A family-owned daily newspaper serving Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming since 1949

Age-old headline

May 24, 2012 - By Steven R. Peck

We've used 'Million Dollar Rain' many

times before, and it's appropriate again

In looking back through the newspaper archive for one of the many reasons we do it, it becomes apparent that an editorial with the headline "Million Dollar Rain" must have been written at least 25 times in our newspaper through the decades.

The term applies again this year. In fact, we've had two in the past week.

The gloom and doomers have been in full cry for months about the disastrous water year Fremont County is going to have. We enjoyed a remarkably warm winter without much snow, and summery weather arrived in April to begin melting what snow there was far earlier than usual. The soil dried out, water was released early into the canals and ditches, and everyone who worries about water started worrying about water.

Fremont County's rich agricultural district in recent memory endured a drought that lasted almost a decade. We know all too well the impact it can have, and drought concerns will forever be a part of life here.

So, amid all the stress about the apparent water shortage, a rainstorm can be like a shot of needed medicine.

Our reservoirs are full, and now the river, canals and ditches can run fuller, and for a longer time, than they would have.

A rainstorm that can extend depleted irrigation water even for a few days can be the difference between a poor crop or an average one, or, if the timing is right, the difference between a good crop and a great one.

"Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven," goes the old song made popular in the Dustbowl days of the Great Depression. "Don't you know each cloud contains pennies from heaven.

"You'll find your fortune falling all over town. Be sure that your umbrella is upside down.

"Trade them for a package of sunshine and flowers. If you want the things you love, you must have showers.

"So when you hear it thunder, don't run under a tree. There'll be pennies from heaven for you and me."

When that song came out in 1936, the lyricist was talking about pennies. Inflation has kicked in since then. Sure enough, we just got another million-dollar rain.

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