PC Record Era | Gilchrist’s Wanderers; new look, same hometown presence

whitland – Tara Westerman has held many hats throughout her life, including student, wife, mother, daycare owner and rancher. Her latest hat is that of the owner of a retail store in historic Wheatland city centre.

Westerman was born in the Sioux, which they call Sioux Falls, South Dakota, though her family lives near the border in Inwood, Iowa, which is famous for its spectacular Fourth of July fireworks displays.

Westerman’s father then found a job as principal at the East Martin Christian Reform School between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. The family lived in Michigan for seven years until Westerman was 11 years old. That’s when the family got the sad news that Westerman’s mom had developed multiple sclerosis, and they decided to move closer to their family, back to Sioux Falls.

Her father later became an administrator at Sioux Falls Christian Middle School. Her mom and dad first met in Iowa, and while her dad was teaching, her mom opened a restaurant chain called Pizza Ranch.

“It was a really good move for me when we got back to Sioux Falls,” Westerman said. “After living in the very small town of Martin, I love it here. I’m so girly, like I’m going to the nearest big town with choreographers. The girls in my class are into snowmobiling and hunting, so I I feel uncomfortable.”

Westerman graduated from Sioux Falls Christian High School in 2001.

“Then, I went to Sioux Falls after a couple of years of tech school,” she said. “Really hated technical school, I went because it was cheaper. Then I transferred to USF to study psychology, and that’s where I met Jeremy.”

Westerman has a bachelor’s degree in general psychology.

Jeremy Westerman grew up in Chugwater, the son of the former 4day District Representative Dan Kirkbride and his wife Lynn. They have owned a family ranch for many years and Jeremy grew up a rancher and still works on the ranch while his wife takes on the new task of running the bookstore.

“Jeremy and I also went to graduate school for a few years, earning a master’s degree in education,” Westerman said. “I was a dorm mom for five years. The way he found USF was, he went to the WYOBA camp as a kid, and there would be reps from Sioux Falls, and they’d be really fun and cool, and they’d talk about college, so that’s The way he ended up getting there.”

The unlikely couple, son of a rancher from Wyoming and daughter of an educator from Sioux Falls, are brought together by what they like to think of as divine intervention.

“Jeremy and I got married in Sioux Falls in 2006, when I was a senior,” she said. “After I graduated, we both had countless ridiculous jobs. I was a floor manager at a mall because we needed insurance, I was a mom, I worked at a church, I was a barista. He did a part-time job, he did a headhunter Work, being a CrossFit trainer, being a medical sales rep, me being a dorm mom, he being a paramedic … so we did a lot of stuff.”

A worker bee by nature, Westerman said she bagged groceries at a local supermarket after college.

“I really enjoy working and I believe that’s part of my Dutchness,” she laughs.

Both graduates returned to Wyoming with full work experience, and as a couple they bonded as a result of the adversity they both had to face as children. Jeremy’s father passed away when he was very young, and Tara’s mom was battling multiple sclerosis. “

They encouraged each other through adversity, and in the process strengthened their marriage.

“I think it’s because he lost his father when he was 8 and my mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when I was 11,” she said. “So, yeah, I think it’s a connection point for us because we’re young but it feels mature.”

So Jeremy took over as head of the family after his father died and helped care for his younger brother, while Tara helped raise the siblings while their parents were busy battling a brutal and debilitating disease.

“I’m thinking about how this has changed and shaped our whole lives,” she said. “Because it means Lynn met Dan in grief counseling and Jeremy was the first non-blood relative to be a ranch work partner. That’s the whole reason we’re here.”

The couple also took time off from their various jobs to have three children, Baker, Remy and Gabe.

“In 2017, we had just had our youngest child, and at the same time Dan said he was getting ready to retire partially and get more and more involved in politics, and told us that if we wanted to come back, now was the time. So we Moved to the ranch and lived in the basement when their house was finished four months, now it’s been five years.”

As we approach our busy holiday season, Jeremy and Tara are both 39 years old, and they’re making it through with their even-handed demeanor. From college, through adversity, to odd jobs, to parenthood, to ranchers, and now a bookstore owner, it’s been a life of transition and learning how to go with the flow. So how exactly did these portrayals lead her to become a bookstore owner?

“For the first few years, I was in the trenches as a kid,” she says. “For the past 10 years, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom most of the time. For all the different jobs, I look at the experience gained. I’m a floor manager, I’m a barista, I’m a dorm mom, I’m a family The church’s people manager, and I love reading. I love aesthetics, I love people, but it still took me and Jeremy about 10 years to start transitioning.”

They finally take a leap of faith and become bookstores, toy stores, boutiques, coffee shop owners, employers, landlords overnight, learning as they go and putting their experiences into practice. Trying to catch up with Tara every once in a while when things tend to get overwhelming homesickness, but she says investing in her community, people and business has given her something tangible, something she can put her signature on s things.

Westerman cites Jenna Fischer’s character Pam Beasley on the TV show “The Office” when talking about becoming a new business owner. She said, “Some of us get it, some of us don’t, and neither do I. But I’m really happy to be here.”

She said she felt as conscious of relationships as her predecessor and former boss, Dan Brecht.

“I think I have great instincts, and I’m on par with Dan in terms of how to prioritize people,” she said. “At first, when I first came to Wyoming, it was hard to leave my family and a place I really loved. I told myself I would not suffer, maybe it wasn’t my dream, but I would find my place. I started doing things. Like last year, I started a preschool and a few other things to help me snuggle up here because this is where I live and where my husband’s heart is. We’re going to raise our kids here, So I stubbornly started looking for what God gave me.”

Mixing her signature concoctions behind the coffee counter, making people feel at home with her infectious smile when they walk into her store, and having signed her life canvas, all point to God for her something prepared, and speaks volumes of a woman who finds her place, where her purpose is revealed.

Best of all, when you step into Gilchrist’s The Wanderer, you can’t help but think you’ve stepped into a place that feels like home. We all know that when Target pioneer Dorothy Gale said, “There’s no better place than home.”

The Wanderer on Gilchrist is basically Dan Brecht’s bookstore at 875 Gilchrist Street. New owners Jeremy and Tara Weterman have brought new ideas and inventory to the store, including a fashion boutique. Bottom: Wanderer2: The Wheatland Welcome Committee, led by Linda Fabian, welcomed Tara and Jeremy Westerman to the neighborhood on October 10th at the annual Downtown Business Holiday Sip, Savor and Shop event. Wanderer3: The new owners of The Wanderer on Gilchrist have kept the little bookstore’s famous lattes and coffees. Westerman has some new drinks with clever names. One of the hallmarks of Wanderer4: The Wanderer on Gilchrist is its cozy and welcoming atmosphere, with a separate area on the main floor and a loft with comfy couches and a quiet nook to read a great book.

Leave a Comment