After a wintery Monday, I enjoyed having it be nice enough to walk outside today! But I am sure that tonight will be chilly again – a perfect time to snuggle in to watch this week’s Nebraska Stories. I decided that my favorite way to present these stories to you is to include the info directly from NET first, then add my own commentary on the segments. To follow my previous format, the bulleted sentences are specific information from NET– a teaser without giving too much away, with the italicized comments being mine.
- “Nacho Ride” – Retired PE teacher Phil Wolfe wanted to do something to encourage people to be more active. So what did he do? He started the Lincoln Nacho Ride. What started with a humble number of four riders has grown to 200. Holy mole! I actually have met Phil Wolfe before – he is in charge of the Lincoln area “Tennis Buddies,” and I wrote an article about that program in the L Magazine. Phil is such a nice guy who has a heart for people. I enjoyed learning about this other program that he assists with. Incidentally the Eagle restaurant that served the nachos is sadly closed, but they seem to be ascertaining other food options. They do have a Facebook group if you want to know about other upcoming events.
- “Folkloric Dancers” – Colorful costumes swirl to the rhythm of traditional Latin American music under the sandy buttes of Scottsbluff National Monument. Dance instructor Mary Ann Schockley reflects on her years of teaching the skills of Mexican baile to the children of the panhandle community. This is such a beautiful story of a grandmother passing traditions down to the next generations. The costumes are simply beautiful – I could definitely sit and watch them perform all evening!
- “Fort Hartsuff” – A tour of a restored 1880s U.S. army fort on the edge of the Sandhills, with a glimpse at the life of the soldiers who served there. Having only been to Fort Robinson, I think I am a bit behind on visiting the Nebraska forts. Learning the background behind this beautifully maintained fort motivates me to want to experience the place in person.
- “A Love Letter to Louise” When they were students at the University of Nebraska, Louise Pound was greatly admired by Willa Cather. This is basically part of the segment of the show, “Yours, Willa Cather” that was shown earlier this fall. Search Willa Cather on my site to find out more about that special (the link was showing up larger than I hoped!) Anyway I do think it is interesting to see behind the scenes of an author’s life even if the life choices might be different than mine. Since my youngest was watching this with me, I must confess that I fast forwarded this one because the topic is far more grown up than a seven year old can handle. Do as you wish depending on the audience.
- “The Old Windmill” – When Art Kregel locked the door to his family business for the last time in 1991, it had been operating for over one hundred years. Now, a group of volunteers are working to transform the Kregel Windmill Factory (Nebraska City) into a one-of-a-kind museum celebrating 19th Century industrial technology. Take a tour of yesteryear and see historic machinery spark back to life. When we went to Nebraska City, I had hoped to stop here, but we did not have enough time. I am actually glad that we waited. Had I walked in previously, I would not have appreciated this location. After all, at first glance it seems unorganized and a bit messy. But now I appreciate the fact that they are keeping this museum as it was as a business.
- “A Plague of Locusts” – An animated recreation of the devastation locusts wrought on the homesteads of the Great Plains, along with a narrated first-hand account from a reporter in 1874 visiting friends on a Nebraska homestead during a locust attack. If you ever read any pioneer fiction, the locusts all seem to descend on the homesteaders. This segment did such a great job of bringing the pestilence to life. You could feel the pain and devastation. If I teach about this subject again, I will include this segment as a way to bring the “plague” home to my students.
- “Big Heads in A Garden” – Take an afternoon stroll through the beautiful Lauritzen Gardens where among the display of colorful flora, you’ll see the avant-garde sculptures of renowned artist Jun Kaneko. This is interesting segment that is set to music without narration. I had not read the press release before watching, so I am proud that I recognized the sculptures as being the work of Kaneko. If you try to go to see the sculptures at Lauritzen Gardens, the full display is no longer there, but a few of his pieces are possibly still visible. I was unable to confirm or deny that at the moment. 🙂 To learn more about this display, read this article.
Remember – if you are unable to watch this episode live tonight at 7 pm, you can watch the show online any time.