Years ago, when my grandchildren were little, they went to the Boys and Girls Club as their after school daycare. At first, they went to a little west side branch of the Boys and Girls Club, until the larger club, that is now the only one in Casper, was built. The club was filled with things to keep the kids occupied and out of trouble after school. The main goal of the Boys and Girls Club is to prevent kids from being latchkey kids, who are home alone after school for several hours. It is well known that kids get in trouble when they have too much unsupervised time. At the time when my grandchildren were there, one of the projects was a very poignant correlation between the children and the future. The project featured handprints, including those of my four grandchildren. It was called the “The Hands That Hold The Future” and the kids were told it was going on display outside the Nicolaysen Art Museum.
That was years ago, and long forgotten, because somehow it was never displayed at the Nic. The kids, especially my grandson, Chris Petersen, were disappointed, because they thought it would be cool to see their work there. Still, time blurs the disappointments we have sometimes, and the display faded into oblivion…until three of my grandkids, Chris, Shai Royce, and Josh Petersen were going to the movies. They stopped at the Loaf and Jug near Sunrise Shopping Center, and Chris was stunned to see the display there. Apparently it was placed there years ago. It was quite weathered.
While my oldest grandson, Chris was pretty young when they helped make the display, the memory came back to him. He told Shai and Josh about it, and Shai remembered it too. They even recalled which hands were theirs. Chris had wanted to be on top, and Josh was under his and to the left. Shai wanted to be next to her brother, Caalab Royce, and she remembered cutting off her fingers because of the crease at the joint of finger and hand. She also remembers being quite upset when told that she had done it wrong, and how the teacher put it together and on the display anyway. In a way, that uniqueness makes it stand out even more.
The sign has weathered a lot over the years of being there by the Loaf and Jug convenience store since about the early 2000s. The paint is peeling and some people might think it should be removed. I can honestly say that the hands of the children I know, that are on it, have grown into wonderful people. If most kids of that era turn out as well as my grandchildren, I can say that our future is in good hands.