Now Are you enjoying this latest season of Nebraska Stories?  After closely following this show for so many years, I am still amazed at how many wonderful true tales of Nebraskans are uncovered by Nebraska Educational Television.  This week features stories about how many parts of a story are unexpected.  Some of the adventures have happened because barriers were removed, and opportunities were realized.  Whether days of travel or only a short jaunt, these Nebraskans have followed paths that they are passionate about.  If you are unable to watch this episode live on February 7th, remember all segments are online.

To provide the framework for my posts, the italicized words are from the NET show notes.  The remaining text reflects my personal thoughts and do not necessarily follow directly with the opinions of NET.  But hopefully they will add to your enjoyment of the segments.

Unexpected Travel

“Guardians of the Baton” is the story of how two Lincoln women returned composer Richard Wagner’s baton to his home in Germany.” Hannah Jo Smith’s father gave her a notorious conductor’s baton. Instead of hoarding this gift, she decided instead to learn more about this priceless artifact.  After she made connections with local musician experts, David and Anita Brechbill, their friendship would set a new path in action.  In fact, this connection led both of the ladies to  an unexpected travel adventure.

“River of Surprises” – the 35-day canoe journey of photographer, Mike Forsberg, and filmmaker, Pete Stegen, on the Platte River.   Traveling the full length of a river is definitely unexpected.  Learning about their long adventures made me wish I had that much time to follow the Platte.  I bet all of their experiences could fill more than one book.  Since the guys filmed their experiences, we can enjoy some of their exploits.  Although seeing this mini-documentary is not the same thing as actually following the river, I do think this clip gives us a picture of many portions of the Platte that are normally hidden.

Unexpected Dreams

“Hometown Husker” is a profile of Nebraska volleyball player and Malcolm native, Hayley Densberger.  For most Nebraska high school volleyball players, playing for the Huskers someday would be a dream come true.  Yet rarely local girls get that reality.  A dozen miles separate Malcolm from the Devaney Center where one can watch the Husker home games.  Haley’s hometown must felt like a million steps away to fulfill that dream. As a great volleyball player, she must have turned down scholarship opportunities to be a walk-on for the Huskers.  Not only did she decide to make the sacrifice, she was also willing to change positions.  Now her family can continue to watch her play just down the road.

Unexpected Audience

In “Plein Air Poet,” Britny Cordera delivers catharsis in the form of a poem.  Visitors to the Omaha Farmer’s Market might plan to pick up peppers or peaches.  But they may end up leaving with a poem.  Britny Cordera longed to write more poetry, and she has found a unique place to offer her gift of words.   The unexpected travel of a 1904 Corona typewriter from the battlefield to Omaha’s bricked walkways adds another element to this story.

Unexpected Culture

“Picturing Rodeo” is about the spirit and culture of rodeo captured by photographer, Mark Harris.  Climbing on the back of a bull would definitely be an unexpected travel adventure for all of us.  At least at this point, I think I would prefer to experience the life of a cowgirl from behind a lens.  Mark has definitely managed to capture the essence of this long-loved culture of cowboys.



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.