I was on the hunt, and the friend was displeased.
It was 9:45 p.m. and he was ready to call it a night — and had been for some time.
But I was in Laramie and nothing was stopping us now. Empowered by having my own wheels and my own keys (also a story), we headed downtown.
I was in search of the band — the UW Western Thunder “Bar Band,” to be more specific.
We walked into one establishment where the band frequently stops. The two haggard-looking hosts had no idea what I was asking.
I was not to be deterred. With the band’s decades-old CD blaring out my open windows, we sat in the middle of an intersection. And then I heard those bass drums.
We found the band in the back yard at the Alibi. We sat outside the wood fence, honking the horn in time with “C-O-W-B-O-Y-S!”
Two young girl coeds got out of a vehicle and started dancing.
The band stopped and I whipped around the back alley, effectively cutting them off at the pass.
Through the friend’s window, I asked a sweaty trumpet player where they were headed next.
“The Library,” he said. And we were off.
After we stood in the doorway between the restaurant and bar for the first performance, after we were settled into a front patio seat and had seen the second, we remained, enjoying the wonderfully mild night and recounting the epicness that had been the day.
A lone dude approached, wearing a Mizzou hat and Cardinals baseball T-shirt.
After greeting and welcoming him, he said, “I’ve got to tell you a story.”
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Having been to Wyoming before, he flew into Jackson and grabbed his rental car there. After a zip through the Tetons, he found himself in Lander en route to Laramie.
“I had looked at a map,” he said, “but I wasn’t sure which way to turn.”
On a corner, he found “an old guy.”
“This way to I-80, right?” Mizzou asked the old guy.
“Yup,” old guy replied.
What the old guy failed to mention, according to Mizzou, was that he would end up in Rock Springs, 110 miles out of his way.
Well, he made it to Laramie after all, and was headed for a “takeover” by Mizzou folks of the Buck.
I offered to give him directions, but he was hesitant to accept them.
“Tell that story,” he bellowed as he wandered off.
Happy to. Just like I’m happy to tell and retell how nobody gave us a shot — nobody. We weren’t even a Bear Super Dog on the game day morning show. We weren’t anything.
Except for the 26,037 in War Memorial Stadium who knew we were something. Who knew that the “Welcome to 7,220,” new video intro all about the Code of the West was exactly right. Most of us — ahem — talk less and say more. Most of us know to always finish what we start. Most of us take pride in our work.
Now everybody knows. And I’m happy to tell that story.
Follow community news editor Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @WYOSAS