Nebraska Stories Episode 703 CreditedArt.  That seems to be the common thematic element for each of the four segments in this week’s Nebraska Stories episode.  Note: this episode may not be for the entire family this time, other than the 2nd segment, due to a few portions being a bit intense.   Read the bulleted sections for the official description, along with my take on each segment in italics.

  • The Most Beautiful Man in the World” He was once heralded as the “Most Beautiful Man in the World.” Noted artist, poet and dancer Paul Swan grew up in Crab Orchard, Nebraska but made a name for himself in Paris and New York, painting and sculpting the likes of Isadora Duncan, Willa Cather and John F. Kennedy, among others. Through exhibits and artifacts on display at the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney, we explore the story behind this mysterious artist.  I have to say that “The Most Beautiful Man in the World” made me a bit sad.  This Nebraska artist/actor, Paul Swan, lived almost a tragic life yet he left a strong legacy for Nebraska.  Unfortunately, you can no longer see the display of his art at the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney.  That is still one of the places in our state that I hope to visit sometime this spring.  By the way, evidently there is another artist named Paul Swan.  Finding the Nebraskan one online is a bit challenging, but I did find this link with a few pieces.
  • The Saddle Maker” – Lyle Henderson is a second generation saddle maker.  Together with his wife, Lynda, the Henderson’s are turning the prosperous, long-time tradition into an international business.  This cowboy is headin’ up!  Before watching this episode, I would not have considered leather making necessarily an art.  After seeing Henderson’s work, I am convinced now that it can be if the tools are in the right hands.  The process of creating this style of utilitarian art was interesting to me and just may have revised my childhood dreams of owning my own horse.  (Good thing my husband doesn’t really have to worry about that coming to fruition right now since our backyard is a bit too small even for a pony!)
  • Batman Does Shakespeare” What do comic books and theater have in common? Bob Hall says they both tell stories, which is why this Lincoln native has spent his life drawing characters like Batman and directing plays written by Shakespeare.  “Batman and Shakespeare” combines two different art forms together.  Bob Hall is the one who connects the dots.  One of my sons is very into super heroes, so I know he will find this episode especially fascinating.  Intrigued by how these two seemingly opposite storylines work together?  You definitely need to watch.
  • The Power of Positive Thinking” Jon McAlpin has beat cancer three times. He credits keeping a positive attitude and serving others as part of his successful treatment.  The last segment deals with a different kind of art – the art of hospitality.  While the segment is technically entitled, “The Power of Positive Thinking”  and discusses the power of a positive attitude, I think even more it demonstrates the power of a warm welcome.  The three-time cancer survivor definitely does that!

That thought reminds me of my Mom – one of the most welcoming people that I know.  She instantly manages to make everyone feel at home.  She happens to be the winner of my drawing this time – despite the fact that she comments all of the time on this blog, she has not been an official winner.  Today I think that is fitting because she happens to be up in Omaha beginning her recovery from back surgery that she had this afternoon.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Mom.  We love you!

Remember if you cannot watch the show live, you can follow the link to watch the episode online.


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.