Brother in law Gary wanted to visit Cabela's in Kearney, so we took off with the intention of stopping for breakfast along the way. We made it as far as Arapahoe when we saw the Derby cafe and pulled in.
We got a late start, so it wasn't busy when we arrived. The Derby's menu and prices are exactly what I expected, and the pancakes are huge and tasty! A sign on the wall proclaimed you're only 342 miles from Wall Drug South Dakota, the Farmall and John Deere tractor signs supply much of the artwork, and the folks working are as friendly as you could find anywhere.
Shortly before we finished our breakfast, an older gentleman walked in and took a seat at the counter. The man and waitress obviously knew each other as they exchanged how-do's on a first name basis. It was tough to not overhear their conversation and I now know that he has a secret, I know it, and I won't tell.
What made this breakfast special for us is that we got to meet this very friendly fellow that knows more about our place than we do it seemed. I'm sure I made my usual comment about being new in the area, and that's how we met Wren. He asked where abouts we bought, and we told him our general location. "Let's see now, is it on the west side of the road? I know just about every place and field in that part of the country. I've lived in this country for 76 years and used to custom swath almost every field in the area."
Well, next thing he's telling us how the previous owners lifted the house 4 or 5 years ago and put a new basement in. He told us some of what he knew about the folks that that lived and farmed on "our" farm in the past. He knows people that we do in Colorado, though those folks are from the Republican River valley too, and the short amount of time we got to visit made me wishing we had more time just to sit and learn some of one persons lifetime perceptions of the area.
I'm finding that even though the number of miles might be many, the actual distance between towns isn't much at all around here.