Earlier this week, I had the privilege of speaking to a group of moms about traveling around Nebraska with kids.  Through the process of preparing a powerpoint of pictures and polishing a document that I had done for a previous presentation, I was reminded again of how much I love living in this state.  Nebraska has so much to offer.  Whenever I watch another episode of Nebraska Stories, I am reminded of this fact as well.  Learning about ways that Nebraskans positively impact the world is inspiring.  The only problem I can see with the program is that my Nebraska bucket list of places that I want to visit someday continues to increase.  (Once you watch Episode 707, you will understand why I definitely think I need to go to Taylor, Nebraska, soon!)  Anyway, as is the case in previous weeks, the bulleted remarks are the episode summaries straight from NET with the italicized words being my oh-so-enlightening insights. 😉  Seriously, I love getting to write about the shows!  Hopefully I can give you links and thoughts to take your Nebraska Stories experience even further – that’s the goal anyway!

  • Nebraska Stories Episode 707 Musical SeedlingsMusical Seedlings” Classically trained musicians from the Omaha Conservatory of Music teach 3-6-year-olds to play the violin as part of as part of a groundbreaking free afterschool program unique to Nebraska that targets underserved communities in an effort to bolster early childhood education and foster a love for the arts.  I taught my first piano students when I was in high school and even have completed a piano pedagogy class.  How many students do I have currently?  None.  Maybe someday I will have time to go that direction again, but I certainly admire people who inspire kids musically.  Especially in such a fun manner. This program, which is officially called “String Sprouts”, does provide a great introductory experience to music for young children.  Both their websites seem to be having technical difficulties, so if you would like more information on this program, I would definitely start with their Omaha Conservatory of Music Facebook page.  Spoiler alert: the kids in this segment are so cute.  Maybe I do need to find time to teach music again after all …
  • The Villagers of Taylor” – Meet the unusual villagers of Taylor, and the artist who brought them to this small Nebraska town, creating hundreds of life-size cutouts of 1920s era people in and around Taylor.  The heart behind this project is wonderful – a woman decided she needed a creative way to bring people to her small Sandhills town.  Her idea is definitely artfully done.  You definitely need to visit the Taylor, Nebraska Facebook page to learn more about the town and to see more of her amazing creations.
  • Nebraska Stories Episode 707 Bob Gibson's Legacy with Littleton AlstonBob Gibson’s Legacy”  He’s an Omaha native who played 17 years with the St. Louis Cardinals and he’s been in the Baseball Hall of Fame since 1981. Recently, his hometown honored pitcher Bob Gibson by commissioning a statue—which is anything but static!  Growing up, my younger brother was definitely a Cardinals fan, to the point that he would even listen games on the radio.  Although Gibson was probably still playing when I was a child, I guess technically he is a bit before my time.  In a world of overly confident athletes, watching one who has shyed away from honor rather than sought accolades out was rather refreshing.  If you are a baseball fan, you definitely will want to take the time to read his official bio on the Baseball Hall of Fame site.  His stats are quite impressive.  As for the Omaha sculptor, Littleton Alston?  Well, his work is not too shabby either.  On his website you can see many of his completed works.  Sculptures are definitely his specialty.  Ending my thoughts on this sculpture with one of his quotes from his website seems fitting.

    “The human form holds endless fascination for me, and it is this vehicle through which I believe can best express the joys and sorrows of the human condition.”  Littleton Alston

  • Beyond The Finish Line” Revisit 53-year-old Bobby Watson’s run for Team Nebraska during the 2010 Special Olympics held in Lincoln.  When the Special Olympics came to town, my kids were 1,3,5 and 7.  Needless to say, we did not get to attend as many events as I would have liked.  We did manage to attend a bit of soccer, and I left feeling so inspired.  I think we also left with a bunch of pins – the athletes seemed to love handing them out.  The word “special” definitely describes these athletes – not due to their differences but due to the fact that in their simplicity and joy, they shine.  The support of the community was unheralded.  Hopefully someday this event will come back to Lincoln – I definitely would want to be more involved.

Just a reminder that you can watch this week’s episode online as well!


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.