Leta Grace Deveraux, a Jackson Hole local, turns 106 tomorrow! Leta is the mother of Patty Ewing whom, with her husband Frank and daughter Heather, own Barker-Ewing Whitewater. Patty shares this story of her mother.
Leta Deveraux was born March 29, 1908 in Watonga, Oklahoma, and eventually landed in Laramie, Wyoming in 1920 with her family. She was a teacher and a wife; she’s a mother and a grandmother. Growing up, she had a horse as a house pet, could cowboy up better than any chap around, and would out-charm, out-bet and out-wit anyone that would take on the challenge!
Now, as Mother reaches 106, her good health combined with sound mental acuity and an active sense of humor (which my husband Frank engages with his teasing every day) has allowed her to live another comfortable year in our home. While she requires much more physical aid, she still walks short distances with a walker and our support. Frank is earning the world’s best son-in-law award: his physical help and most importantly, his empathy, good-natured teasing and engaging stories keep Mother smiling and laughing, even though she may not hear or understand all his words. Without Frank and our daughter Heather’s support, we could not keep Mother at home. We are also grateful for the loving, caring ladies who come to provide much needed aid and respite time. Our daughter Shannon, my brother and Mother’s son Jay Deveraux & his wife Cynthia plus other family members make special efforts to come see her as often as possible, which we appreciate.
Mother loves cards and telephone calls. She never fails to remember family and old friends. Her face lights up when dogs stop at her chair for a pat or a sit in her lap. She enjoys short drives in the car for wildlife watching and visiting friends. A very gentle person, Leta has arrived at this time of her life with a great deal of grace and dignity, a lifetime of memories and friends. Each night she wants her bed raised so my Daddy’s photo, her late husband’s, is the last thing she sees and thinks about before going to sleep. Today, Mother smiled big when I told her that the neighborhood children will be visiting the house to sing “Happy Birthday” to her. – Patty Deveraux Ewing
I live in Jackson, Wyoming and work at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort as a liftee (not one who lifts but one who stands by lifts). Well, I’d like to believe I lift spirits as I greet skiers. Even when it’s cold out, I’m happy because I probably got fresh tracks on the way to work that morning. I’ve skied 73 days so far this winter. It’s turning out to be an epic snow year for Jackson Hole! I have 3 sets of skis, a road bike, a mountain bike, a kayak, a 14′ raft, a harness, a 1979 Subaru and a dog named Teton. In another month or two (a balmy low of 30* in Jackson Hole this morning), my skis will go back into the shed, and my paddles will see the light of day. I’m a river guide for Barker-Ewing Whitewater in the summer. I guide Jackson Hole rafting trips and scenic float trips on the Snake River. Soon enough, it’ll be time to work my arms instead of my legs; succumb to chaco tan lines over goggle ones; and, trade in my bad ski jokes for better river jokes. I can’t wait.
We strive to be the color of a leprechaun on St. Patty’s Day here at Barker-Ewing Whitewater! Here are just a few ways we aim to be a “green” company: We keep our offices ship-shape and buses tidy with Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day and Simple Green earth-friendly cleaning supplies. Our Barker-Ewing team players ride their bikes to work to cut down and help reduce our carbon footprint. Every vehicle is maintained to run efficiently and with the least amount of emissions possible. We print our whitewater rafting brochures on recycled paper, and we try to save trees additionally by opting to use online reservations and bill pay. Anything we can recycle, we do! Instead of paper products, we serve our scenic float trip meals on plate and silverware. From participating in the Snake River Clean Up volunteer day each summer to awareness in Jackson Hole’s Reduce Reuse Recycle program, we strive to do our part in keeping Jackson, Wyoming, the Snake River, Teton County and the environment at large in our minds and in our hands. Here’s to being GREEN today, tonight and every day moving forward.
In the hustle and bustle of a summer in Jackson Hole, our blog fell off the face of the cyber planet. When fall came knocking on the door, we were busy trying to catch our breath. Then, in a flash, snow arrived and Thanksgiving came and went. Taking pause to reflect on a monumental 50th year at Barker-Ewing Whitewater, we owe an infinite number of thanks. Thank you for being invaluable team players and working with us. Thank you for sharing a part of your summer vacation memories with us. Thank you to the Ewings and Barkers who paved the way before us. We would not be here with you.
Two men who loved the great outdoors and, even more so, running rivers began floating Jackson Hole’s infamous Snake in the late 1950s. Their names were Dick Barker and Frank Ewing.
Once each man came to the realization that he could make a career out of guiding eager guests doing what he loved best, Dick and Frank began guiding guests down the Snake River in 1963. After some time, Barker-Ewing quickly established a strong name not only in the Jackson Hole valley but internationally as well. Recognized for ingenuity: Frank and Dick envisioned and designed a raft, the Snake River model, that would become the craft of choice still used today. Recognized for trailblazing: Frank was “on the oars” on that fateful day the rapid Three Oar Deal was named and remains just one of Frank’s many adventures in the Snake River Canyon. Recognized for setting a standard of excellence: “We’re more than ever dedicated to our core principles: close attention to detail, insistence on quality and safety, belief in the wonder of what we offer, and a firm grounding in the reality of the rafting trips we are privileged to share with our clients. These principles have served our clients, our staff and our family well. They won’t change.”
Here’s a shot from June of 1985 to get you in the mood for some whitewater rapid action. Can anyone name that Barker-Ewing river guide?
If you have any old photos or stories to share, please do!
Barker-Ewing Whitewater | Celebrating 50 Years | 1963-2013
Watch the TODAY Show this Friday the 29th. We hope Willard Scott will, once again, send Birthday Wishes to Mother.
I have also enrolled her in a Centenarian Project, and she is being interviewed for a PBS documentary on aging.
This is a huge honor, and we are so grateful for the recognition! From horseback to fishing to biking outfitters, we were voted by locals and beyond for 2013’s Best Outfitter Silver Medal. Thank you to everyone who participated! We are Celebrating 50 Years this summer, so this just adds icing to the cake. We appreciate your loyalty and your confidence in us as a river outfitter and hope you’ll jump on board a raft and celebrate with us this summer! Ready. Set. Go… Rafting! 1963 – 2013
Jason Crockett, our extraordinary operations manager, is putting some new skills to the test. Congratulations are in order for him and his wife Danica who have added another family member to the mix! A healthy baby girl, future marathon and river runner, Amada Grace Crockett was born last Wednesday, January 16. Good luck, and enjoy this new adventure in life!