Our little slice of heaven here in Cody, Wyo. just received four awards from one of my favorite magazines – True West.
I have read this publication whenever possible for as long as I can remember. Even the name of the magazine gets straight to the essence of our existence. It reminds me of the time I visited a friend in New Hampshire who was incredibly proud of his collection of Yankee magazines.
If Buffalo Bill Cody were alive today he would, at the very least, be a regular columnist if not the editor and publisher of True West.
True West has published since 1953. Its mission is to “capture the spirit of the American West with authenticity, personality and humor by linking our history to our present. Whether you call it the Wild West, the Old West or the Far West, America’s frontier history comes to life in True West, the world’s oldest, continuously published Western Americana magazine.”
The magazine’s annual Heritage Travel Guide recognizes readers’ and editors’ favorite towns, parks, forts, hotels, saloons and restaurants.
Cody winners this year include Editor’s Choice for “Best Old West Town to Live In,” “Best American Indian Collection – Buffalo Bill Center of the West,” “Best ‘Who Slept Here Hotel? – Irma Hotel’” and the Reader’s Choice for “Best Heritage Hotel – Irma Hotel.”
Let me share my thoughts about these awards.
“Best Old West Town to Live In.” This one is a no-brainer in my book. Everybody I know lives here by choice, and many of us moved away before we realized that not every town has a magical combination of culture, entertainment, activities, sunshine, fishing and strikingly handsome cowboy musicians. We rely on tourism, and I have lost count of how many visitors to Cody I have met over the years who seriously considered moving here after just a short visit. And some of them have followed up fairly quickly.
“Best American Indian Collection – Buffalo Bill Center of the West.” Our Buffalo Bill Center of the West houses five superior museums under one modern roof, and any one of those collections is worthy of a Heritage Award. The Plains Indian Museum presents a poignant and accurate portrayal of life in the West for our indigenous people. The Center employs a variety of techniques – interactive displays, life-sized vintage photographs, exhibits – to engage and inspire visitors. Don’t miss it when you come to town.
Editor’s Choice for “Best Who Slept Here Hotel?” and the Reader’s Choice for “Best Heritage Hotel – Irma Hotel.” Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Irma Hotel was built by Buffalo Bill Cody in 1902 and named after his daughter. Buffalo Bill maintained two suites and an office at the hotel for his personal use. The Irma’s famous cherrywood bar, a gift from Queen Victoria, dates to the period of construction and is one of the most photographed features in all of Cody. The Irma to me, however, is just plain fun. It is easy to imagine a local walking through the front door on a Saturday night looking for a nice dinner and conversation with friends. Come to think of it, that still happens.
If I have any issues with these awards, it would be to wonder why Cody was not named the winner in every category.
There are many reasons why people enjoy a vacation in Cody. Since I have not visited many of the other winning towns, I guess I should not get greedy and think we are always the best.
You can keep telling me that, but I probably won’t listen.
Until next week I am lovin’ life in the award-winning town of Cody, Wyo.