Statue in North Platte River helps local man remember impactful father

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 6:36 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Coldwater from the North Platte River rushes past “The Silver Slinger” a statue community members can see from the parking lot of Jonah Bank.

The statue is of a man fishing in the river. Kevin Wall, a local man, said this is from a photo of his father Donald. “They emulated it into the statue but they got it wrong because they always used a bait pole. He never used a fly pole because he thought it was unfair to the fish,” Kevin said.

Kevin said his father was an icon in the community whose struggles helped others struggling with addiction. “People in town would call him seven drop Don. There’s an entire story behind that which I won’t elaborate, but it’s an honor of many soldiers they call them the bottles that they don’t have to kill because he’s told his story to others,” Kevin said.

Getting sober helped Donald find his passion for fishing. He also worked as a Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper and Master Mechanic where he wore many hats. Kevin still sees his impact on the community.

“I may go to a convenience store and lose two or three hours just from humble and happy thoughts people have about him and memories of what’s done for them,” Kevin said.

Donald died from stage four lung cancer at the beginning of this month. Because of his addiction, Kevin said he didn’t know Donald very well until just before he died. “He was so perfect and rich in his ways I never really knew the man because there were so many facets of him,” Kevin said.

Donald’s life was celebrated over the weekend at the 12-24 club.

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