By Bill Sniffin
This is the time of year when I always try to locate Wyoming-themed items or products made here in the state, which I can give to friends and relatives.
I reached out to my network of friends and here are some ideas they sent:
Beth Miller from the State Historical Museum in Cheyenne sells a huge amount of Wyoming-oriented products each Christmas and all during the year. Here is her report:
“My top sellers so far this year: 2018 Wyoming Historical Society calendars-365 days of Wyoming history. New holiday ornaments featuring dinosaurs, hand knitted bison and moose and custom Wyoming State Capitol ornaments are selling well. License plate birdhouses and barn stars made at the Wyoming Honor Farm that I purchase from the Department of Corrections also do well – I sold at least three of the small birdhouses every single day this summer. My newest books are J.C. Penney, the Man, the Store, and American Agriculture.
“Cheyenne; A Sesquicentennial History by Rick Ewig and the Snow Chi Minh Trail book – can’t keep that one in stock.
Other good sellers include Chugwater Chili and dip mixes, Wyoming jams, jellies and syrups by Elizabeth Townsend at Berried Delights in Newcastle and honey candy from Queen Bee Gardens in Lovell.”
Retiring UW Professor Phil Roberts offered the following with a focus on his hometown of Lusk:
“There is a book of local interest for residents of Niobrara County titled: And No One Died: Stories of the Niobrara County Wyoming Flood of June 2015, by Phyllis Willson Hahn. It contains a series of “oral history” accounts of numerous people who experienced the unusual incident.
“Those not having a specific interest in the Lusk area might find the method of some value as a template for writing about other catastrophic events striking small towns (although we hope it never will happen, of course). Assembling such materials as a ‘history’ a generation or so from now would not have been possible so it is a remarkable way that a newspaper columnist turned her skills toward an in-depth series of interviews to record the event. (Some of the “chapters” began as columns in her weekly submissions to the Lusk Herald).”
Former long-time rancher and lawyer from Wheatland, Ray Hunkins, who now lives in Cheyenne, offered: “I recently watched Pete Simpson narrate Over Wyoming last Sunday and was very impressed with the production by Wyoming PBS. I’m thinking of purchasing for some for my out-of-state friends. Also just finishing C.J. Box’s Back of Beyond, a thriller which I have enjoyed.”
Also had the following submission: “Wyoming award-winning author Steven W. Horn’s latest novel, When They Were Young: A Sam Dawson Mystery, was released October 26, 2017. In the latest novel, photographer Sam Dawson stumbles across a child’s body while fishing in Wyoming’s Laramie range and must unravel the truth as those closest to him get drawn into a dangerous web of revenge. When They Were Young is the third book in the critically acclaimed Sam Dawson Mystery Series.”
Tom Cox of Lander is anxiously awaiting the DVD of the new movie Wind River and thinks a DVD collection of the Longmire TV show would be a big hit for Christmas.”
Worland’s John Davis loves some of the fine restaurants in Jackson and thinks gift certificates to the Snake River Grille or Jenny Lake Lodge would be appreciated. He also modestly suggested people consider a couple of his recent books, which were about the Johnson County War and the famous killer Tom Horn.
Sam Lightener Jr. has a new book called Heavy Green about the Vietnam War that is getting good reviews. Romance novels by Mary Billiter are fun reads, too. And we cannot leave out the great Craig Johnson with his Longmire series.
Cheyenne’s Larry Wolfe suggested a coffee table book by a certain Wyoming columnist. Thanks, Larry.
Museums around the state have amazing offerings of items for sale this time of year, all of which pertain to Wyoming.
Please support programs for the needy this time of year. You will not regret it. Local food banks and those relentless bell-ringers for the Salvation Army all deserve your support.
Mainly, I think people need to support their downtowns. Local merchants were hit hard over the past two years and this is the season when they can get their economic situations back to normal. Plus when you go shopping downtown you will see a lot of old friends and make a bunch of new ones. Happy shopping!