Maybe Rudy Giuliani is right, “truth is not the truth” or maybe it’s Will Rogers’, “things aren’t the way they used to be and never were.”

This was evident when I was talking with some residents about economic development for Mackay for the third time in six months. Three individuals informed me that people in Mackay don’t want their town to change. As proof of this they said that Mackay ran off the Freedom Gun factory.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. In the 1970s the South Custer Economic Development Committee was formed by Oscar Wornak, Oval Caskey, Joe Ausich, Ted Hanawalt, myself and others. Through state and federal programs, before EICIPDA came into being, even though they take credit for it, we applied for economic development grants and received a substantial amount of money. The ink was not even dry on the check when a representative from a gun factory (not yet Freedom Gun) showed up to see what we had to offer. He was very interested, but when we asked for time to either renovate an existing building or build a new facility, he said that they had heard we had money and were looking for a business to come to Mackay. They had already checked Freedom, Wyoming, which had a business park with the infrastructure already in place. They were not willing to wait for us, so they left.

Fast forward 35-plus years — Mackay now has a tech park (how that came to be is a different story) and Proud Source Water is looking for a place to build in Custer County. They had no idea that the tech park even existed and were looking to build outside of Mackay. Issues with wells and sewer systems presented problems. Then they learned about the park with the infrastructure already in place (quite a savings for them.) Perfect pairing, and soon after Natural Spring Ice built in the park as well.

So Rudy G. and Will R. are correct. The truth isn’t the truth and things aren’t the way they used to be and never were, because when I’m gone and pushing up daisies, the truth will be that Mackay ran off the Freedom Gun factory.

Lin Hintze


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