Kathy’s bucket list

From left, Jason Burbank, Cindy Zullo, Bob Sebesta, a thrilled Kathy Frick, George Kahrl, Jayden Burbank and Cody Jensen stand for a photo.

One man’s work is a woman’s wish

For years,

Californian Kathy Frick dreamed of watching

cowboys and ranchers doing their honest

everyday chores – and nowhere else but

in Wyoming. She talked about it often, she

admitted.

Frick was diagnosed a year and a half

ago with pancreatic cancer and is now at

stage 4. Her large, close-knit family announced

last Christmas they were bringing

her to Wyoming, to watch cowboys at

work.

“We thought, ‘Wyoming, cowboys – we

have to go to Jackson Hole,’” said her sister

Karen Byrnes, who with brother Bob Sebesta

set up side trips from Snow King Resort.

Jackson’s Lockhart Cattle Co. welcomed

the group of 10 – right down to 1-year-old

grandson Oliver Frick – to show them

around their Hereford ranch just south of

Jackson.

It was the family’s first taste of navigating

in Wyoming, which is far, far less

complicated than their hometowns of Santa

Clarita, Calif., and Los Angeles.

“They said, ‘Go past Smith’s and look

for the big red barn,’” Sebesta said, not sure

what Smith’s was or how to find the ranch

without better directions. “And there it was,

just like they said…”

But Sebesta and Byrnes were out of luck

to fill their sister’s wish. Enter bar manager

and former Pinedale resident Natasha

Baird, who took their picture and posted it

on social media.

The post went viral as locals tagged

friends and neighbors. After one day,

Sebesta had invitations to fill their remaining

days. Dozens of people responded with

calls and texts, he said.

“Some people were really disappointed

they couldn’t have us come. They were almost

upset.”

One call was from Big Piney ranchers

George Kahrl and Cindy Zullo, who own

the old Gordon and Mildred Mickelson

place, now the Sarah Faith Ranch.

“We were going to the pasture to gather

and sort some pairs and brand about 50 late

calves,” Kahrl said. “So we invited them

to join us.”

Kahrl took Kathy under his wing to the

horse corrals and in the tractor to grab a

round hay bale. Kathy rode shotgun in

his ATV as ranch hands Jason Burbank,

Jayden Burbank and Cody Jensen with

Zullo gathered and moved the cattle.

Back at the corrals, Kahrl and cowboys

showed Sebesta, his sons Ryan and Scott

and Kathy’s son John Frick how to wrestle

calves while brother-in-law Don Byrnes

vaccinated. There were laughs, huge smiles

and loads of pictures of the family men in

their once-clean clothes, wondering what to

wear for Saturday’s branding at the Pape

Ranches, next on their calendar.

(When asked if they had directions for

Pape Ranches, daughter Tiffany said, “Yes

– we take a right at the gravel pits.”)

“Unbelievable,” Kathy and her family

said again and again of the hospitality, generosity

and warmth they found in Sublette

County.

Kathy and her family – who “do everything

together” – never dreamed how

things could fall into place to help fill her

Wyoming wish, expressing thankfulness

and disbelief at the overwhelming generosity.

“We were doing our everyday work,”

said Kahrl said. “It could have been just

an ordinary day – but by joining us, you

have turned it into a day that none of us will

never forget.”

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