Leland Schafer / by Michael Falco

Who is Leland Schafer?

Leland Schafer was born in Southeast Colorado in a town called La Junta. He has lived in the area for thirty-seven years and in Cheyenne for about twenty-three. He is an Evangelist Christian. He is retired but currently works as the elevator operator for a historic building in downtown Cheyenne.

Excerpt from interview with Leland Schafer by Whitney Dow, 2018

Schafer: [01:00:19] My name is Leland Schafer. I’m originally from the Southeastern part of Colorado—a little town called La Junta, Colorado. And I’ll tell you a little interesting thing about my birth: I was brought into this world by a veterinarian. Now, the other side of that story is he’s a veterinarian turned MD, but I don’t tell people about that [laughs].

Q: So how long have you been in Cheyenne [Wyoming]?

Schafer: [01:00:49] I’ve been in Cheyenne, I think it’s about twenty-two, twenty-four years— somewhere along in there.

Q: And what can you tell me about this community? Is it a friendly community?

Schafer: [01:00:57] It’s a very friendly community. People say hello to you. You know, you say hello to them, they’ll say hello back to you. People are very nice.

Q: Even if you’re from Colorado?

Schafer: [01:01:09] Oh yes. Yes, you know I’ve been here for thirty-seven years, so I’m almost a native.

Q: When Sam told you about this project, the idea of doing a project on white people, what was your response? You think it was like, good, bad, nuts?

Schafer: [01:01:25] Oh, I don’t know. I guess a lot of things go through your mind. You wonder, hmm, is this some kind of deal that some white supremacist group, or something like this? But as he explained it to me, why, I thought, hey, this would be kind of interesting to do.

Q: Well, let me ask you a question. How often do you think about your race?

Schafer: [01:01:47] Oh, not too much.

Interview Transcript