I wasn’t born in Wyoming. Wyoming brought me here. It was a calling. As if there were some empty beer bottles in the middle of the prairie half buried red dirt, where the wind hits the edge of the bottle just right and whistles my name. I’ve never been happier here, but I am surprised when I go home about the things people say about Wyoming.

This list is things people have actually said to me. I wonder how many other Wyomingites (native or transplant) that have experienced similar encounters. How would you react to these statements or questions?

  • "I'm Sorry"

    After I told the young lady behind the counter that I lived in the Cowboy State, she said sorry. I think she actually felt bad for me. I was honestly dumbfounded by her reaction. I wanted to say, "I'm sorry your small mind can't comprehend something as awesome as the state of Wyoming."

  • "I Love Glendo"

    When visiting family and friends in Colorado, people are quick to associate Casper with Glendo. The reservoir is far larger and less crowded than most lakes in the Eastern slope of Colorado.

  • “Are you going to get a cowboy hat?”

    Wyoming is the Cowboy State, but not everyone is a cowboy. I have nothing against cowboy hats or cowboys, but they are not my style. A true Wyomingite would be able to tell that I was a phony a mile away if I sported a Stetson. I’ve never worked on a farm or ranch, and I don’t ride a horse. It looks good on Ned LeDoux or Clint Black but not on me.

  • “Have you been to Miracle Mile?”

    This legendary mile stretch of the North Platte River is renowned among trout anglers. My late stepfather used to talk about the Mile all the time. It was this magical place where the trout were enormous. People ask me to take them there. I tell them to hire a guide. Maybe that's why I haven't had any house guests.

  • "They have guns there. Aren't you afrade?"

    Afraid? No, they are just good citizens practicing their rights to bear arms. I'm not fearful of a man or woman who owns, maintain, and properly uses a firearm. The yuppie mentality is to buy expensive non-GMO free range beef, but it is terrible when a hunter can skillfully take down an animal that could easily feed his family for weeks. No, the Cowboy State has got that part right.

  • “Why the heck would you live in Wyoming?”

    To the person who asked this question the answer is simple: because you are not there. If you have to ask that question, you will never understand. You will never understand the wide open spaces. You will never get the clean air. You will never be so close to history. So don’t even try. The state is alright without you.

    Bill Schwamle, Townsquare Media