The Yellowstone Gateway Museum hosts a program by author Marjane Ambler on Tuesday, August 6, at 6:30 PM at the Livingston-Park County Library. The presentation, titled Yellowstone Has Teeth, shares stories from her recently released memoir that chronicles the experiences of men and women who live year-round in the world’s first national park.
Program attendees and readers of Yellowstone Has Teeth gain a rare glimpse into the lives of people who help make Yellowstone one of the most desired places to visit. Their stories are funny, heartwarming, and poignant. You meet people who face near absolute isolation in the park’s interior during winter—relying on snowmobiles for transportation, families fleeing the 1988 fires on horseback, rangers instructed to kill bears, social directors who keep the tiny communities knit together, and many more. Ambler artfully weaves her first-hand knowledge about Yellowstone National Park and the National Park Service’s challenges and issues throughout the stories. But the details of every-day life in the heart of Yellowstone are even more important, illuminating each story.
During the program, Ambler shows photographs of some of the people who are described in the book, including Livingstone resident Alice Murphy (the widow of ranger Bob Murphy) who wintered in Yellowstone’s interior in the 1950s; former Gardiner residents Scott and Louise Chapman, who wintered in Yellowstone’s interior in the 1930s-1950s; the late Jerry Mernin and his wife Cindy, who wintered in the 1970s-1990s, as well as more recent residents who lived there between 1984-1993.
Marjane and her husband, Terry Wehrman, lived at Lake in Yellowstone National Park year-round from 1984 to 1993 where they “caught” the stories of their neighbors and acquaintances. Wehrman worked as a National Park Service heavy equipment operator: He groomed the roads during the winter and served as the Lake District Road Foreman during the summer. For four summers in the early 1990s, Marjane served as a seasonal interpretative park ranger. One of her programs told the stories of people who lived in the park during the 1930s-1970s. Now retired from the park service, Marjane and Terry divide the year between Atlantic City, Wyoming (not far from Yellowstone) and Lake Havasu, Arizona.
Marjane Ambler has been a journalist since 1968. She was an associate editor of High Country News (an environmental newspaper) from 1974-1980. In 1990 the University Press of Kansas published her first book, Breaking the Iron Bonds: Indian Control of Energy Development. From 1995 until 2006, she served as the editor of Tribal College Journal (a national quarterly magazine published by the American Indian Higher Education Consortium) and based in Mancos, Colorado. During her tenure there, one of her colleagues dubbed her “Story Catcher.”
Everyone is welcome. Refreshments provided. The library is located at 228 W. Callender; please use the North 3rd Street entrance.
To learn more about Marjane Ambler and her book, please visit www.marjaneambler.com. Please visit the museum’s website, www.yellowstonegatewaymuseum.org or call 406-222-4184, for more information about this and other programs that the museum offers.