Mascot choice likely linked to Howe Quarry discoveries

Dear editor:
Huge thanks to Sherrie Asp Winkler for her efforts to assure that the memories of the Greybull Junior High School Dinosaurs didn’t completely disappear. I didn’t know that the Greybull JHS mascot was once the dinosaur until I saw the old GJHS banners hanging in Sugar Shack for the first time in the early 2000s. When the Sugar Shack closed, I asked Sherrie what she was going to do with the banners and the next thing I knew she had them boxed up to give to me.  Such generosity!
The banners that Sherrie and Margo saved from the dumpster span 1938 through 1959. The 1938 banner included the drawing of a dinosaur that was so similar to the vintage Sinclair dinosaur logo that it was easy to see that one inspired the other.  
This choice of mascot was no doubt driven, at least in part, by the pride of knowing that Greybull was so closely linked to the 1930’s era Howe Dinosaur Quarry and the national and international attention garnered from the discoveries therein. I have written up a bit of history on the Howe Quarry and its connection to local and international culture on our website
Look under the Howe Quarry tab. In fact, we have resurrected elements of the 1944 GJHS dinosaur banner for a T-shirt that we are selling through TK2.Design to raise money for our “Bring ‘em Home” campaign to build a dinosaur museum in Greybull. Someday these banners will hang proudly in our museum.
Regarding the transition from the GJHS Dinosaurs to the GJHS Calves, I wonder if that didn’t happen in 1960. By the 1950s, the image of a dinosaur had been tarnished a bit, thought to have been an evolutionary failure, dimwitted, sluggish, with the large ones being able to live only in swamps with their large masses being partially supported by water through most of their adult lives. 
We know that the dinosaurs lived as a class of animals for nearly 130 million years. For perspective, modern Homo sapiens have been around for about 160,000 years. Research since the 1960s has shown that dinosaurs were warm-blooded, gregarious and not at all the dolts some took them for. We also know that not all dinosaurs became extinct but live on in modern birds, which share a common ancestor with the meat-eating Allosaurus Big Al.
However, the 1950s image of plodding, stupid, extinct animals made the word “dinosaur” somewhat of a derogatory term back then. I wonder if it was sometime in the late ‘50s, a time of Sputnik and other impressive advances in technology including the atomic bomb, that some of the townsfolk began thinking that perhaps the dinosaur didn’t represent the image of a group of dedicated athletes quite like a buffalo did, even a baby buffalo.
So, the mascot changed, but, from Diana Schutte Dowling’s recent letter to the editor, the fight song for the GJHS remained essentially the same. “The Greybull Calves are hard to beat.”
Erik Kvale
President, Big Horn Basin
Dinosaur and Geoscience Museum