Today marks 4 years since I began my blog, March 22, 2010. Since that date, I have ruminated 5 days a week on matters concerning literature, writing and life as it’s viewed through the lenses of my fellow writers. I began as a party of one, sending my thoughts across the virtual world, hoping to connect with others. And connect I have. My blogs have reached as far as India, Australia, Brazil, Russia and most other countries of the world. What’s more, the audience has not only grown but a majority have stayed with me over the years. That kind of loyalty is humbling and I want to thank my readers for their support. But for all the blog’s success, I am left with a puzzle.
One place on the planet exists where I have not a single reader. I refer to the great state of Wyoming. My guess is that the ranchers on those windy plains are too busy feeding cattle. A few cities exist in that state, but mostly it’s comprised of people who work the land. I know this because I once volunteered to make calls across Wyoming on behalf of a national campaign. If I was lucky enough to find someone home, the voice at the other end of the line was usually friendly, ready for a chat and more than ready to express his or her views on politics. After sparring with one rancher for a time, he broke into a laugh. “Tell you what,’ he said in his Midwestern drawl. “You’ve got me so convinced about your candidate that when I drive those 20 miles to the polls next week, I’ll haul Betty and Elsie along with me. Those two cows are as smart as any two-legged critters I’ll meet at the ballot box.”
I liked the dry wit I encountered in Wyoming. Maybe the open plains and the scarcity of neighbors have taught these folks to find humor in the way the wind bends the grass. Certainly they know about hard work and how to fend for themselves. I think of them as the last vestiges of the American frontier, a place where John Wayne could comfortably rest his spurs. John Wayne is dead, of course, which makes me wonder about the fate of these ranchers living in the middle of our country, surrounded by technology and urban growth. Before the last Wyoming rancher gives up his acres to Wall Mart, I hope that I am gone. I wouldn’t want to be around to witness the extinction of a heroic way of life.
So on the 4th anniversary of my blog, I raise my glass to you, Wyoming, to your rugged people and their independent spirit. I’ve never set foot in your state, I admit, so it’s only fair you’ve never read a blog of mine. But I know you’re out there and that’s enough for me.
(Courtesy of www.press.uchicago.edu)