30 November 2009

University of Wyoming

26 Jun 2009. Laramie was a surprise. The only Division 1 institution in the Equality State boasts a fine collection of stone, wood, and iron architecture, all in the school's brown and gold colors. License plates, commemorative quarters, football-punted pint glasses - the bronc buster icon is everywhere in Wyoming! What would Wyoming be without cowboys?

A helluva lot less interesting, I can tell you that right now.

I don't doubt that, but...who are you?

They call me Char.

Any what do you know about Wyoming?

Ha! What do I know about Wyoming?

No need to repeat the question.

And no need for me to stick around and help you with your little website. I know that someone with your manners would be run out in a heartbeat, that's what I know.

Hold on. I apologize, we got off on the wrong start. Please tell me about yourself.

All right then. I go by Char. I live in Chugwater.

Are you a cowboy?

Ha! Everyone in Wyoming's a cowboy. But I know yer meaning, in which case I'd have to say no.

Even with the hat?

It takes more than a felt hat to be a cowboy. No, I run the Powder River Bar. We're on Main Street across from Cody's Auto Care. Or rather, Cody's Auto Care is across the street from us.

So you're a bartender?

At nights I am. During the day I tend to my handiwork. Metals, mostly iron, inspired by Mr. Frederic Remington.

Rodeo scenes?

More like the old American West. Kind of romanticized. Larger than life.

I saw several sculptures like that on the campus in Laramie.

Then I'd bet you saw my best work. The life size rider on Ivinson Avenue.

I did! That's yours?

Proud to say that it is. People tell me how lifelike it is, but they don't know the half of it. This one fought back. It sculpted me! I was working on the mane - hair, rope, anything thin is always tough to work with on account of the heat required to mold it. Makes it so brittle. So of course, this piece of the mane bends down and falls off, bounces off the hoof, buries itself in my shirt. It burns through my shirt, giving me a souvenir of the whole experience.

Wow. The scar kind of looks like a stretched E or M.

From my point of view, I like to say it's a W. Makes more sense. Listen, I'd like to go on, but I have to open the bar. They don't wait to drink, so I'd rather them not have to bust down the doors.

Any last words for our readers?

Of course - Powder River, Let 'er Buck!

Char's work

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