We honor the life of Campbell County Fair Coordinator, Ms. Bobbi Jo Heald (center).

No matter how hard the wind blows in Wyoming, it will not tear Gillette away from its roots.

In many ways, unlike Denver in neighboring Colorado, which is a lovely place to visit, the 82717 exudes more traditional lifestyle values like picking one’s self up by their own bootstraps, helping our neighbors and choosing to do what’s right over what’s popular while producing 40 percent of the nation’s energy and keeping alive our rich agricultural and ranching roots.

  With this issue, our second-annual Western, we celebrate the 82717, its people and way of life. We meet high-achieving 4-H and FFA members, who we’ve dubbed Campbell County Fair Clover Kids, and who will be shooting for blue ribbons at fair this summer. We tour Koehler’s Wild Game & Custom Processing and go behind the scenes of their American dream come to fruition with a view from inside their family-owned and operated carving and slicing operation off Highway 50. It’s also fitting that we speak with critically-acclaimed author, Ron Franscell, whose deep ties to the Cowboy State have sparked the rising of several award-winning, true crime books like his latest, Alice & Gerald: A Homicidal Love Story.

We also take a bite out of the Railyard’s South Meets West culinary fusion scene as our own features journalist, Jen Kocher, talks with General Manager Trey McConnell and Chef Jeremiah Zimmerman at the budding downtown eatery. Get a sneak peek at “Clippity Clop,” the immense 11-foot metal horse sculpture coming to Gillette’s Avenue of the Arts that’s not yet been revealed by the Mayor’s Art Council … until now.

Inside, there’s also our team’s top picks for Western summer shopping. All local. All supporting 82717 artisans and businesses. We also invite you, our readers, friends and neighbors, to join us in bowing our heads for a moment of pause to remember the life of a beloved community advocate, Ms. Bobbi Jo Heald. She lived a life filled with grit and grace. In so many ways, her love of community, education, showmanship and agriculture represent what the 82717’s all about.


By: Stephanie L. Scarcliff

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