Local History is an Important Part of Us All

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Ann Jantz

Yes, I’ve made the move.

I’m excited to join the Wyo4News team here at WyoRadio. A change of pace and a new learning experience are always welcome in my life; I hope their welcome in yours, also, and I  encourage you to check out the wyo4news.com website regularly to read our coverage of the news and goings on in the community.

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I will also be producing original content, which means I am here to tell your stories, large and small. It is these stories that make our communities here in Sweetwater County special, and it will be my pleasure to tell them.

This weekend is the Superior All-Class Reunion. This event happens every couple of years and usually boasts an attendance of a couple hundred former Superior classmates from near and far. I can tell you from experience the picnic will have the best hamburgers around, in addition to hot dogs and the ever-popular kronski. That’s garlic sausage for the uninformed in our local Slovenian traditions.

For those who visit Superior now, it’s hard to imagine this quiet, tiny town was once a bustling community of over 3,000 people. Both my parents grew up in Superior; Mom’s family eventually moved to Rock Springs, so she graduated from Rock Springs High School. Dad graduated from Superior High School with the Class of 1949. Both my parents are celebrating their 70th class reunion this year, quite a milestone.

We often visited Superior when I was growing up. Back in the early 1970s, Superior still had homes on B Hill, empty but still standing. There was also a small grocery store on the main street back then, and I remember stopping in for an ice cream bar or soda during the summer months.

I also remember exploring in the abandoned homes on B Hill, before Union Pacific deemed them a hazard and bulldozed the entire hillside — homes, wild rosebushes, trees and everything.

My dad often took us through his old home up on B Hill and would regale us with stories of his childhood there. We would peel the wallpaper off the walls in long strips, throw rocks through the glass windows and laugh at the porcelain toilet left in the bathroom; like many a child, we were entertained by the simplest, silliest things.

I especially remember the wild rosebushes found next to almost every home. In the summer B Hill would be colored by all their yellow glory, and many of those bushes stood much taller than my young self. Dad said everyone took pride in their yards; there was even a yearly contest for the best-looking yard and garden. I was sad to see all those yards — albeit overgrown and filled with weeds and encroaching sagebrush — bulldozed off the hillside.

Mom’s home is still standing, and I can picture my grandma sitting on that porch and my mom walking up the tall front staircase to the front door.

Dad’s first teaching assignment was at his alma mater, Superior High School. He taught biology classes and was a coach there until it closed in 1962, when he moved to Rock Springs High School (where East Junior High used to stand and where Eastside Elementary was eventually built).

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I may not have grown up in Superior, but it is a part of me and my family’s history. My grandfather was a coal miner there, and my great-uncle died in the mine there. I can picture the steam trains stopping on the tracks across from the football field and covering the field and people in the stands with smoke when the wind blew just right — or my parents each running to and from school at lunchtime, just barely in time to grab a quick meal — or Acropolis owner Gust Thomas’ claims that the area was first populated by Greek explorers, who left an ancient city somewhere in the hills around Superior. These are the stories I grew up with, from my mom and dad who both remember Superior in its heyday.

They are my stories and history, and they are your stories and history, also. They tell our tale and belong to us all, no matter the age. It is us.

I remember …

Ann Jantz is news director at WyoRadio, and she has been a reporter for over 10 years. She can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected].

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