This Nebraska Stories episode has to do with searching. Some are searching for a place to belong. Culture is what some are searching for. New businesses are searching for a new way to promote their hopping businesses. Searching for a place from long ago, Bliss was discovered. Some are searching for old-time radio.

All of the italicized words are directly from NET.

“The Statue on the Hill”: Searching for Home

Ultimately about a tribe that wants to stay in their home lands, the story of Chief Standing Bear is a sad one. Part of the ending is a happy as he finally speaks out for Native Americans. Yet still they are never able to come home. Until today. This statue is a symbol of dreams come true.

On the Ponca homeland in Northeast Nebraska, Alice Erickson looks up at the bronze statue of her great-great-great grandfather—Chief Standing Bear. Created by artist Ben Victor, the 11 foot statue depicts the Chief pleading for his freedom. Arrested for leaving Indian Territory to return to his home near the Niobrara River, he declares himself a person under the law. “I am a man,” Standing Bear said to the judge at his famous trial. “The same God made us both.” Standing Bear won his case and is recognized today as a civil rights hero. But to Alice, the Chief is simply family. “He’s up on that hill overlooking our land,” she says. “And he’s with us always.”

“Half-Way to St. Pat’s”

Celebrating being Irish does not always have to happen only in March. This annual event happens in September. In case you are searching for Greeley (Center) on the map, look in the middle of the state.

The village of Greeley celebrates its founding heritage every year by throwing a big Irish party. The day long festival includes music, food, history, culture and a whole lot of fun. Held on the third Saturday in September, which is about half-way to St. Patrick’s Day, the popular event attracts national and international musicians and the town grows four times its size!

“A Hopping Success”

Nebraska serving beverages that feature grain makes perfect sense. Working in cooperation with the university is also a winning situation. Are you willing to drink to their success?  Might be fun to try a new type of beverage – that is as long as you are twenty-one!

Since 2013, Midwest Hop Producers has been paving the way for the Hop industry in the Midwest. A partnership with the University of Nebraska has helped take the business to a whole new level.

“Looking for Bliss”

What these early settlers accomplished is noteworthy. So soon after the Civil War to have a group gather together is noteworthy! The book, Hector’s Bliss by Dennis Vossberg is about this settlement – I have it on my TBR pile for someday. If you have already read it, please let me know what you think.

A look at a little-known African-American settlement near Goose Lake where former slaves homesteaded.

“Big-Time Radio in Clay Center”

Radio is a lost art. Learning how this station affected a Nebraska community is fascinating. If you search the dial today, the station is gone.  But oh what fun it must have been to listen once long ago.

In the 1920s, a chicken incubator baron in Clay Center started a radio station to market his products. In just a few years, KMMJ turned into a regional tourist attraction and a launching pad for performers.

Author: neodyssey