Getting out and about in Green River

My friend, Anna, is visiting me here this week. While we’re both working against major deadlines (me = book; her = finishing up papers and reports for her Master’s in Public Health Policy at the University of Alberta), we needed to get out yesterday.
So we headed “into town” i.e. we crossed the tracks to the north side of Green River to Flaming Gorge Way, the main drag. After parking on the side of the road, we started walking west past the masonic temple. We spotted the local museum – which is free! – and decided to escape the wind for a bit. It was a snowy Monday, so it’s not surprising that we were the only visitors. In fact, the woman behind the counter actually had to turn the lights on for us (yay, they were conserving energy!).

A photo of the Sweetwater County Museum

We wandered the exhibits, reading snippets and chatting about things. We petted the badger pelt, watched a short video on the settling of the region, and got a little frightened of the ventriloquist dolls on display that obviously come to life at night (Chucky has nothing on these things!). Then we headed to the gift shop where they have a great selection of local history books. While I was tempted to get the ones on female homesteaders, bordellos, and various famous wild west outlaws, in the end I settled on Wyoming Ghost Stories: Eerie True Tales by Debra D. Munn and the memoirs of Edward J. Farlow, Wind River Adventures: My Life in Frontier Wyoming. And after chatting with the woman behind the counter, she said I could come by anytime to go through their archives and use their microfilm of old newspapers. Yay! (I’m such a history nerd)

From there we crossed the street to pop into our favourite local bookstore and coffee shop, the Book and Bean. Sarah, a woman about my age, was working and the three of us started talking about local history some more over our coffees. I’m not entirely sure how we got onto the topic, but Sarah informed us that one of the United States’ worst serial killers actually lived and operated in – you guessed it – Green River. Apparently he killed almost 50 young women and it took the authorities decades to track him down and arrest him. Perusing the bookshelves while Sarah helped some other customers, I found a book on the topic: Anne Rule’s Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer – America’s Deadliest Serial Muderer. Now that I’ve got it home, though, it turns out that this particular Green River was actually in Washington State, not Wyoming as I thought.

Oh well. In any event, true crime, ghost stories, and historical memoirs have always appealed to me. Maybe I’ll do something in that vein once For the Love of Flying is done! For now, though, back to Laurentian Air Services in the 1970s…

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