Learning to share the message that you have been called to share can be a challenge.  After all, the world tells us that to be worth anything our voice needs to be loud above the crowd and reach the masses.  But what if we are supposed to make a difference in a smaller way?  If we are so busy trying to reach the world, maybe we will miss impacting those who are nearby.  Episode 2 of Nebraska Stories Season 9 seems to revolve around this theme.  Letting your message count even if the channel may not be expected.  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.

The Message from Episode 902 Segments

“Talk to Me”Lincoln musician and singer Josh Hoyer reflects on his recent stint on NBC’s “The Voice” and on his life as a performer with his band Soul Colossal.  Together, the group plays a mix of R&B, funk & soul and just completed their first European tour. Hoyer believes music can bring people together to resolve differences and performs an original piece on that subject entitled, “Talk to Me.”

Back in September, I attended part of the Nebraska 150 event in downtown Lincoln.  Mainly my purpose was bringing my kids along with some of their friends to experience the mobile museum.  Nearby I could heard a singer performing.  I was blown away and found out that former Voice contestant Josh Hoyer was the one on stage.  What an incredible musician.  His rendition of “America” was one of the best that I have ever heard.  And I am a big music fan!  Learning a bit more about Josh and his music in this segment was great.  His message has taken a more soulful turn.  But I appreciate the fact that he is using the stage to impact the world.  This segment contains a studio performance of one of his songs.  You will definitely enjoy it!


“No Filter” Husker volleyball standouts Briana Holman and Sydney Townsend traveled to Nicaragua with other Nebraska student athletes on a mission to embrace a culture, open their minds and leave a mark. The students helped add classrooms onto an existing school.  

Husker volleyball players play so well on the court that they are definitely listened to off the court as well.  The fact that several athletes are choosing to go beyond Nebraska to help others is definitely inspiring.  Their message of caring is shown most by the work done by their hands.


“The Forgotten Artist”  He’s considered by some to be one of America’s best artists – and perhaps the greatest artist ever to represent Nebraska, though he’s not necessarily recognizable by name. Artist Dale Nichols (David City) took his childhood memories of rural Nebraska landscapes and turned them into paintings. Today they are national treasures.  

This is an archival episode that might be one of my favorites.  For one thing, I am definitely a fan of Nichols’ work.  My appreciation of his artistry definitely grew when I had the chance to see it firsthand at Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art.  Why I really love this segment is the family component.  For years, Nichols sent letters to his niece explaining his interpretation of art.  She took in his words, then used them to develop her own style.  I am not sure that she fully recognizes the power of her own message.  But I do.


“Kearney Goes to War”  During World War II, thousands of people came to Kearney for training before leaving for combat in Europe and the Pacific. The Kearney Army Airfield, a nearly forgotten airfield built in 1942, served as the base for this war effort. Kearney was forever changed by the influx of military personnel and played an important role in Nebraska’s contribution to the war effort.  

Growing up, I had no idea that Nebraska was so involved in World War 2.  (Sorry to my former teachers if I was not paying attention!)  Only recently have I learned more about these small Nebraska communities whose patriotic efforts ultimately helped win the war.  I definitely did not know much at all about Kearney’s part.  This segment is a message that reminds us all to do our part from where we are at.


Portrait of a Photographer” Nia Karmann lives with spina bifida, but that doesn’t keep her from pursuing photography as an art and profession.  On assignment at a Council Bluffs, Iowa fire station, she uses a wheelchair and crutches to set up for just the right photograph.  

This is another inspiring archival story.  The fact that Nia decided that her health problems were going to be an asset rather than a deterrent should cause all of us to challenge ourselves.  Do we let struggles get in the way of getting our own messages out to the world?

Live out your message today!


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.