Visiting Hell and back again

Moving to Arizona saves a marriage

By Phil Riske | Senior Reporter/Writer

With wind chill, the temperature in Laramie, Wyo. last week was 31 below zero. Seems by life has gone from the hell of frigid conditions to the hell of days that bring 115-degrees.

For the purpose of having a partner in this column, I introduce Wyomingite, now Arizonan, Phyllis Von Fleckinger, who responded to an article in writing that I wrote a while back about living in extreme weather conditions.


Von Fleckinger:  I just have to comment should anyone ever be confused if cold is better than hot.

Me: When I was 7, the Great Blizzard of 1949 hit Cheyenne, Wyo. The only way to get out of our house was out of the attic onto the roof and a two-story slide down a snowdrift to the ground.

Von Fleckinger: “I lived in rural Nebr. The only way we could get into our barn was to climb the drift next to our house and walk “across”  to the top of the barn climb down and in through the hayloft and take the ladder down.”

Me: It gets so cold in Wyoming a runny nose turns into an icicle.

Von Fleckinger:  “If your mustache frosts over from your breath it can break.”

Me:  In college and in a blinding blizzard, University of Wyoming officials had placed chest-high ropes from dorms to classrooms because we could not see where you were walking.

Von Fleckinger: “We did the same on our ranch to find our way around the  pastures to take care of the animals (calving/lambing).”

Me:I t’s get so cold in Wyoming your breath forms a cartoon bubble.

Von Fleckinger: “We covered our mouths and noses because the air was so cold it would literally freeze your lungs.”

Cheyenne in the notorious blizzard of ’49.

Me: On a below-zero night, I was a passenger in my frat bro’s car when he pulled away from the curb, and the steering wheel broke off in his hands. True story.

Von Fleckinger: “We were slowing down for a stop sigh in Rawlins WY, in a snowstorm, driving a 1978 Lincoln town car when a gust of wind slid us sideways off the road.”

Me:  “It gets so cold in Wyoming you could freeze an egg on the sidewalk.

Von Fleckinger: “When you throw a glass of water into the air…nothing comes down.”

Me: Why the hell did I stay there for 30 years?

Von Fleckinger: “For me (43 yrs) Because I was waiting for Bob to rescue me, in 1985 I agreed to marry him if he would bring me to AZ.”

Me: The day we unloaded the moving truck in Casa Grande, it was 113.

Von Fleckinger: “We left Laramie the last day of May it was 28* and snowing…we arrived in Scottsdale June 1st…  to unload our moving truck it was 113* and climbing. I told Bob: “Wow!…we are in heaven…he said I was really confused about our arrived destination (he hadn’t lived in WY as many years as I had so he wasn’t as enthralled).”

Me: It’s so hot you can fry an egg on a bald man’s head in Arizona .

Von Fleckinger: “Hmmm! Why would you want to?”

Me: On an August day, I leaned against a black car and burned my butt.

Von Fleckinger: “On an August day my large gold hoop earrings blistered the side of my face just from the distance between my car and the store. It’s so hot in Arizona, camels need water every hour.

Me: I guess that is why us WY cowboys ride mustangs….not camels

Von Fleckinger: “During a golf tournament, I saw a ball hit the cart path and stuck. When you are on the green putting in WY you have to “play the wind

“What the hell am I doing here for 41 years? I lived 43 years in Gillette WY where we had 9 months of winter and 3 months of crappy weather. If you were out of town on the 4thof July you missed summer….You can have snow any given month in WY and…. I have  photos of icicles on the eaves of our house that are at 45* angle and of our livestock …dead on their feet…frozen!

Me: I know what the hell I am doing here for 28 years;

Von Fleckinger: “WY “cold” is an eternal condition.”

Me:  All said, Wyoming is home and except for winter, I love it.

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February 2019