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Fred Morris

Fred Morris, director of the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps, stands for a photo Wednesday at the Troopers' headquarters in Casper. A local moving company recently donated a trailer to the group, which is being outfitted to haul instruments, uniforms and equipment.

More than the 2018 Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps musical show is under construction at Troopers headquarters these days. With the smell of fresh lumber in the air, a 53-foot, double-decker moving and storage trailer is being retrofitted to become the corps’ equipment trailer before this summer.

Corps director Fred Morris tells us about the effort.

What is the difference between this trailer and the old one? The old one was a 1983 48-foot (trailer) and we used it for 12 years. The undercarriage is all rusted out, and with all of the increase in sound system and props these days, it just was not large enough.

And the new one was used to move families? Yes, this was given to us by Mike Ottoes, our executive director, whose family owns Arrow Moving & Storage in Cheyenne. The old one was theirs as well.

So it will house everything? We will put every instrument, every percussion piece for the pit, every uniform, every hat, all of the color guard flags, our sound system and our props, it will all be contained in here. It is 53 feet and two floors, so with the additional square footage, there is a lot more space.

How much is the retrofitting costing? We think it will be a $50,000 job, including painting the exterior. We have started a separate fund and welcome contributions of any size. We hate to have to use general operating expenses for this, but it is obviously a necessity.

Are there materials the community could donate in addition to money? Sutherland’s has been wonderful. They allowed us to buy all of the lumber at cost. We could use some halogen lighting and a couple more sets of fabricated aluminum steps. This has six entrances and exits and we need steps for each.

And in addition to being larger, this will be much more efficient? This will save the kids a ton of time. The goose neck portion of the trailer is the uniform room, and each uniform will be in a numbered cabinet. They grab their uniform, then take their hat out of the same numbered slot and off they go.

And the pit stuff is all in the back here by the large double doors, and there will be a ramp so they can get their stuff out much faster.

In addition to the Ottoes connection, your contractor has a Troopers connection too? Bobby Jackson from Cody is a master carpenter and the brother of Kristy Jackson, our assistant director. He comes down and works three days a week and then goes home. He is doing just a beautiful job.

How can people donate to the trailer? They can go online to www.troopersdrumcorps.org/donate or mail a check to Troopers Drum Corps, 1801 E. “E” St., Casper WY 82601. Please specify “equipment trailer” in the check memo.

Follow community news editor Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @WYOSAS

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Community News Editor

Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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