[PODCAST] Neighbors of Casper: Gegi Scott on Food, Community, and Motorcycles
March 2020. A juncture when most of us can remember the exact moment they realized everything was about to change.
At the same time, a Casper man decided to start a Facebook group called Neighborhood of Love -- a place for people to connect and share resources. Little did Elliott Ramage know that it would become a hub for social interaction and a place where people could identify those in need, like a house-bound neighbor without toilet paper.
Post-pandemic it's evolved into a positive space where Casperites share the things they love and resources to help each other.
One might say Ramage's superpower is connecting people. After all, he takes others on trips around the world through his guide service Beyond Borders Adventures Retreats, with an emphasis on interconnectedness.
We team up for a series of podcast episodes to chat with members of the community about their lives and mark on the city of Casper.
To kick things off we chat with Gegi Scott--a beautiful human who is full of surprises.
Gegi grew up in a German town with old buildings and cobblestone streets that look like something straight out of a fairy tale.
Gegi flew to the United States in 1976. She fondly recalled the Bicentennial and funny cultural impasses. "Let me tell you about the German Chocolate Cake everybody was making me..." she chuckled, "I liked the cake, and I thought it was nice, and I thought maybe people just called it a German Chocolate Cake because they made it for me."
From D.C. Gegi went to Texas, then Colorado. There she did a three-year apprenticeship with the American Culinary Association.
She and her children moved to Casper around 2003. In the beginning she worked at the Casper Country Club, then a fine dining establishment called 303.
She later moved into the Atrium Plaza with Gegi's Bistro for about five years, and then she and her friend Darren moved to the Pump House.
"We just decided that we wanted to do whatever the heck we wanted. And for all the years that we had our restaurant, we got to do all the things you don't get to do in a regular restaurant." ~ Gegi
"It wasn’t just meat and potatoes--and Casper has evolved a lot in that way--but I think Gegi and Darren were a big part of that" Ramage added.
Some of the popular events they had were international dinners. She and her partner would pick a country and create an eight or 10 course meal based on the culture.
Gegi remembers her family and the community coming together to support her.
"Everybody was always helpful, just in general. [Casper] was a really great place to start a business. And we made so many friends. It wasn't just the restaurant, it was being part of a community.
"So many people have been kind to us when we started out and rooted for us" she shared.
These days you can find Gegi's food at Grant Street Grocery.
She's the one responsible for the pastries in the dessert case: Madelines, Napoleon's, Scones... and coming soon: tiramisu, cannolis, and other Italian-themed sweets.
In the latter half of the episode we uncover Gegi's affinity for motorcycles.
She says around 2005 she thought, "maybe I should buy a motorcycle. I like to challenge myself."
One day, while still wearing her kitchen uniform, she went into a local motorcycle shop and left with a single-cylinder 200 Suzuki Boulevard.
"It was perfect for me. I have a jacket that has a snake in the back. It's air-brushed."
Gegi's story is just one of many in a constellation of neighbors that make up this wild and windy place called Casper.
"It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood. A beautiful day for a neighbor." ~ Mister Rogers
Listen to the podcast episode HERE.
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