Did you survive Nebraska’s statewide blizzard this week? While snow is not uncommon in our Midwest State, rarely does the whole state seem to shut down. This time I let my kids have an actual snow day (my daughter did not even know what that meant!) instead of continuing our homeschooling as usual. From inside, the world certainly seems sparkling white. I could almost handle six more weeks of winter – I am bit skeptical of the groundhog predictions since they occurred the day of a blizzard. 🙂 The cold weather also provides another great reason to stay inside and learn more about Nebraska people and places.
This week’s Nebraska Stories episode is all over the map both in Nebraska location as well as in subject matter. Even if I may be familiar with a segment or two, I am always amazed at how much I learn. If you are unable to watch a full show, definitely pick out your favorite segment or two. And remember – if you cannot watch the show as it airs live tonight on NET at 7:00 pm, you can always watch all (or part) of the episodes online when the timing is more convenient to you. As I break down this week’s episode, the bulleted information is directly from NET with the italicized portions being my personal commentary.
- “The Nebraska Arts Awards” – We meet some of the most talented kids in Nebraska as two Nebraska schools, one urban (Lincoln High) and one rural (Hyannis), receive awards for best arts initiatives. We feature excerpts of performances in the Capitol rotunda and hear from participants about their achievements. Featured in this story are the young students from Hyannis and Lincoln selected to perform. In high school, I participated in both my school’s music and drama departments. To be involved in the arts, a strong time commitment is involved. Seeing these students get honored for their efforts is encouraging.
- “Brown Sheep Company” – There are only a handful of active wool mills in the United States, but one of the best is located in the Panhandle. Peggy Jo Wells and her husband, Robert, are producing wool that’s not only sought after by crafters, but has also captured the eye of a New York designer. While I am personally not into knitting or crocheting, I have several friends that are. I enjoyed seeing how this family business has continued to expand. To learn more specifics about the Brown Sheep Company, definitely click on the link. You can also find links to different wool craft patterns.
- “CyberSecuring A Future” – A team of Omaha South students competes against other Nebraska high schools in an event that has real world implications; protecting computer systems from cyberattack. Possibly this segment made me feel a bit old. After all, I learned how to type on an actual typewriter – my computer time in elementary and high school was a bit limited. I am glad that they are teaching kids how to protect computers, and I think I need to teach my own kids about this, so they can help me keep up. 🙂
- “Deconstructing Art” We start with a finished ceramic sculpture and work backwards to see how ceramicist Ryan LaBar creates his intricate, abstract pieces. Such a fun approach to work backward in seeing how this work of art was constructed. LaBar has continued to establish himself as a contemporary artist. You can visit his website to learn more.
- “High Noon at Winnetoon” – Step back in time to the Old West with a guided visit through the Winnetoon Boardwalk In Time, complete with historical buildings and artifacts, a garden of native wild flowers and prairie grasses. This episode originally aired 4 years ago, but I am glad they featured it again. The vision that Winnetoon Postmaster, Gayle Neuhaus, had for her community is pretty outstanding. The town seems to be a hidden gem, but I could not find anything else really on social media. Evidently you just show up to town to take a tour. Small time Americana at its finest!
- “A Day in Fontenelle” It’s one of the largest private nature centers in the country and one of Nebraska’s five National Natural Landmarks and it’s located just minutes from downtown Omaha in Bellevue. This segment on Fontenelle Forest comes from one of the first Nebraska Stories Episode. I recall going to visit this location in about fourth grade, but sadly I have not been back. This is on my list of places to take my kids soon – I know that they would enjoy hiking in such a beautiful location.
Which segment is your favorite one this week? Just a reminder that this is the link again to watch the shows online. Aren’t the photographs great? Thanks again to Nebraska Tourism for having such a great photo gallery for writers to use.