Collaborative Communities 101 and Lincoln Court

Boulder Senior Cohousing Communities

Click on the image of Lindy Cook and Alan O’Hashi and join the Lincoln Court facebook page. (Photo By Brent Lewis/The Denver Post)

Baby Boomers have kicked the birdies out of their nests and downsizing from years of accumulating the detritus of life.

Millennials are finding it increasingly difficult to find low cost housing for themselves.

One lifestyle that’s getting some traction is that of living in a community whether it being a traditional retirement village or having housemates which are well known alternatives or in not-so-well known communities like cohousing.

While cohousing is far from mainstream, there is growing interest in intentional neighborhoods. Architects Chuck Durrett and Katie McCamant studied in Denmark and coined the term “cohousing.”

What if the six characteristics of cohousing were applied to an urban community consisting of not only housing but a mix of businesses and public uses?

A small group of cohousing, mixed use visionaries, including myself have started a 20 acre project on the urban fringe of Cheyenne, Wyoming called the Lincoln Court. We’re laying cohousing approaches over a high density, mixed use community anchored by a city owned and operated indoor ice rink and a proposed indoor sports complex. It’s a grassroots project that will come about as a result of a high degree of consensus among the future community denizens:

back-40-subdivisionCollaborative neighborhood process. Future Lincoln Court denizens will have a chance to participate in the design of the community so that it meets their needs. There will be a series of meetings as the project progresses to define them. Some collaborative communities are initiated or driven by a developer.  The Lincoln Court Collaborative Community is a combination of both with the developer playing more of a technical role making the community member vision real. This collaboration will result in a well-designed, pedestrian-oriented community that integrates with the adjacent West Edge community, as outlined in the city of Cheyenne Missile Drive Corridor Plan.

ssv-coho-alan-boulder

Collaborative neighborhood design. Rather than a top-down approach with planners, architects driving the design, the physical layout and orientation of the buildings will be initially determined by a “focus group” of people who attend various informational meetings. The design process encourages a sense of community and facilitates social interactions from the get-go. For example, the private residences will likely be clustered on the site, leaving more shared open space; compatible businesses are planned to co-locate in the common house or on other common spaces. The goal: create a strong sense of community using physical design choices – walk-ability, live / work artist spaces, community and private spaces for public and private performance and art exhibits and classes, co-working spaces for residents.

garden-dayCollaborative common spaces. Common facilities will be designed for daily use, and for special community activities. They are an integral part of the collaborative community, and complementary to the private residences and businesses. The extent to which the private businesses and studio spaces are public will be determined. There will likely be an expectation that community uses and activities will be a part of the private business spaces. Participating in community life is optional – denizens may have as much community as or as little community as they want.  Since the buildings are clustered, the Lincoln Court may retain several or many acres of undeveloped shared open space for future expansion.

henry-facilitatingCollaborative management. Lincoln Court denizens will manage, to a great extent, the business of the collaborative community, and also perform much of the work required to maintain the property. The cohousing sub-communities participate in the preparation of common meals, and meet regularly to solve problems and develop policies for the community. A master Community Association may be formed to deal with issues concerning common spaces of the entire collaborative community, such as snow removal, open space maintenance, and managing community business relations.

ssv-sharing-circleCollaborative consensus. Leadership roles will evolve and based on how and when community members join Lincoln Court. However, no one person (or persons) has authority over others. As individuals, families, businesses and organizations join the collaboration, each take on one or more roles consistent with their skills, abilities or interests. Lincoln Court will make decisions by consensus or similar forms of consensus decision-making. Although likely will have a policy for majority-rules voting if the group cannot reach consensus (nuclear option).

cr-art-showCollaborative community economy. The community is not a source of income for its individual members. However, in the Lincoln Court, rental income from businesses, use of performance / exhibition space, studio / co-working spaces would accrue back to the community at-large to decrease homeowner / community owner association fees / reserve funds. It is possible that the master association or a sub-associations could contract with a resident / tenant to perform a specific task for compensation, but more typically the work will be considered that member’s contribution to the shared responsibilities. It is possible that community residents will earn income from rented studio or business location.

CFD-Production-5948Collaborative higher purpose. The envisioned community “higher purpose” is around arts, culture and fostering creative thinking in the day-to-day community functionality. The site has a great story. The original site was a part of a Homestead Act land grant at the turn of the 20th century. Historic Highway 30, also known as the Lincoln Highway spanned coast to coast in the 1930s. The Lincoln Court was built as a motor hotel which later evolved into the Hitching Post Inn. The Hitching Post was a legendary Cheyenne landmark. There are some great stories associated with the site which are big selling points for the project. Mine, for example? My first job when I was a 12-year-old was at the Hitching Post.

An introductory meeting is being planned for early December. We’ll provide some information about the project, about collaborative communities, cohousing, the arts and cultural higher purpose. We’ll ask those in attendance to “break ground” and help with some general land use concepts for the site. It will be informative and a lot of fun.

Father’s Day memories – 2016

alan dad

This is a picture of my dad and me in front of our first house on 10th Street in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

My father died in 2003 and my two grandfathers passed on many years before that. I haven’t mused about them, really.

All three were sports fans, but none followed professional basketball. The NBA championship series ends on Fathers’ Day Sunday with the Warriors hosting the Cavaliers in Oakland. It’s been a weird series with a lot of blow-outs and down to game seven. I was too short for the organized game but could hold my own in pick up games. I’ve played enough to know the rules.

My paternal Grandfather Ohashi was named Toichi but known as George. I don’t know exactly when he emigrated from Japan, but it was in the later part of the 19th century. He and apparently one or more of his siblings initially ended up in Alaska.

There’s a photograph of him hustling pool someplace in Alaska, which I will dig out. When I was on a trip with the Presbyterian Church to Sitka, Alaska we took a ferry boat ride up and down the panhandle.

While in Ketchikan, my pal Sam Allen from Cody and I came upon a sign that said OHASHI Candy and Tobacco. Turns out it was owned by my Great Uncle, my grandfather’s brother who’s name escapes me. I was later at a conference in Seattle a few years ago and ran into an Ohashi who was a niece and a distant cousin of mine.

alan grandpa ohashi

This picture of my Grandfather Ohashi and me must have been taken on Fathers’ Day in front of his house.

His game of choice was billiards. I’m pretty sure he was a nine ball hustler. He owned a billiard hall on 17th Street in downtown Cheyenne. I inherited one of the pool tables when the pool hall closed and had it set up for many years, but when I moved to Colorado, I donated it to the Ethete Senior Citizen Center. I kept an old 9 ball from the rack. He was going blind, but could still hit a few trick bank shots.

My cousin Matthew from Salt Lake and his dad got me started collecting and scrounging up old stuff. He had an old Phillip Morris poster in there that I wanted, but couldn’t get freed up. I’ve wondered what happened to that item.

My Grandfather Ohashi in his downtown Cheyenne pool hall.

He developed diabetes later in life and couldn’t see very well. His spectator sport of choise was boxing. Back in the 1960s, there were only black and white TV sets. My dad and I would visit him and watch the Friday night fights. Boxers wore white or black trunks and it was easy for him to follow. He got pretty sick and moved into our house on 10th Street for a period of time. I was young but had to give up my room to my grandfather. I can’t remember how long he stayed, but he let me give him his insulin injections in his thigh. That was back in the day of those huge needles

He and my grandmother owned the Highway Cafe on the south Greeley Highway. He originally was a truck farmer from Brush, Colorado. He drove around an old panel truck and picked up produce from the farmers and sold them from a fruit and vegetable stand next to the cafe. It was nestled against a bluff where Interstate 80 would eventually pass and they moved a few blocks north. The Building still stands today, but is now a tobacco store.

Every once in a while I got the job of writing the new $1.00 specials on the black board. It was stuff like hamburger steak, egg foo yong, liver and onions. There was a Filipino guy named Carl who came in every night and had a half order of the special. The famous Cheyenne fisher Hank Okamoto came in from time to time showing off his string of fish. He was a fishing buddy of my Uncle Rich.

My dad brought my sister and I one at a time and together to the cafe. He cooked there after he finished working and after dinner. I don’t know this for fact, but it seemed to me the state Public Health Department put them out of business. The last straw was when the state required a vestibule to be constructed between the public area and the restroom, of which there was only one and not two.

alan grandpa sakata

Likely the same Fathers’ Day visit around town. This is my Grandfather Sakata and me on the porch of their home on Capitol Avenue.

My maternal Grandfather Sakata’s name was Jusaburo, but he was called Joe. There’s a Cheyenne history book that has the details about his emigration to Wyoming, but off the top of my head he came from Japan, then returned for my grand mother who was 20 years younger. What I mostly remember is he worked for the Burlington Railroad.

Back then it was known as the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad and he was the section foreman at a place called Orpha, Wyoming. Orpha still is there and located across the road from the Fetterman Battlefield State Historic Site.

I went to visit a few years ago. Many years before when I was in junior high school, my sister and I spent the summer irrigating on the Shinmori beet farm near there. We took a tour of Orpha which included the one room school, and the house where my mom’s family lived. Only the foundation remained when I last went to look around.

He and my grandmother moved to Cheyenne. The Burlington Northern railroad used to run through Cheyenne so I’m thinking he retired there. My mom, who was the youngest of the three kids ended up in Cheyenne, too. In his retirement, he became a gardener and did yard work for some of the neighbors around their home on Capitol Avenue a couple blocks from the state capitol building. That was one of the resupply depots for soda pop that we sold along the Cheyenne Frontier Days parades.

plains dairy trip

This is a neighborhood field trip to tour the Plains Dairy in Cheyenne. Notice I’m wearing the Yankees cap given to me by my grandfather.

His game of choice was baseball. My aunt lived in Washington DC and he watched the Senators play. He went to New York and brought me back a cap and pennant from Yankee Stadium in 1960. That was the first year I followed baseball. I’ll never be a Pittsburgh Pirates fan having watched Bill Mazeroski homer in game seven to beat the Yankees.

When I graduated from high school, I remember getting his wise words in Japanese – but my grandmother reminded him that I only understood English and got the speech again in English.

Language was a barrier keeping me from knowing my grandparents better. Of course, after World War II, that was a big wake up call for the Japanese American community. Even in the middle of nowhere Wyoming, there wasn’t any Japanese spoken around the house nor were Sansei kids – third generation – expected to learn Japanese nor retain much if anything about the culture, although I still prefer rice with my eggs. The 20th Street Cafe run by a Japanese family serves eggs with rice upon request.

I learned to be self sufficient, but that may have been because I was boy. When I graduated from college, I lived at home for a couple years while in grad school at the University of Wyoming. I think my parents appreciated that.

My father, Frank, worked his entire career at the Coca Cola plant in Cheyenne eventually becoming the manager. When the business was sold to the Ludwig family in Laramie, my dad was a part of the deal. When I was a sophomore in college and away in Hastings at the time, they moved over the hill to Laramie. I remember going to that house on Downey Street for the first time. I didn’t know which drawer the forks were kept.

When I was in high school, I worked summers for him at the Coke plant. That was an eye opener for me seeing him in a capacity other than at home. He managed like it was a basketball team – he was a pretty good basketball player on the Cheyenne High School team. He didn’t ask anyone to do anything he didn’t do himself. That’s one thing that rubbed off on me. I remember him chewing out a guy, who came to work drunk and eventually was fired. It was the first time I’d heard him swear like a sailor.

One time I was caught shoplifting and the condition of my staying out of the system was fessing up to my dad and he calling the store manager. That was by far the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my 63 years. I don’t think he told my mom about it.

He was always supportive of my activities, even later in life. When I played in the Fremont County orchestra, there was a performance in Laramie. Very few people were in the audience, but my dad was there. He pushed me to get my Cub Scout activities completed. I made it up to getting my “Bear” patch before Pack 113 folded. He was asked to take over, but it wasn’t his thing.

fb dad coors

My dad at the first game at Coors Field in 1995

My dad was quite athletic. He was a sports fan and knew the rules to a lot of games. He had good hand eye coordination and was a pretty good bowler, golfer and basketball player with a wicked hook shot. We played softball together in church league and had a good change up which fooled hitters even in slow pitch. As a spectator, he and my mom were avid Wyoming Cowboy fans.

He also was a Yankees fan. One of his Coca Cola plant truck drivers was a guy named Tony Rizzuto, who was related to  former Yankees 2nd baseman Phil Rizzuto. A bunch of guys from work a a guy from the air base all loaded up in my dad’s car and drove down to Denver to watch the Denver Bears play an exhibition game against the Yankees. That was in 1964. It was great seeing Mantle and Maris play. 

Definitely a big life highlight.

Coors Field opened in 1995, the replacement Rockies played the replacement Yankees in the strike-shortened year. I took my dad to watch that game. The Rockies made the playoffs that year too.

What about the name O’Hashi?

Nobody knows for sure, but the O’H is attributed to a school administrator who changed his name when he found out his birthday was March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day. Only my dad and his youngest brother Jake used the anglicized spelling.

I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do on Sunday, probably not watch the basketball game since my team, the Celtics, aren’t playing. The only tie I have to the Dubs is back in 1980 when the Warriors traded Robert Parrish and top draft pick Kevin McHale to Boston. The Celtics won the championship in 1981.

How I ended up a Celtics fan is another story, but it dates back to when Wyoming center Leon Clark was drafted by Boston in 1966.

I doubt I’ll watch the game. I did pick up a ball at the Sports Authority liquidation sale and may shoot a few hoops someplace.

Whatever your Fathers’ Day memories are, I hope they are fond ones.

My sport of the day? I’m going fishing if the water isn’t too high.

 

Cheyenne East High school class of ’71 obits updated for download

Click on the above image of the EHS homecoming float being guarded by Tony Ross to download a copy of tge Cheyenne East High School class of ’71 obit book.

I’ve been out of high school for 45 years and have managed to keep in touch with a bunch of classmates mostly because of social media.

The mid-decade class reunion for Cheyenne Central, East and St. Mary’s  is scheduled for August 5 – 6 in Downtown Cheyenne.

So far, there has been scant interest, which means the plug may be pulled at some point soon.

The East High class list of obituaries is now downloadable.

A friend of mine is getting ready for his 60th reunion. He said his class eventually quit keeping track of obits. They started going by who showed up.

I was sorting through a box and came across this picture of the  East class of ’71 homecoming float “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They.” We must have played Sheridan. That’s Tony Ross mugging for the camera. The blue pump behind Tony was liberated during a midnight raid to Veedauwoo.

The festivities start Friday night on the Depot Plaza with the Delta Sonics. We’ve partnered with the United Way of Laramie County and encourage you to buy from one of the food trucks they’ve arranged.

You can sign up for it on eventbrite. The cost is $50 which covers the  Southwestern buffet and music on Saturday night at the Historic Plains Hotel.

I, along with a bunch of other ‘mates helped organize the 40th reunion and intended to come, but was called out of town for a funeral in Boston and ended up going to the class of 1972 reunion later that summer, which was a good time.

Speaking of funerals, EHS alumnus, Ralph Zobell, has edited together a list of our EHS classmates who have passed on and converted it to a pdf file for download. It will be periodically updated.

If there’s anything that’s certain, we’ll all end up on the list at some point!

Shall we have a “last classmate standing” pool?

We need your ‘like’ of our ‘Plein Air in Thin Air’ trailer!

Click on this image and watch the two minute trailer. Click the ❤️ . You’ll be asked to log in with your facebook or set up an account.

I’m working on a documentary to be shot in Wyoming during August and we’re trying to win the Wyoming Short Film Contest. The theme is “WY am I Here?”

Please watch the trailer and give us a “like!” You’ll be asked to log in with your facebook account if you’re not already a vimeo user.

The Wyoming Film Office gives away $25,000 to the winner that goes toward a Wyoming production. We’ll be making the movie in Grand Teton National Park this August.

The top-10 are decided by popularity contest with no regard to production value. The winner is picked by a panel of judges based on the dogs selected by the production team friends and family – it’s click bait from the Wyoming Film Office. Everyone is having a problem with this, but it cuts down on those who sit at their computers and hit play, over and over.

The main voting criteria has to do with promotion of Wyoming. What a great way to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the US National Park Service than from the top of the Grand?

Please watch the trailer and give us a “like!” You may have to log in with your facebook if you’re not already a vimeo user.

“WY Am I Here”? What if a 62-year-old grandfather of six decides to climb the spectacular Grand Teton and make never-before drawn pastel views of the expansive landscape?

Laramie artist Joe Arnold has been mountaineering for 50 years. He and his son, Jason, are planning an expedition to Grand Teton National Park for an ascent of the Grand Teton (13,776′) North Ridge route (rated 5.8).

It will be a five-day bonding experience for two generations of climbers with an unusual but creative mission at the summit.

Art 321 in Casper was the location for the CLICK! conference. Watch the Plein Air in Thin Air trailer and ‘like ‘

How did I come across this project?
I went to the Wyoming Arts Council CLICK! conference in Casper a couple weeks ago.

I ran into Joe Arnold. We were each presenting about our art works at the conference.

A couple years ago, Joe won a Wyoming Arts Council fellowship. I did a tribute video about his project which was a trek to Patagonia.

We got to talking. I was looking for a movie to make for the film office contest. I thought about my two works-in-progress, but wasn’t inspired.

Joe has a trailer finished, making it the perfect project.

Take a look and click on the heart in the upper right hand corner of the video player. We want to get into the top-10 of the beauty pageant.

Here’s the rest of the team:

  • Director and Director of Photography: Eric Randall
  • Production Assistants: Jacob Chmielowiec and Tim Hall
  • Music By: Dave Beegle davebeegle.com
  • Produced by: Alan O’Hashi and wyocomedia.com
  • Associate Producer: Jason Arnold
  • Executive Producer: Joe Arnold joearnold.org

‘Hateful Eight’ on 70mm – retro movie history

70mm hateful 8

Samuel L. Jackson in a wide interior “Hateful Eight” shot

Quentin Tarentino’s latest movie “Hateful Eight” came out on Christmas Day in 70mm format in 100 theaters around the country. The cineplex digital version comes out on January 8th.

What’s the big deal about 70mm?

It’s not a big deal for any Baby Boomer kid and their parents, particularly if they lived near a big city.

Retro movie history.

I grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming just north of Denver and watched a variety of 70mm movies during the 1950s – 1960s.

During any given year, there weren’t that many studio movies that came out, which made going to the movies extra special, particularly when there was a lot of hype.

“Hateful Eight” is set in Wyoming during after the Civil War. The other Wyoming connection to the movie is the buffalo coat worn by Kurt Russell was made at a tannery in Thermopolis – Merlin’s Hideaway. This is where last month, I took a buffalo skin from a Northern Arapaho traditional bison ceremony, which is a story for another day.

“Hateful Eight” was shot using old technology analog Ultra Panavision cameras. There were several technologies out back in the 1950s and 1960s – MGM pioneered the wide format in Ben Hur and won an Oscar in cinematography.

70mm how the west was won

The buffalo stampede scene is spectacular.

My family used to drive down to Denver to watch movies. In 1963, we made a weekend of going to the Cooper Cinerama Theater to watch the epic western “How the West Was Won” packed with stars of the day and three hours long.

The theater had a 105-foot curved screen that was 35 fet tall and had over 800 seats. Everyone went dressed up to go to the movies in those days

“Hateful Eight” is R-rated. All of the original Cinerama movies would be rated G today.

The film was shot in Ultra Panavision. Compared to today’s High Definition 16:9 (1.8:1) aspect ratio, Ultra Panavision is 2.57:1 aspect ratio or nearly double the width of HD.

The cameras have special lenses that correct for the extra wide angle. When shown on the bigger screens, the special projectors also had special lenses for the wider format. There are some spectacular scenes like the buffalo stampede that were great to watch in Cinerama.

There weren’t many Cinerama theaters back in the day, which is why the outdated equipment is so hard to come by and the few remaining were scrounged up to screen “Hateful Eight”.

I wonder if Tarentino saw “How the West Was Won” in a cinerama theater and decided to make an homage to the western epic on the very wide screen.

70mm cheyenne autumn

Cheyenne Autumn had the media premiere in Cheyenne

In 1964 “Cheyenne Autumn” had its media premiere in Cheyenne, Wyoming at the Lincoln Theater with Carroll Baker and James Stewart in attendance.

That screening was a 35mm roadshow print. The world premiere was 70mm in London, England at the Warner Theater.

The last 70mm film I saw in a a theater was “Alien” at the Century 21 in Denver near the Cooper. That was when I was stranded on Colorado Blvd with a broken down VW.

70mm sound of music

The Sound of Music played 112 weeks at Denver’s Aladdin Theater

My family also took a weekend vacation to Denver in 1965 to see the “Sound of Music” at the Aladdin Theater on East Colfax. That epic was shot in 70mm on Todd – AO cameras. The wide panoramic shots of Julie Andrews singing “… the hills are alive” in the Swiss Alps were spectacular. It wasn’t Cinerama. The Todd-AI tecnology was billed as Cinerama through one hole. Cinerama had three synched projectors.

There’s a scene at the end of the movie when the Von Trapp’s are evading capture in a cemetery. Liesl’s former boyfriend Rolf – now a Hitler Youth hides behind a pillar.

The shot has to be so wide that Captain Von Trapp while approaching Rolf has all this dialogue to say before he gets near enough for a close up – it could have been a cut, but the camera pushing in gives more visual drama.

Ultra Panavision affects screenwriting.

The “Sound of Music” played for 112 weeks at the Aladdin. Back in those days there were very few movies on the road.

70mm paint your wagon

Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin in Paint Your Wagon

In 1969 we went to the Cooper to see “Paint Your Wagon” – also shot in Ultra Panavision. I remember this great scene when a runaway wagon plummets into a river from the POV of the driver.

It made me whoozy.From what I see in the “Hateful Eight” trailer, there are some great wide shots, but much of the story is shot on a sound stage, which sort of defeats the purpose of Ultra Panavision.

70mm force awakens

Star Wars was shot in 70mm

I’m not much of a Tarentino fan – except for “Pulp Fiction” and I won’t go out of my way to watch “Hateful Eight”  in a Cinerama theater.

If I see any 70mm movie it will be “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at the Seattle Cinerama. There wasn’t much hype about 70mm in the Star Wars macaroni and cheese ads.

Lassoed fish – an ‘Art of the Hunt’ tale

I produced a series of videos for the upcoming Art of the Hunt display that opens at the Wyoming State Museum in Cheyenne on July 18th.

The exhibit, spearheaded by the Wyoming Arts Council, the University of Wyoming and the Wyoming State Museum, features folkloric stories told through the unique art forms of hunting and fishing, including leather working, bow making, fly tying and taxidermy.

You don’t have to be a rugged outdoors man or woman to have stories.

I’m a city kid who grew up in the suburbs of Cheyenne. One Christmas Santa brought these short fishing rods and rudimentary reels. We could hardly wait until spring to get our lines wet.

My Uncle Rich gave me this fly box for Christmas one year. He was an avid fisherman around Wyoming.

My Uncle Rich gave me this fly box for Christmas one year. He was an avid fisherman around Wyoming.

As a family activity in the 1960s my parents would take my sister and I to Country Club Lake. On the way we stopped by the tackle store and picked up a box of worms for bait. My dad showed us how to bait the hooks and explained the purpose of bobbers.

My mom’s job was to untangle the fish line snags. I remember hooking my first fish, it was a six-inch perch. We caught several small ones that day.

I wasn’t allowed to clean the fish, because I wasn’t yet able to use sharp knives. That evening, my mom breaded the fish and we had them for dinner that night.

When I was a bit older, I don’t remember the exact birthday, but my grandfather gave me one of his manual spinning reels – the kind with a bail.

This was a big step up from the push bottom job I had been using. He also explained to me about using artificial lures. He said it was more challenging because it became a battle of wits catching a fish with lures.

He gave me a box of various flat fish and spoons. I didn’t use the flat fish since I learned they were mostly for fish that didn’t live in Southeast Wyoming, but always have kept those hand-me-downs in my tackle box.

When I was living in Lander, one spring, my fishing pal Perry and I went out up to the Big Wind River just outside of Thermopolis. The water was running high and muddy. We wore hip waders. Perry had a few strikes, I was using a muddler minnow thinking that the brown trout would hit, but became a bit discouraged. Perry suggested that I try something that no fish would like. I opened my fly box and there was the green flatfish.

I clipped it on the end of the leader and cast, then reeled in the line. Tugged and reeled, tugged and reeled. Hopelessly snagged on some plants.  I waded out to untangle the line. Much to my surprise, in addition to the wad of greenery, was a 10 inch trout entangled in the weeds and being strangled by my fish line.

“You lassoed a fish!” Perry hollered.

It wasn’t good, the line was stuck under the fish’s gills and cut him up. I ended up taking the fish out of mercy, but I didn’t think I had taken him fairly.

I still have my grandfather’s flat fish, but I haven’t had it out since. I have an antelope hunting story I’ll jot down when the Art of the Hunt exhibit gets into full swing. Join the facebook page and share your hunting and fishing stories and photos: https://www.facebook.com/artofthehuntwyoming

Random Father’s Day thoughts 2014

My father died a few years back and my two grandfathers passed on many years ago. I haven’t mused about them, really. There are all these Father’s Day sports movies on cable today – or maybe they’re on as an alternative to the World Cup games.

My dad and me circa 1954. This is taken in front of our first home on 10th Street in Cheyenne.

My dad and me circa 1954. This is taken in front of our first home on 10th Street in Cheyenne.

My paternal Grandfather Ohashi was named Toichi but known as George. I don’t know exactly when he emigrated from Japan, but it was in the later part of the 19th century. He and apparently one or more of his siblings initially ended up in Alaska.

There’s a photograph of him hustling pool someplace in Alaska, which I will dig out. When I was on a trip with the Presbyterian Church to Sitka, Alaska we took a ferry boat ride up and down the panhandle.

While in Ketchikan, my pal Sam Allen from Cody and I came upon a sign that said OHASHI Candy and Tobacco. Turns out it was owned by my Great Uncle, my grandfather’s brother who’s name escapes me. I was later at a conference in Seattle a few years ago and ran into an Ohashis who was a niece.

My Grandfather Ohashi on the lawn in front of his home on 8th Street in Cheyenne.

My Grandfather Ohashi on the lawn in front of his home on 8th Street in Cheyenne.

I’m pretty sure he was a pretty good pool hustler. He owned a pool hall on 17th Street in downtown Cheyenne. I inherited one of the pool tables when the pool hall closed and had it set up for many years, but when I moved to Colorado, I donated it to the Ethete Senior Citizen Center. I kept an old 9 ball from the rack. He was going blind, but could still hit a few trick bank shots.

My cousin Matthew from Salt Lake and his dad got me started collecting and scrounging up old stuff. He had an old Phillip Morris poster in there that I wanted, but couldn’t get freed up. I’ve wondered what happened to that item.

He developed diabetes later in life and moved into our house on 10th Street for a period of time. I was young but had to give up my room to my grandfather. I can’t remember how long he stayed, but he let me give him his insulin injections in his thigh. That was back in the day of those huge needles.

The Highway Cafe on the South Greeley Highway is now a tobacco convenience store.

The Highway Cafe on the South Greeley Highway is now a tobacco convenience store.

He and my grandmother owned the Highway Cafe on the south Greeley Highway. He originally was a truck farmer from Brush, Colorado. He drove around an old panel truck and picked up produce from the farmers and sold them from a fruit and vegetable stand next to the cafe. It was nestled against a bluff where Interstate 80 would eventually pass and they moved a few blocks north. The Building still stands today, but is now a tobacco store.

Every once in a while I got the job of writing the new $1.00 specials on the black board. It was stuff like hamburger steak, egg foo yong, liver and onions. There was a Filipino guy named Carl who came in every night and had a half order of the special. The famous Cheyenne fisher Hank Okamoto came in from time to time showing off his string of fish. He was a fishing buddy of my Uncle Rich.

My dad brought my sister and I one at a time and together to the cafe. He cooked there after he finished working and after dinner. I don’t know this for fact, but it seemed to me the state put them out of business. The last straw was when the state required a vestibule to be constructed between the public area and the restroom, of which there was only one and not two.

My Grandfather Sakata on the porch of his home on Capitol Avenue in Cheyenne.

My Grandfather Sakata on the porch of his home on Capitol Avenue in Cheyenne.

My maternal Grandfather Sakata’s name was Jusaburo, but he was called Joe. There’s a Cheyenne history book that has the details about his emigration to Wyoming, but off the top of my head he came from Japan, then returned for my grand mother who was 20 years younger. What I mostly remember is he worked for the Burlington Railroad.

Back then it was known as the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad and he was the section foreman at a place called Orpha, Wyoming. Orpha still is there and located across the road from the Fetterman Battlefield State Historic Site.

This is an image I got from one of the Orpha neighbors. My uncle George is the tall guy in the middle on his left is Joe Shinmori. My mom is on the right end.

This is an image I got from one of the Orpha neighbors. My uncle George is the tall guy in the middle on his left is Joe Shinmori. My mom is on the right end.

I went to visit a couple years ago. Many years before when I was in junior high school, my sister and I spent the summer irrigating on the Shinmori beet farm near there. We took a tour of Orpha which included the one room school, and the house where my mom’s family lived. Only the foundation remained when I last went to look around.

He and my grandmother moved to Cheyenne I’m thinking after he retired. My mom, who was the youngest of the three kids ended up in Cheyenne, too. In his retirement he became a gardener and did yard work for some of the neighbors around their home on Capitol Avenue a couple blocks from the state capitol building. That was one of the resupply depots for soda pop that we sold along the Cheyenne Frontier Days parades.

When I graduated from high school, I remember getting his wise words in Japanese – but my grandmother reminded him that I only understood English and got the speech again in English.

Language was a barrier keeping me from knowing my grandparents better. Of course, after World War II, that was a big wake up call for the Japanese American community. Even in the middle of nowhere Wyoming, there wasn’t any Japanese spoken around the house nor were Sansei kids – third generation – expected to learn Japanese nor retain much if anything about the culture, although I still prefer rice with my eggs. The 20th Street Cafe run by a Japanese family serves eggs with rice upon request.

I learned to be self sufficient, but that may have been because I was boy. When I graduated from college, I lived at home for a couple years while in grad school at the University of Wyoming. I think my parents appreciated that.

I took my dad to the opening game at Coors Field between the replacement Yankees and the replacement Rockies during the strike - shortened season in 1995.

I took my dad to the opening game at Coors Field between the replacement Yankees and the replacement Rockies during the strike – shortened season in 1995.

My father, Frank, worked his entire career at the Coca Cola plant in Cheyenne eventually becoming the manager. When the business was sold to the Ludwigs in Laramie, my dad was a part of the deal. When I was a sophomore in college, we moved over the hill to Laramie. I remember going to that house on Downey Street for the first time. I didn’t know which drawer the forks were kept.

When I was in high school, I worked summers for him at the Coke plant. That was an eye opener for me seeing him in a capacity other than at home. He managed like it was a basketball team – he was a pretty good basketball player on the Cheyenne High School team. He didn’t ask anyone to do anything he didn’t do himself. That’s one thing that rubbed off on me. I remember him chewing out a guy, who came to work drunk and eventually was fired. It was the first time I’d heard him swear like a sailor!

One time I was caught shoplifting and the condition of my staying out of the system was fessing up to my dad and he calling the store manager. That was by far the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my 61 years. I don’t think he told my mom about it.

He was always supportive of my activities, even later in life. When I played in the Fremont County orchestra, there was a performance in Laramie. Very few people were in the audience, but my dad was there. He pushed me to get my Cub Scout activities completed. I made it up to getting my “Bear” patch before Pack 113 folded. He was asked to take over, but it wasn’t his thing.

He was always a “behind the scenes” guy. My mom was more of the front act. She was the flamboyant artist, he hung the shows and took them down.

What about the name O’Hashi?

Nobody knows for sure, but the O’H is attributed to a school administrator who changed his name when he found out his birthday was March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day. Only my dad and his youngest brother Jake used the anglicized spelling.

“The Natural” just ended. That’s a pretty good baseball movie – I wonder what else is “on” today besides soccer… Next? “Remember the Titans”!