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Tuesday, Sep. 1, 2015
Music and taxes (08/25/15)
I have to poke a little fun at friend Mike Hendricks and sympathize a bit at the damage to his pride and joy bright yellow Mustang. It will never be the same yet probably came out better than the poor wet deer that hit him. In his latest column From the Penthouse to the Outhouse Mike proudly tells of spending time and a large amount of treasure to enjoy a few hours of a concert in Kansas City. ...
The Mormon War (08/18/15)
Bulletin: Grannie Annie came through her hip joint replacement surgery splendidly. A big thanks to all you prayer warriors and other good people who express well wishes. It is you that make this such a great place to live. Recent travels from across Nebraska from west to east have shown this old farmer that this is an exceptionally fine year for crop production. ...
Payback (08/11/15)
Little acts of kindness. People are good. Recently Grannie Annie was driving through the mail dropoff at the McCook Post Office. Low car, short arms and the letter dropped on the ground. With a bum hip Grannie struggled to open the door and reach for it. Out of nowhere a slim young lady appeared, offered condolences and fetched the letter off the pavement for her. Cheerfully the angel commented that she had the same problem herself and that it was okay...
Know thine enemy (08/04/15)
Late on some evenings we would sit around and tell stories as flight crews often did while pulling nuclear war alert. Especially memorable one night one of my KC-135 crew commanders was relating things that happened while he was a "guest" of the North Vietnamese in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. ...
Immigration dustup (07/28/15)
In the political news of late there has been considerable angst concerning porous borders and illegal immigration. Yet we as a country are a nation of immigrants. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my light beside the golden door." -- Emma Lazarus. So it says right there on the base of the Statue-of-Liberty in New York Harbor. What happened?...
Requiem for a hangar (07/21/15)
I was headed north on Highway 83. To the northwest I noted a huge column of ugly brown-grey smoke rising to form a familiar mushroom shape. "Gee I hope it is not one of the hangars at the old McCook Army Airbase" I told myself. In a few miles I topped a hill and suspicions confirmed it was the south hangar, the one built to service B-29s during World War II. ...
Sixty years and counting (07/14/15)
Grannie Annie and your humble columnist participated in celebrating a momentous historical event (at least for the two of us) this past Saturday, July 11th. That day in 1955 was Day One of the United States Air Force Academy. We both were present that hot afternoon on the flight line of Lowry AFB, near Denver. ...
Patriotism on display (07/07/15)
Ah, the celebration of our Independence Day. Great fun was watching the 4th of July Parade in Culbertson. The weatherman gave us a beautiful day. Large crowd seeking shade along the parade route, visiting with neighbors, lots of young families and kids scrambling for candy and trinkets thrown from parade floats. Good food -- brats and hamburgers -- served afterward and more visiting. A car show. Free ice cream from the ambulance crews. Small town America at its finest...
The pruning hook (06/30/15)
Not so happy days! SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) has decreed that same sex marriage is to be demanded in all fifty states. Their justification refers to Article IV Section 2 which in essence states that each State will honor all public Acts, marriage in this case, authorized in other States. ...
Black and white (06/23/15)
Raised on a farm in Southwestern Nebraska. High school in McCook where all the students were white and of Christian persuasion. Off to college in an all-white student body; well there were brown skinned Hawaiians and a handful of Jewish brethren but not any to claim an African heritage or none to practice other than a Judeo-Christian faith. Wiley Burch hadn't become a Buddhist yet...
Distinguished and proud (06/16/15)
"Col. Trail this is Gene Budig," announced the answering machine. "Please give me a call when you have a few minutes." He didn't mention anything about the fact that he too is retired Air Force, a Major General (two stars) no less but did give a phone number related to the East Coast...
Sunrise (06/09/15)
Wonderful! Lots of money to spend. Business as usual for the City of McCook. Yes that was the result of the recent "special election" to keep the sales tax revenue rolling in. They didn't get it all. For one, there is that pesky requirement of a sunset. ...
Number Four (06/02/15)
The invitation read: "Come join us to help celebrate Shane's graduation from the Air Force Academy." The young man, now 2nd Lt. Shane German, was one that I was privileged to teach to fly some four years ago. He graduated from Chase County High School, Imperial, Nebraska, number one in his class, that same year and proceeded to his appointment to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs...
Body parts needed (05/26/15)
Being Memorial Day weekend this old veteran, Vietnam, spent considerable time touring a couple cemeteries. As part of a volunteer crew we placed "Old Glory" on every grave that could be identified as belonging to a veteran. I found it poignant to read the gravestones of departed relatives, friends and neighbors no matter their station in life veteran or no. In my view all people are persons of worth and it is well to honor them in life as well as in death...
General aviation's importance to our area (05/19/15)
What in the world is "General Aviation?" It must be important because Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman has designated May as "General Aviation (GA) Appreciation Month." Complete with an official proclamation certificate signed and imprinted with the Great Seal of the State of Nebraska. Pretty impressive!...
Time to pay attention (05/12/15)
Garland, Texas. Two Jihadi's intent on mass murder are wiped out by a sharp-shooting off-duty policeman. With his service pistol no less -- great shot! Reportedly the FBI (or some other intelligence agency) investigates the dead men's apartment and gets into their computer. ...
Ballot Blues (05/05/15)
"Dick I don't think that I'll vote in the special election. I believe in a secret ballot and this mail in voting deal is no secret. You have to put your name and address on the envelope, your date of birth and about everything else about your personal life. No secret that!"...
Potpourri (04/28/15)
And they called him Elijah, Elijah Paul! Quite a moniker to hang on a newborn nine and a half pound boy. Yes a big event in our household, huge. The healthy little guy is Grannie Annie and my first great grandson. We are happy. especially so as both his mama and the little guy survived his birth in fine shape and are doing well...
WTIF? (04/21/15)
TIF we hear the term bandied about but what in the world is it? The acronym stands for Tax Increment Financing, TIF, but what in the world does that mean to you and me? Is it a good deal for we the people who pay property tax? Good deal for who? Will it cost us money in the long run? Questions, questions...
A city worker's price (04/14/15)
Metamorphosis. A seventy-five cent word that we wordsmiths use to emote creation of a beautiful butterfly. From ugly worms of green or gray that crawl on their belly, God majestically transforms that very same creature into one possessing brilliantly colored wings bold as the rainbow. Ah the beauty to our eyes as they flutter about their summertime business of laying eggs to begin a new generation...
Good news (04/07/15)
Observed while walking -- good exercise for this old guy. Adjacent to the new paved walking trail just north of the new Peter & Delores Graff Event Center, I have long noted an odd concrete structure. Obviously the crumbling concrete was an anchor for something below as there is a hefty steel rod attached. What in the world could it be?...
Tradition (03/31/15)
One of the really fun times in my childhood came at Easter. Long descended from pagan times of antiquity to celebrate the passing of the hard times of Winter into a refreshing warmth of Spring Christians adopted the rite and called it Easter. The blooming of Easter Lilies and the egg as a symbol of new life has become tradition...
A better idea (03/24/15)
Just thinking. Rather than voting to continue McCook's sales tax at 1.5 percent why not raise it to 4.5 percent? That would make for any purchases in the city limits an add on easy to figure 10 percent. The rate of 4.5 percent would generate a cool $2.4 Million into the city coffers...
Former military (03/17/15)
Stop. Wait. If you haven't seen "Annie Get Your Gun" don't let next weekend go by without attending Irving Berlin's wonderful musical at the Fox. Great costuming and the stage scenery is brilliant but Annie played by Tyler Rambali is superbly done. The young lady obviously has great talent and in my opinion, should she choose, will be a national star in theatre. Guaranteed you will enjoy the evening...
Too much money (03/10/15)
socialism definition. An economic system in which the production and distribution of goods are controlled substantially by the government rather than by private enterprise, and in which cooperation rather than competition guides economic activity. (Google)...
Sales tax defeat would mean prioritization of spending (03/03/15)
Assuming the role of a good citizen I attended last Sunday's "Town hall meeting" concerning reauthorization of McCook's 1.5 percent local option sales tax. The spacious training room in the new City Office Complex wasn't exactly crowded. There were only five private citizens, potential "no" voters, present along with about 20 city staff, employees and council members all sure to vote "yes." The atmosphere was congenial and City Manager Nate Schneider gave a nice professional PowerPoint presentation.. ...
Vote NO on sales tax extension (02/24/15)
It is the season to increase taxes -- yet another time. The McCook City Council is holding meetings to justify the renewal of McCook's local option sales tax. In a related, but sinister move, they also want to extend the sunset period from 10 to 15 years. Evidently it is inconvenient to have to keep justifying what I see as an unnecessary burdensome tax...
Upset in flight (02/17/15)
First I want to say a big thank you to the many readers that have offered congratulations for my honor of being installed in the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame. I am humbled yet proud of being so honored by my peers. Bless you all and it is time to change the subject...
Christian happenings (02/10/15)
Camp Comeca. Sitting high on the hills overlooking the Platte River valley a few miles south of Cozad, Nebraska. It is a camp for kids, both young and old, families too. Situated on a hill top surrounded by cedar trees and a few elms and hackberries, one has a view to the south of rolling Nebraska prairie and a winsome lake formed by the Tri-County irrigation canal. ...
Lessons learned from Cuba (02/03/15)
President Obama's recent embrace of the Castro Brothers, dictators of Communist Cuba still has this old vet seething. Obama supporters assure us that improved relations will somehow loosen the Castro's repressive control of the Cuban people and make things all better. ...
Scallop Festival (01/27/15)
The lesson today was about the time that Jesus was walking the lakeshore and came upon Simon and Matthew, professional fishermen, working on their nets. Jesus commanded that they "Come with me and be fishers of men." The men dropped their nets and went to become lifetime disciples of Christ, two of the twelve. Talk about an abrupt change of profession and a wholly new lifetime of commitment...
Hope is in the air (01/20/15)
Fox News is back on Dish Network. It has been a long dry spell. I was even getting tempted to subscribe to the local cable provider. Most friends that I talked to were having the same withdrawal frustrations but we are happy now. A recent news story reconfirmed my happiness of living in Southwest Nebraska. ...
Deployed and faithful (01/13/15)
Grannie was going through the checkout line at Sam's Club in Grand Junction. She was purchasing a slew of hand and foot warmers to send to "her troops" in Afghanistan. A gentleman behind her in line overheard Grannie tell the clerk that she sends "care" boxes to our military personnel deployed overseas. ...
Driving the long haul (01/06/15)
Grannie and I just returned from the warmth of southern California. Interesting people there. They complain when the temperature gets down to 50 degrees or so. "Cold! Have to wear a jacket!" Ah, the glories of four seasons back home where we have chosen to enjoy our lives. I'm reminded of the wise Scandinavian who noted when being about in challenging weather that "There is no bad weather; just poor clothing!"...
New face of America (12/30/14)
Grannie and your humble correspondent spent the few days before Christmas visiting a granddaughter who lives on the giant west coast Camp Pendleton Installation. She and her Marine husband, when he is not deployed, reside in military family housing built on a high bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It has been an idyllic respite from the rigors of icy roads, wind and snow the norm for Southwestern Nebraska at the moment...
Hope and Cuba (12/23/14)
Well he has done it again. Yes our President Obama has stepped forth to prop up yet another dictatorship, this a hardcore Communist State. His dream is that if we allow our liberty inspired capitalist business world to trade freely with Cuba, our closeby neighbor, those poor oppressed people will see the light and persuade the Castro brothers to loosen their iron grip and democracy will flower and everything will get better. ...
A life well-lived (12/16/14)
Read the news or watch it on TV and one can become disillusioned with our world today. We have a lame duck congress trying to spend us into the poor house. We have a President intent on making our borders porous and eager to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants all in hope of creating more voters for his socialist agenda. ...
Lame duck (12/10/14)
Well finally the mid-term election is over. Mary Landrieu went down in flames so now she can live in peace at her multi-million dollar home in Washington D.C. No more having to check in at the Senate for instruction by President Obama to see how to vote for the good of her long ignored Louisiana constituents...
The beach and a Volt (12/02/14)
California and an interesting adventure last week. I was able to drive my son's new Chevy Volt. The Volt an all-electric car with a small gas burning engine and generator on board. Yes the much ballyhooed Chevy Volt. When you walk up to the shiny black auto it looks like most of the 2014 models on the streets today. ...
Our most generous district (11/25/14)
All in, all out. One hundred fifty large flat rate Christmas boxes sent to Grannie Annie's adopted Chaplains. I am humbled with the outpouring of items and treasure donated by individuals and organizations in this community. It may be a good time to mention that Adopt-a-Chaplain is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt non-profit 501c(3)...
Our eyesore (11/18/14)
Allow me to share a phone call from a concerned lady. She was somewhat upset at the sale, in progress, of city property both the price tendered and the possible future use of the partial residential lot. I share her concern in part. The small piece of presently unused and bare property is located between the new concrete parking lot of the public library and the residence just to the north. ...
1100-11-11 (11/11/14)
First a personal note. I loved the results of last week's election. Evidently my sister, the one of liberal persuasion, not so much. She seems to be blaming marital strife, over-(house) work, all sorts of things that are a temporary crisis in her life on anything except admitting to the sound trouncing of her beloved Democrat Party. Tickles me and I still love the lady. Even my fellow columnist, Mike Hendricks, seems to be leaning toward a more conservative outlook on life. Savor the moment...
King Air (11/04/14)
Sadly this week, for a few short moments between speculation of the upcoming mid-term elections on TV, we saw pictures of an airplane crash in Wichita. The pilot of the King Air airplane and three others on the ground were reported killed. The TV pictured a great column of black smoke coming from what appeared to be a large warehouse looking building not far from the runway. Back to speculation on the election...
Vote wisely (10/28/14)
Next week we vote in the mid-term election cycle. I'd like to tell you whom to vote for but that would be against the editorial policy of this paper and most likely you wouldn't take my advice anyhow. Therefore your columnist will offer some suggestions that might help in choosing where to place your "X" on the ballot...
Junkyard Kid (10/21/14)
Grannie Annie has been on my case this week for being a little hard on politicians in this column as of late. It is hard to resist, this being election season when the airways are filled with incumbents trying to defend a record of poor judgment, and hopefuls making promises that we know won't be remembered. Oops!...
Of this and that (10/17/14)
Received a little insight into the ongoing, so-called Ebola crisis and our President Obama. Remember one of the first things he did after becoming president was to wage a big liberal campaign against "big pharma," the large U.S. drug manufacturing companies...
Fifty years and counting (10/07/14)
A wise man said that "You can't go back" and he was right because things change. Change they did because we did go back and in the 49 years since we last left Cape Cod, it was a little hard to recognize our old haunts. Some 50+ years ago Uncle Sam saw fit to assign Grannie and me plus one baby to duty at Otis AFB on Cape Cod. ...
Include and integrate (09/30/14)
What do we stand for? What is the essence of what we Americans really believe is the true red white and blue? In an attempt to get a well rounded understanding of current world events this old guy looks to several sources. Traditionally it has been the printed word that I turned to for well rounded reporting. ...
To swear or not to swear (09/23/14)
This week I was sorely disappointed in my brothers in arms, the U.S. Air Force. Actually it was some lawyer in the Department of Defense that made a politically correct judgment. "The resulting opinion concluded that an individual may strike or omit the words 'So help me God' from an enlistment or appointment oath if preferred." Tradition be damned!...
Our newest second lieutenant (09/16/14)
Meet Second Lieutenant Asher Brooks United States Air Force one of McCook's finest. As your columnist alluded in last week's column Grannie Annie and I were privileged to travel to Maxwell AFB, Alabama to "swear him in" or more properly to administer the oath of office and commit him to commissioned officer duty in the Nebraska Air National Guard and the US Air Force. ...
Enjoying a slice of the South (09/09/14)
Cajun Cuisine Yep that is what the ad on Grannie's iPad read! Cruising southbound on I-55 just north of Cape Girardeau, Missouri the clock said it was time for supper (that is rural Nebraskaneze for "dinner" the more sophisticated appalachian for the evening meal). ...
Something for nothing (09/02/14)
It has been interesting to follow the trials of the residents in Calabria. The residents' concern appears to be the upkeep of the streets leading to their homes within the City-of-McCook-approved subdivision. Their plight points to a flaw in the way we do local government. ...
An idyllic Sunday afternoon (08/26/14)
It was the usual. Church this morning and a nap after lunch. Mid-afternoon it seemed a good idea to take Grannie Annie to an ice-cream spot just enjoy a "date" together. It was time to head back to the home office to pay and send bills, write a column, help organize an upcoming class reunion--you know the mundane tasks which each of fills our lives...
Heritage (08/19/14)
Recently your columnist lost a childhood playmate and lifelong friend. His name was Gary Mills. Our families farmed in the Stone Church neighborhood a definitely rural area some 15 miles south of Culbertson, Nebraska. As is my sometimes practice, I wrote a letter of my memories of the deceased to his family. Gary's daughter-in law Michelle Lytle responded with a pleased thank you and urged a future column to include those memories...
Three old guys (08/12/14)
It was a reunion of sorts. Three old guys talking about some of their adventures in Vietnam. Two were helicopter pilots, Chuck Trail with the Navy and Jim O'Dell Air Force, the third was your author Dick Trail, KC-135 tanker pilot extraordinaire, at least in my own mind...
Decline of Christianity (08/05/14)
"How can you have church in a school?" was Ray's comment. Good question in today's more politically correct America but it wasn't always that way. Small rural communities throughout our western area came together to first build school buildings which were multi-purposed as church meeting places until a more religious structure could be built by the small congregations. ...
Complex and Pathos (07/29/14)
This past week your columnist was privileged to fly two trips to Denver. (Note for those not interested in aviation--good stuff at the end!) Now I'm talking about flying into DIA, that is Denver International Airport, the big one. For a pilot, that is the big time, treading where only the pros normally go. Actually it is pretty smooth event for one who is adequately prepared...
Helping out locally (07/22/14)
File this under "No good deed goes unpunished"! When Grannie retired from work, for pay, several years ago she migrated to a local thrift store, known as "The Helping Hand" to contribute hours upon hours of volunteer labor. Weekly she joins with some 60 other good Samaritans to contribute an hour or many more to make the store a success. Volunteer meaning no pay for constructive labor but a huge reward for good deeds done for the good of this community...
Thirst for tax money (07/15/14)
This columnist has noted that the McCook City Council is in the throes of putting a campaign to get the voters to reauthorize the City's sales tax. Like all taxes, our city sales tax is beloved by those who spend the proceeds. Not so much loved by those of us that get to pay, no choice, that self-same onerous tax. ...
Annex (07/08/14)
Last week a group of residents gathered with the Red Willow County Board of Commissioners to complain. Their beef had to do with the County not tending to the roads in the Calabria subdivision located a mile of so outside the McCook City Limits. Just a reminder that "all politics is local." The County Board reluctantly agreed to do better...
Essence a concept (07/01/14)
Recently I attended a presentation by the Superintendent of the Air Force Academy. She spoke of budget matters in this era of austere military spending. What she had her staff do was sit down and distill what the essence of the Academy really is -- what is their purpose in being...
The Astronaut (06/24/14)
"Karol there is a something that I've been longing to ask. How in the world do you get used to weightlessness? Personally I don't much care for the feeling of weightlessly floating from my seat when I push the nose over in the small general aviation aircraft that I now fly. ...
A busman's holiday (06/17/14)
Busman's holiday: According to the Wiktionary, first recorded in 1893 in the UK. The idea is that a busman, to go off on a holiday, would take an excursion by bus, thereby engaging in a similar activity to his work. Yes I did that very thing last week. ...
A real soldier's story (06/10/14)
With all the hype on TV of our Commander in Chief's trade of five really bad guys for an army deserter it may be time to share a good news story. In my 25 years of duty in the Air Force I never personally knew of a person to desert, or even go AWOL, of their own volition. ...
Graduation ... and millers (06/03/14)
From 8 and 10 to 584 were the numbers of High School Seniors that Grannie and I watched graduate this spring. The ceremonies were about equal in length but quite different in presentation. Yes, the graduates in the smaller schools received much more individual attention, but each in the large student body were appropriately announced and congratulated. Each ceremony was appropriate to the occasion with proud parents and well-wishers supporting the cast...
McCook Air (05/27/14)
" ... stuck in the hinterland." So states fellow columnist and friend Mike Hendricks. Oh woe is we when we lose our sporadic-of-service airline that has so poorly serviced this community since the first of the year. And the future is dim because our own Sen. ...
Wholesome foods and more (05/20/14)
If you like the news about the VA stalling appointments for veterans' medical help you are really going to like the Obamacare service. Incidentally one of the whistleblowers at the Denver and Cheyenne offices hails from McCook. Brave lady! And now for the rest of the story. ...
My hero (05/13/14)
The sad news is that another of the Greatest Generation has passed. The good news is that he was a good and honorable man. Merle Teel was one of my Grannie Annie's very favorite uncles. Allow me to share some recollections of his proud past. When World War II started Merle had graduated from the High School in Curtis with a certificate to teach grade school. ...
The graduates (05/06/14)
Ah ha, another item checked off the bucket list. Your humble correspondent had the privilege Sunday of delivering the commencement address to the Northern Valley High School graduating senior class. Yepm, that was in the nearby community of Almena, Kansas...
Super sport, high school rodeo (04/29/14)
Licenses in the parking lot reflected counties from all over Nebraska plus Kansas, Colorado, Texas and South Dakota. I noted a few: 14, 36, 61, 75, 65, 87, 81, 64, 93 ROP N TY, 83, 48, 80, 4, 15, 60, 67, and even our own 48. It was the Southwest Nebraska High School Rodeo located on the Red Willow County Fairgrounds, first off for the spring season...
Cold War coming (04/22/14)
Mother Nature smiled her blessings over the small crown agathering on the ridge top. The sun peeked over the horizon tinting the cirrus clouds above a happy golden color. Easter morning and a most memorable Sunrise Service overlooking the calm waters of Swanson Reservoir. The son has risen. All is well in the small world immediately around us. Just another reminder how great it is to be alive here in Southwest Nebraska...
To vote (04/15/14)
Great News!!!! Grannie Annie's Adopt-A-Chaplain organization was pleased to report that there were Zero casualties in March 2014 -- No ramp ceremonies held for warriors who died in combat for first time in a decade!!!! Yes casualty free for the first time since June 2007...
Two legends almost gone (04/08/14)
Drive north out of McCook about five miles. Look to the West and you can see the bleaching bones of the remaining hangars from the World War II McCook Air Base. In 1944, the base was dynamic, full of life, training crews to fly the then-brand-new B-29...
The wonders of subsidized air (03/25/14)
Your humble columnist had the pleasure of attending a couple of recent meetings with our U.S. Representative to Congress, the Honorable Adrian Smith. The called meeting was for members of McCook City Council and members of the Airport Advisory Board. Hmm that is the McCook Ben Nelson Regional Airport to be proper...
Bad news comes in threes (03/18/14)
There are three major items taking place in our world today. First on the news is the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Then comes the Russian takeover of the Crimean Peninsula with the possibility of even more invasion of Ukrainian territory. The third? Well I am reminded President Obama's right hand man David Axelrod stating that this administration never intends to "Let a good crisis go to waste"...
Thoughts on retirement, and how to avoid it (03/11/14)
Mr. "Mike at Night" Hendricks had some good thoughts in a recent column Mike was concerned for a retirement crisis where most people would run out of funds before their lives ran out. Could be but my question is why would they quit work in the first place? Like I tell people in my own case, I have retired five times and it has not "taken" yet...
Turmoil and hope (03/04/14)
The news from Kiev is unsettling. Our administration's response is sad. But then Grannie and I watched a rite of passage that was positively uplifting. The TV news is full of the turmoil in the Ukraine. Putin's Russia is attempting to pull the Ukraine into his abuilding sphere now named the Eurasian Union. ...
Road trip (02/25/14)
"Big snow coming!" exclaimed the lady on TV. Confirmed it with aviation weather sources. It was time to skedaddle out of McCook the night before the storm and head for Omaha. A chance to cheer for grandson T.J. at the State High School Wrestling Meet. He did well by winning one and losing two matches. It has been his senior year long goal to go to State as he did in his sophomore year. We grandparents are so proud that he made it there, injured shoulder and all...
Time to change (02/18/14)
Recently your humble correspondent sent a letter to the editor suggesting that the McCook City Council hire someone local for our next city manager. Some pretty interesting comments came back explaining that hiring local would be a BAD idea. For instance the current Mayor, the honorable Dennis Berry, candidate for Nebraska Senator, opined that "The process is open to anyone to apply. ...
Cyber (02/11/14)
A couple of years ago Grannie and I attended graduation at the Air Force Academy. Those events get our patriotic blood flowing even though the speaker at this one was President Obama. I noted that a fair portion of the Grads had selected assignment to what was referred to as "cyber."...
Loving the night (02/04/14)
Some things in life are just too good not to share. One of those rolled by me last week when a longtime great friend asked me to fly to Plano, Texas. There might have been a bit of confusion because he chose Major's Field near Greenville to meet a business party...
Pin for a medal (01/28/14)
Big High School Wrestling Tournament in Lexington last Saturday. Grannie and I attended to watch our grandson from Omaha's Millard West perform. Major tournament with teams from large schools in Lincoln and Omaha to schools as far west as Imperial and Scott City, Kansas including the McCook Bison...
Raise those gas taxes (01/21/14)
Purchased gasoline for your automobile lately? Yikes, $3.27 for regular, that is the good stuff with 10 percent ethanol added. It is more for premium grades. Yikes before long we will be paying California prices. If there is any comfort in it, aviation fuel averages around $6 per gallon at the moment...
Sea of ignorance (01/14/14)
And the Leader said: "We stretch our hands over the sea of ignorance." We the people of the congregation responded: "Divide it and walk with us on the ground of unity." Our connectional church is celebrating combining our former Nebraska Conference with what used to be the Kansas Conference. ...
How our federal tax dollars are spent (01/07/14)
We walked into the long-term care home to visit friend Diane a victim of Alzheimer's disease. Sad case only compassion comes to mind. On the way to the door, we noted a half-dozen men working on the roof. Jimmy noted they were installing solar panels to produce electricity. ...
My redneck liberal friend (12/31/13)
Grannie Annie and I are back visiting the land of the "fruits and nuts" spending some time with our friend Jimmy the Democrat. Actually Jim the former department head of Industrial Arts at Merced College here in California and I are working on my son's 1941 Mercury Club Coupe "hotrod project."...
Sharing our special family celebration (12/24/13)
Tomorrow we celebrate the birth of Christ. Christmas it is for Christians a happy time a time of expectation a time to build family memories. Attempting to mine my own memory of the earliest Christmas experienced I was led to the old Stone Church. Extant today it sits alongside Highway 17 some 15 miles south of Culbertson. ...
On to Avenger heaven (12/17/13)
Your humble columnist walked into the Bank President's office and took a seat. His open door policy was in effect, as always, and the Bank President gave his usual eye twinkling greeting. "Pete I have just returned from the Offutt (AFB, Omaha, Nebraska) Open House and Airshow. ...
Political advice (12/10/13)
The email read in part: "...because you have a keen insight into life here in southwest Nebraska....I would like to come and sit down with you ...to talk about what you feel a state senator needs to know about McCook and the 44th district in order to be an effective representative for us in Lincoln."...
Halfway across the continent (12/03/13)
A friend on the phone asked "Would you fly an airplane back from California if I buy it?" My response "Where in California is it and when do you want it delivered?" The retort on the other end went something like "Usually a person wants to know what kind of an airplane?"...
The state of aviation (11/26/13)
You may have noticed in the media that the airlines may be experiencing a pilot shortage. Could be, and it was predictable. Recently the FAA changed the rules to make the traveling public "safer." Never mind that travel by commercial air has been the safest mode of travel in the history of mankind. The rule change came partially from the investigation following the crash of a Colgan Airways airplane arriving into Cleveland. The loss of life was unfortunate and sad...
The fix is in (11/19/13)
In case you missed it, McCook's very own Ben Nelson was on TV this past Sunday. I'm sorry, The Honorable former Sen. Ben Nelson, (D) Nebraska, now CEO of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, to more properly use his new $1 Mil a year job title...
OUR troops (11/12/13)
Veterans Day was yesterday. In preparation for a little talk celebrating the day, I scoured the Internet for opinions and ideas. A column by Paul Greenberg struck my fancy as it was almost a scold of our daily lives. I'd like to share. Writer Greenberg writes that "We don't spend much time examining the underpinnings on which our lives rest. ...
Honor and light (11/05/13)
My beloved alma mater, the Air Force Academy, received unwanted attention from the national news media this past week. The headlines read something like "Academy Makes God Reference in Honor Oath Optional." There is a proud history of the honor code at the school and your columnist lived it...
Our senators (10/29/13)
Oh my. Woe is me. The news is grim. Republicans are being blamed for the government shutdown. Poll results show the public opinion of the Grand Old Party to be at or near historic lows. If that rabid Sen. Cruz, Republican from Texas, had just gone along to get along, everything would have been better. It is the bad influence of that deviant off-shoot that call themselves the Tea Party. So seems to go the thinking of the elite in Congress and most of the news pundits...
A history lesson (10/22/13)
Sometimes the old isn't so new. Several thousand years ago a non-native administrator named Joseph set up a system to prevent famine in Egypt. Joseph's plan was to build large granaries throughout the land and then nationalize all grain production. The crops were delivered to Pharaoh to be stored in his granaries. ...
A day of protest -- NOT! (10/15/13)
Sunday was to be a day of protest for United States military veterans. And protest they did in Washington D.C. the site of maximum frustration as of late. Protest and clean up was the mantra as the National Park Service is on paid vacation except to hassle the common folk. Closing an open air monument is ridiculous but not paying death benefits to war casualties is downright criminal. Worse than criminal! Where was Sec. Def. Chuck Hagel who surely knows better? He isn't making Nebraska proud!...
Affordable care largess (10/08/13)
Health care. The "Affordable Care Act." "Obamacare." Whatever you call it seems at the moment to be a mess. I've no clue how it will all turn out but fear we won't like the end result one way or the other. For one the healthcare aspect of the whole rhubarb is a misnomer. The Affordable Care Act has more to do with health insurance than anything to do with healthcare itself...
Giving back (10/01/13)
A wise friend and philosopher E.K. Woolley once imparted a bit of wisdom that has stuck with me over the years. E.K. related that a community invests in its youth by paying for education and creating a safe place to grow up and mature. Then for the rest of one's productive life it is time to give back to your community. It is each person's responsibility to pay for the education of the succeeding generations and to contribute to making his community a safe and nurturing place to live...
Dodging responsibility (09/24/13)
A tip of the hat to Al White, who died this week. Al was one of the few GI's left who passed through the McCook Army Air Base during World War II and returned to stay. Al crewed B-29s here and also found the love of his life a local girl, Dorothy Stewart. ...
Dick Trail
The Way I Saw It