A quote attributed to Art Williams reads, “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” The Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame (WCHF) board of directors labored around a long table in Casper, Wyoming last weekend, experiencing the fruit of that quote as they selected their Class of 2018. They clearly recalled sitting at a similar table in the same building five years earlier with Pinky Walters and Scotty Ratliff, weighing such sentiments before organizing WCHF. As they proudly announce these 2018 honorees they are convinced – it has definitely been worth it!
The 501(c)(3) WCHF was formed for exclusively historical, cultural, literary and educational purposes. Their chief goal is “To preserve, promote, perpetuate, publish and document Wyoming’s rich working cowboy and ranching history through researching, profiling and honoring individuals who broke the first trails and introduced that culture to this state. WCHF plans to collect, display and preserve the stories, photos and artifacts of such individuals, and anything else that will honor and highlight their contributions to our history.”
Pursuing that goal, WCHF’s major ongoing project is to memorialize each honoree through a video interview. As that project comes to fruition, visitors to www.wyomingcowboyhalloffame.com can enjoy, in their own words, many of the life experiences – good, bad and ugly – through which the 186 men and women already honored there have carved their individual niches across the Cowboy State. Along with photos and biographies of every class inducted since 2014, there are currently 40 video interviews of those still living, and this year WCHF will pursue videos of some of the deceased honorees as recalled and related by their descendants. Preserving these unique, personalized histories costs $500 each and WCHF has committed to record another 50 this year.
In the Wyoming cowboy tradition of helping your neighbors, WCHF invites and encourages you to contribute toward the preservation of this priceless living history. You can visit the Support Page on the WCHF Website, or mail contributions designated for the video project to Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame, 16550 Highway 220, Casper, Wyoming 82604. Contributions can of course be designated in memory of or to the name of someone you’d like to honor.
WCHF is delighted to announce today the newly-selected Class of 2018, listed alphabetically by geographic regions. These men and women will be inducted during ceremonies at the Casper Events Center on Sunday, September 23, 2018.
Region 1, Campbell County: John ‘Mexican John’ Marroquin and Clark Leroy ‘Clarkie’ Reynolds; Crook County: Gene Griffis and Harold ‘Smitty’ Smith; Weston County: John ‘Charley’ Borgialli and Oley Darlington.
Region 2, Niobrara County: Kenny ‘KB’ Ballard, Stewart ‘Sturdy’ Sides, Jr, and Jesse York; Platte County: Richard Duane ‘Dick’ Jarrard; Goshen County: Afton D. ‘Babe’ Green, Jr. and William C. ‘Chuck’ Wilkinson.
Region 3, Albany County: Lawrence Atkinson, Francis ‘Bud’ Orton, Donald ‘Donny’ Robbins and Wales Wenburg.
Region 4, Converse County: John ‘Jack’ Fitzhugh and Mike Henry. Natrona County: ‘B.B.’ Brooks/McCleary Family, inducted as one – including ‘B.B.’ Brooks, Mary Naomi (Willard) Brooks, Lena Natrona (Brooks) McCleary, Marion Wilson ‘Mike’ McCleary, and Bryant Bascum ‘Cactus’ McCleary. Also Harry Harriman (H.H.) ‘Jim’ Price and Frank Shepperson.
Region 5, Johnson County: Bernard ‘Bear Tracks’ Betz. Sheridan County: Charlie ‘Chaz’ Cook and Carl Johnson.
Region 6, Park County: Curtis ‘Ray’ Hammond, Frank Lee Martinez, and Morris McCarty. Washakie County: Louis ‘Louie’ Rankine.
Region 7, Carbon County: Leland Ward ‘Buck’ Alameda, Eldon ‘Pete’ McKee and Raymond ‘Ray’ Waliser. Sweetwater County: Mary A. ‘Mickey’ Thoman.
Region 8, Hot Springs County: Stanley ‘Henry’ Pennoyer, Charles ‘Charlie’ Shaffer, and John Norman Wallingford. Fremont County: John E. ‘Jack’ Brodie, Lonnie ‘Nav’ Mantle and Albert Jerome ‘Stub’ Farlow.
Region 9, Lincoln County: Charles Powers ‘Charley’ Noble and Ronald ‘Ron’ Stoltenberg. Uinta County: Harold Harvey and Joe Hickey.
Region 10, Sublette County: Joseph ‘Joe’ Black Chrisman, Sidney Ross ‘Sid’ Skiver and Elbert & Hazel Walker. Teton County: Earl Hardeman and Donald K. ‘Bill’ Scott
Mark your calendars now so you won’t miss their WCHF Induction Ceremony, along with Wyoming’s best and biggest September cowboy celebration at the Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center and the Casper Events Center the weekend of September 22 and 23, 2018.