Adam Small / by Michael Falco

Who is Adam Small?

Adam Small was born in Cheyenne and then moved to Loveland, Colorado, when he was seven. Following high school, he attended community college in Powell, Wyoming, and later went on to graduate from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. He grew up visiting his family's ranch in Wheatland, Wyoming, where they settled in the late 1800s. He currently lives in Cheyenne and works at the Microsoft data center. 

Excerpt from interview with Adam Small by Whitney Dow, 2018

Q: And so what is sort of the culture of Cheyenne and Wyoming? What are some of the hallmarks of it?

Small: [01:02:38:02] Okay. I would say the culture of Cheyenne, Wyoming, is the cowboy culture, the frontier. And the thing that made Cheyenne a larger town in the Front Range area was the railroad. And I think that had a very big impact on the growth of the city and the kind of people that it brought out. My particular family came out here in the late 1800s. They were from England and became ranchers. So I think you had a lot of the—maybe more of the middle class people coming from Europe and the East, coming over here and trying to start a life. And then we had the Air Force come in. And I think that’s kind of where some of the little bit of diversity you get here comes from.

Q: So do you feel connected to that past, that frontier past? Your family coming here. Does that feel like something that sort of lives inside you?

Small: [01:03:45:11] Oh yes. So the ranch is still in our family. It’s up in Wheatland, Wyoming. And I have visited that ranch every year since I was a kid. And it’s a really big part of my culture and my identity. I really love the outdoors, and going out there and just feeling free, and kind of having that rugged part of my life [laughs].

Q: And what about—how do you think that it sort of manifests itself in your life and in Cheyenne, working at Microsoft? How do those values, that culture sort of live inside you?

Small: [01:04:28:09] I would say the culture that—how that culture lives inside me is the—people that first came out here had to be very individualistic and resourceful, because they’re just—it was so rural. There wasn’t a very big city nearby or anything. So you had to kind of make it on your own. And I think that culture is still there when working at places we have to be a little bit more—I think we tend to be more self-reliant than maybe some other places in the United States. And individualistic. But when need be, we can work as a part of a team and do very well.

Interview Transcript