Bill and Carole Wiltse aren’t Wyoming natives, but after twenty-plus years in the Park County area, it doesn’t seem fair to call them anything but locals! Bill’s cousin, a local outfitter, set up a series of pack trips in the 1980s. That, plus some visits to the Center, convinced the couple that migrating west from Detroit would be the journey of their lifetimes.
Bill and Carole first became members of the Center in 1989, when, after a trip to the Center Store, they learned that some items in their basket could be purchased at an attractive discount if they joined. Prior to Bill and Carole’s move, Carole developed a friendship with a museum store clerk who often called Carole to let her know about great deals or new items, and then shipped the items to Detroit. When Carole retired and moved to Meeteetse, Wyoming, in 1997 (Bill followed three years later), they found the Center to be a great way to network, connect, and socialize with the members of their new community, and they quickly made many friends by attending Center gatherings and events.
Through the years, Bill and Carole have enjoyed watching the many changes and additions at the Center including special exhibitions like 2016’s Invisible Boundaries. This project detailed the migratory patterns of ungulates through the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem—the Wiltses’ new chosen backyard! In addition to special exhibitions, Bill and Carole appreciate the collections and displays in the Plains Indian Museum, and they are eagerly awaiting the completed reinstallation of the Cody Firearms Museum in July 2019.
Bill and Carole continue to support the Center because their membership level allows them to bring two guests each time they visit, a great benefit for their friends who visit in the summer months.
The Center of the West is pleased to celebrate Bill and Carole, and we are honored to have earned their support the last thirty years. Year over year, the contributions of our thousands of members in the West, and throughout the country help us defray the costs of the Center’s greatest needs. It’s a privilege to know so many caring and dedicated people like Bill and Carole who share our vision and who maintain their memberships to ensure that we succeed.
From the scenic vistas of Park County, Wyoming, and from members in all fifty states, the Center is fortunate to enjoy such a broad backing.
First published in Points West magazine in the Summer 2019 issue.