Nebraska Stories is back for another season!  If you have followed along with this blog for any length of time, you may remember that I go a different direction during January and February.  During these months, I provide you with episode previews of this great show put out by Nebraska Educational Television.  This show is generally on television on Thursday nights at 8 PM CT.  But you can watch the segment episodes online any time.  Season 9 episode 1 looks at how we interact with our own environment.  As always, the italicized words are the show notes provided directly from NET and Nebraska Stories.  The comments afterward are my own thoughts and do express the opinions of NET at all.

“Plein Air Poet” – Britny Cordera is known as the Old Market poet. Especially on weekends, she is a frequent site on the sidewalks of Howard Street, typing at her 1904 Corona portable typewriter.  Like an artist painting a canvas in the park, Britny is a plein air poet… taking in her surroundings as inspiration for her poetry. She sits next to a sign, “Pick a topic, get a poem” – and then writes a poem on request.  There’s no fee though gratuities are accepted. A recent graduate from UNO and already a published poet, the aspiring writer is pursuing a career bringing catharsis to all who seek it in the form of a poem.

This story is a fun one.  For one thing, her typewriter is very cool.  (While I am not sure that I could be as efficient of a writer with one of those, I guarantee using one would be more interesting than my computer.)  When we think of poetry, we often think that composition involves stillness and quiet.  But Britny has decided to use her city environment to her advantage.  This approach allows her poetry to grow and to impact even more people.  I am not sure that I have seen her down in the Omaha Old Market before.  But I will definitely be looking for her now.

“Cops & Robbers” – Lincoln’s Robber’s Cave has transformed from a famous hideaway into a modern craft brewery. As the craft brewing explosion hit Nebraska, three Lincoln police officers turned their love of homemade beer into a business. They opened Blue Blood Brewery and are using the cave as a storage site for their custom barrel aged brews and a tasting room, with a separate area in the caverns set aside for the caves original inhabitants, bats.

A cave provides the perfect environment for bats.  Not surprisingly, it can also seem ideal to other night dwellers.  For thieves and other thugs.  I love all of the folklore associated with Lincoln’s Robber’s Cave.  This is one place I have yet to tour.  Sometime this summer, I have a date night in mind.  I think both my husband and I will enjoy the adventure.

“Sandhills Critters” – Vertebrate ecologist Keith Geluso studies animals and teaches teachers about the wildlife of the Sandhills.  On the Switzer Ranch near Burwell, Geluso is tracking the diversity of animals.  From the tiny Velvet Ant to the Kangaroo Rat, the Sandhills provides a variety of habitats to support a biologically diverse array of critters.  

The Sandhills is Nebraska’s well-known ecological masterpiece.  This environment provides the perfect location for many unique animals.  Learning about these creatures definitely made for an interesting segment.

Archival Segments about Environment

“The Cooking Kuxhausens ”  Dick and Marlene Kuxhausen of Scottsbluff are two lovebirds whose recipe for a happy marriage includes plenty of time together in the kitchen cooking foods of their common heritage.  In their own words, “They’re just two happy Germans from Russia.”

Last year, this segment debuted.  What is fun about the Kuxhausens is that they have chosen to have fun in their kitchen environment.  Seeing love and commitment lived well is always inspiring.

“The Blizzard of 1949” Cowboys share their tales of surviving a mid-century blizzard  considered one of the worst to hit the northern plains.

I have actually shared about this blizzard on my blog before.  As my mom was a baby during that winter, the snowy environment definitely impacted her farmer parents.  I am certain that must have been an overwhelming season.  Right now, the stories remind me that perhaps I should not complain when we receive only a few inches of snow.



Author: neodyssey

My name is Gretchen Garrison. I started this blog about Nebraska in 2013. So far, I have written three books about Nebraska and Lincoln.