play, and learn. 

StoryCorps: Steven Deutsch And Steffan Freeman

Jun 27, 2018
StoryCorps

Friends, Steven Deutsch (55) and Steffan Freeman (40), talk about surviving strokes at young ages, the impact of their strokes on their brains and bodies, how their lives have changed as a result, and what they imagine for their futures. This piece was edited by StoryCorps facilitator Madison Mullen and played at the StoryCorps Listening Event on June 21, 2018.

StoryCorps

Roommates and coworkers, Jeremy Noel (40) and Joseph (Joey) Langlinais (32), reflect on how moving to Jackson, WY helped them to recover from addiction. Jeremy and Joey talk about addiction, the healing power of the nature in Jackson, the power of the solar eclipse, rebirth, what brought them to Jackson, and where they plan to go from here. This feature was played at the StoryCorps Listening Event on June 21st, 2018.

StoryCorps

Lynn Carlson and Laura Griffith-Carlson talk about Laura’s problem with alcohol. Laura is now ten years sober, and Lynn recounts the difficulties she had with caring for her sister while they lived in Laramie. This story was recorded by StoryCorps in Cheyenne.

Wayne Thomas

With Valentine’s Day approaching, meet Ed and Carmela Conning from Cody. They got together in Long Island, New York back in the mid 70’s. Here’s the story of how they first met and their first date.

Micah Schweizer

Peg, Betty, and Dixie Johnson are sisters-in-law who married into an Elk Mountain ranching family. All three women played an important role in the local school. Peg and Dixie recall driving the school bus, Betty remembers moving to Elk Mountain as an untested school teacher.

Stories about people so drawn to Wyoming, they packed up and moved to the Cowboy state.

Rebecca Huntington

In the summer of 1988, 36 percent of Yellowstone National Park was on fire. To this day, it remains the largest wildfire since Yellowstone became a national park. Yellowstone's spokesperson at that time, Joan Anzelmo remembers what it was like to be at the center of the firestorm.

Stories about people who grew up skiing.

Anna Rader

As a young man, Richard Garber and his brother served as the grave diggers for the cemetery in Big Horn.  They oversaw the interment of their friends and neighbors when graves were dug by hand, up through the advent of the backhoe. Garber and his friend Elaine Henry recall the importance of this cemetery to their families and the community of Bighorn.

Richard grew up on a ranch in Bighorn, Wyoming.  Because of the large amount of land they ranched, his family owned an airplane.  When Garber learned to fly as a teenager, mischief and misadventure ensued.

Rebecca Huntington

Die-hard skier Ed Bushnell invented his own helmet-mounted video camera long before the device became de rigueur for skiers. He recalls filming clients with his contraption while working for a photo concession at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. He describes how clients developed “Kodak courage” when they hired him. Bushnell later became a Wyoming private eye and shares a funny incident about how being a PI isn’t quite how it’s portrayed on TV. Bushnell also shares a story about performing an impromptu musical concert in India while traveling with the Rotary Club of Jackson Hole.

Rebecca Huntington

Roy Chambers was born to Ida and Andy Chambers in 1924 in a log cabin still standing on Mormon Row in the shadow of the Tetons in what’s now Grand Teton National Park. Roy worked hard on the family’s homestead cattle ranch. He met his wife, Becky, a nurse at St. John’s Hospital, and they married in 1956. Two years later, they bought the Flying V Ranch (today known as the Gros Ventre River Ranch) and went into the dude ranching business. Roy talks about the joys of running a guest ranch with Rob Cheek, who first came to Jackson Hole as teen-age “dude,” or tourist. 

Ryan Janek Wolowski via Flickr

Now residents of Buffalo Valley on the border of Grand Teton National Park, BJ and Marius Hanford danced on Broadway in New York City for many years before moving West. Marius recalls what it was like to go from being a military man to learning ballet. The couple shares stories of their love of dance and of one another.

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