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Life With Livingston Dental
e G e n
Keeping the Tradition Alive
Bar J Entertainment
As summer came to an end, we celebrated the season with an event we try hard not to miss: the Bar J Chuckwagon in Jackson Hole. If family is in town, we take them to the Bar J Chuckwagon. If it’s just Jeanelle and me, we head to Jackson Hole and take ourselves out to dinner and the show at Humphrey Ranch. If a friend is visiting, we take them to the Bar J Chuckwagon. This year, my best man from our wedding was in town, so, of course, we took him to the show for many laughs and an authentic Chuckwagon dinner. You can count on a tasty all-you-can-eat meal with barbecued steak and chicken, baked potatoes, biscuits, beans with molasses, spice cake, and applesauce. It’s all served on a tin plate, and, even if you don’t want the applesauce, you’re sure to take a scoop of it because it’s the only food that makes your metal plate cool enough to hold onto! After we ate, five of the Wranglers stood on stage and performed country-western music — cowboy classics like Gene Autry and Hank Williams. We sat in the front row, right in the middle, and were closer than we’d ever been before to the entertainment. With as much energy and enthusiasm as ever, the Wranglers harmonized beautifully and told plenty of jokes that kept the crowd laughing. It’s a pretty wonderful way to spend an evening. The Bar J Chuckwagon has been going for 42 years, all starting with the founder, Babe Humphrey, who came to Jackson Hole in the mid-‘70s. He bought some land, called it Humphrey Ranch, and the Wranglers have been entertaining people ever since. One of the Wranglers, Tim Hodgson, joined the group in 1989, the same year we moved to Star Valley. Tim is starting his 31st year with the Chuckwagon as we start our 30th year here in Wyoming. He’s a four-time Idaho State Champion fiddler, a two-time U.S. Open fiddler, a two-time National Men’s Champion fiddler, and a talented singer to boot.
At the close of the show, I went to tell Tim what an amazing job I thought he did. “I want you to know, you’re a professional in what you do,” I said.
“We work at it,” Tim replied.
“I can relate to what you do as a performer,” I told Tim. “I’ve been practicing dentistry for 30 years, about as long as you’ve been performing. Your performance tonight was just as close to perfect as it was 30 years ago, but you make it seem like it’s the first time you’re doing it. It feels new.” I explained that I sometimes feel that as a dentist. With every patient I see, I approach each checkup as if it’s the first time, putting my all into being as close to perfect as possible. In 30 years of dental practice, it’s a life lesson for me: I want to always be at my best and treat everyone as if we’re meeting them for the first time. Like Tim, I want to leave a great first impression, even if it’s the 31st time I’m working with them. For Jeanelle and me, the Bar J Chuckwagon has become something of a family tradition. Finding good, clean entertainment enriches your life. We only pass through this earthly existence once, and there’s enough sadness and strife out there that when something makes us smile and laugh, all I want to do is sit back and enjoy it.
1 Livingston Dentalwww.drlivingstondds.com
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