‘Show Me State’ visitor sees local hospitality up close

Welcome, visitors!

We’re glad you’re here.

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Stranded, 1,500 miles from home. Truck broken down. And with horses. Too, it’s

Rodeo Week hereabouts. A vacation, and a predicament.

What to do?

Become a beneficiary of Sheridan’s oft-told hospitality.

Larry Schuessler of Perryville, Mo., wrote a letter of his positive experiences to The Sheridan Press. The Notebook called him Tuesday to follow up on his salutation of how well he was treated, by virtual strangers, aka Sheridan citizens. Larry says he’s traveled all over the U.S. and Canada and “your hospitality (Sheridan) is at the top.”

He was trail riding with his horses and Missouri friends in the Bighorns when his truck failed. He managed to get into town when the staff at Fremont Motor found him a car to use. Rental cars were long gone due to the rodeo visitors. Ditto motel rooms. The Fremont staff helped him connect with Ralph and Karen Copenhaver of Hanna Creek Acres in Big Horn who opened up their home to him and to keep his horses. The Copenhavers have more than 50 years of horse training and offer a variety of equestrian services.

“I will always be indebted to them for their generosity,” Schuessler says. Along the way, too, he met members of the congregation of Immanuel Lutheran Church and they helped him with connections and support.

Schuessler, a construction craftsman, typically trail rides with horses on vacations, usually 150 miles a week. He had vacationed once before near Buffalo but hadn’t had the opportunity to visit Sheridan. “God does work in mysterious ways, for without breaking down, I would have never had the chance to meet the nice people of Sheridan. I’m proud of the way I was treated.” He lives about a 100 miles from St. Louis.

The admiration is mutual. “He stayed with us a week. We helped him out and he became a friend,” Ralph Copenhaver told me Thursday afternoon. “He stayed with us, we boarded his horses. He pitched in around here and helped me with some fencing. When we said goodbye, I said ‘no charge.’ He’s a super nice guy.”

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If you’re a certain vintage, you read the cartoon strip “Rick O’Shay” regularly and the comings and goings of a fictional town, Conniption, and the people therein, gunslinger Hipshot Percussion and a young man, Quyat Burp. It was a steady dose of Western story telling. I never missed it while growing up; my father’s newspaper, the Marshall (Tex.) News Messenger, included it in its comics.

Stan Lynde, the cartoonist and author, said the strip was inspired by the people and cowboys he grew up with as a child on a sheep ranch near Billings. Lynde, 81, died Tuesday at his home in Helena of cancer. He also authored eight Western novels. At one time, “Rick O’Shay” was syndicated into a daily newspaper readership of 15 million and ran for more than 20 years, beginning in 1958.

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This weekend, shop Sheridan!

 

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