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Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016
Big anniversary (12/06/16)
Tomorrow marks the 75th Anniversary of the day the world changed! "A day that will live in infamy". It was a bright early Sunday morning and the Pacific was at peace. Then out of nowhere a whole fleet of Japanese torpedo, fighter and dive bombers rained down steel on the US Navy. Chaos. Never again the same...
A failed invasion and a call to duty (11/29/16)
You know there are advantages to growing old. One is the memory of events that took place that changed our world. The recent death of one evil man by the name of Fidel Castro jarred this old guy's memory of events long gone. Events that greatly affected our country and sadly turned our island neighbor Cuba into a real hell hole...
Blessed by OUR community (11/22/16)
Good weather smiled on McCook's annual Farm and Ranch Expo. The many superb facilities of our Fairgrounds were chock-full of vendors. Attendance appeared to be excellent judging by every parking space filled with pickups. Vehicle licenses in most part boasted of Nebraska residence but Kansas, Colorado and other states far and near were in evidence...
Happiness is hope (11/15/16)
Well, the election is over, finally! This old guy is happy with the results. Hard to believe that 638 voted for Hillary but they were mightily overruled by the 4212 votes for Trump in Red Willow County. Now we will have to wait and see if our beloved country improves as President-Elect Trump promised during the contentious campaign...
Voting for Ahab or Jezebel (11/08/16)
What fun! Our preacher Sunday opened with a reminder to vote Tuesday. He commiserated that, unfortunately we didn't have the choice between a David and a Solomon but more like choosing between Ahab and Jezebel. He then went on to exclaim that it was important to vote for the good local people listed on down the ballot. Be an informed voter...
Campaign fun (11/01/16)
Oh this presidential election campaign is getting to be fun. Poor Hillary the bottom has fallen out. Not sure that the latest revelations will cause her to lose the election as the polls, most of them, show her still ahead, but either way, whether she wins or loses there will be blood on the water...
Marking history (10/25/16)
In the scheme of life we choose not the time or place of our birth. So it was that your old columnist was born in the USofA at just the right time to be chosen to attend the Air Force Academy. That was as a member of the very first class to attend that brand new institution. I was a product of country school and then McCook High and my academics were okay. Then too I had learned to fly right here at McCook Municipal taught by a former WWII flight instructor...
Spread the cheer (10/18/16)
Excitement at our house! Grannie Annie's Adopt A Chaplain program is going together nicely. "Her" soldiers will have care packages, from this generous community of Southwest Nebraska, in time for Christmas. She, and that is a collective we, will be sending 50-some of the large postal flat-rate boxes packed to the brim and including hand written Christmas cards to each of four Chaplains. ...
Spread the cheer (10/18/16)
Excitement at our house! Grannie Annie's Adopt A Chaplain program is going together nicely. "Her" soldiers will have care packages, from this generous community of Southwest Nebraska, in time for Christmas. She, and that is a collective we, will be sending fifty some of the large postal flat rate boxes packed to the brim and including hand-written Christmas cards to each of four Chaplains. ...
Christopher Columbus and a Latin American pilot (10/11/16)
Big celebration yesterday right? The day honoring Christopher Columbus's discovery of America is little noticed! Well yes, a few government offices and the banks were closed but no dancing in the streets kind of celebration. Somehow the Native Americans don't celebrate Columbus Day either possibly because they can envision what a different life they would lead today sans the influence of the Europeans that flooded to the new land that Columbus had stumbled upon in his quest to sail to India. ...
State of our nation (10/04/16)
This weekend I was privileged to attend a workshop of a charismatic Christian group called Walk to Emmaus. An interesting discussion of the state of the future of the organization. It seems that interest in the program is slowly decreasing in today's society. Fewer people are willing to participate in its long-standing intensive exploration of faith weekend programs. Not only the local program is affected, it is reported that interest is decreasing across our nation...
This, that and meth (09/27/16)
What a difference the past two weeks have made in Southwestern Nebraska. The soybean fields have mostly matured, dropped their leaves and many have a combine in harvesting. The corn stalks are still standing green with brown shucks marking matured ears pointing down. ...
Into the lion's den (09/20/16)
Whew! This old guy got a taste of how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego must have felt like when cast into the lion's den. City Council meeting Tuesday the 6th. It was for the last reading and adoption of McCook's budget for next year. At least Daniel had two buddies for reinforcement. Your columnist had but one...
A crown for Hillcrest (09/13/16)
Flat roofs should be criminal, so says an astute friend of ours. Here we have it though with McCook's Hillcrest Nursing Home built forty some years ago. State-of-the art then, a covering of beaver board, then a nice layer of tar to waterproof it and then a layer of coarse gravel on top to counter pounding droplets of rain or hail. ...
Water, water everywhere (09/06/16)
Now on the third day, the Lord looked over the land He had created and pronounced it "GOOD". Well, maybe it wasn't the third day but actually it was Sunday after church when Grannie Annie and I toured the city to see the results of the rapidly arriving six-inch rain (my gauge showed 5.9 inches) the night before...
The continuing budget saga (08/30/16)
Sure they do. According to an August 26 article by Bruce Baker, the City Editor of the McCook Daily Gazette, City Leadership (whoever that might be) prefers a "levy bump" over cuts in reserves. Sure they do. It is the easy way out. I love the "levy bump" verbiage. ...
Bite the other side of the apple (08/23/16)
Last week the McCook City Manager presented next year's budget to the Council and gave them the heads up that revenues might be a little short. His solution was to increase the property tax levy by 3 cents or so. Whoa that is biting off the wrong side of the apple. ...
A question for Sasse (08/16/16)
To review a bit. Retired Senator Ben Nelson had a distinguished political career in Nebraska. In college young Ben worked for then governor Frank Morrison. Then on to a successful career in the insurance business. Eventually Ben ran for the Nebraska Legislature and was elected from a majority Republican district even though he was an unshakable Democrat. ...
A family reunion and other observations (08/09/16)
Ah ha the Trail clan did a bit for the local economy this past weekend. Motel rooms rented 13. Meals out a bunch. Ordered lots of fried chicken, roasting ears, snacks, and even made a late evening run on the ice-cream emporium. Good time. Your columnist got chided a bit by an "easterner" who spied the sign on the outskirts of the city pointing to "Ben Nelson McCook Regional Airport". "Isn't that embarrassing? asked Pete. "How did that happen?"...
Bull buffalo and Oshkosh (08/02/16)
Okay, guys (gals? I hate unsigned criticisms) you took this old boy to the woodshed for last week's column. Had you read a little closer you might have noticed that I was only relaying the opinion of longtime friend Don. Then I noted that Dr. Wayne had the correct response. We need to honor and advertise all our assets the agriculture related and the tourist attractions. Yes, we are all in this together...
Buffalo what? (07/26/16)
Your columnist received an urgent phone call last week. It was from a loooong time friend one of the foremost agri-business cheerleaders in Southwestern Nebraska. My friend was upset over the action of a small committee of folk who recently decided to brand McCook as "Capital of the Buffalo Commons.""...
A sure sign (07/19/16)
Birthdays come and go and each marks changes in our lives. I have to share a bit about Grannie Annie the lady that I've been privileged to share a long happy marriage. Grannie has been praying about whether or not she should continue her Adopt-A-Chaplain Ministry. ...
Helping our neighbor (07/12/16)
Anyone who has been in the military knows about change. Most times it seems to be arbitrary change. "The only thing constant is change" so says the wag. Of course change takes place for well thought out reasons. It is just that the military is not very good about explaining change to the troops down the line...
Independence and the EPA (07/05/16)
Independence Day and a good one it was. So 240 years and counting. Grannie Annie and I drove our 1925 Model T through the parade and enjoyed lunch and activities after. Culbertson knows how to celebrate the 4th. Culbertson, at least a major manufacturing company located there, received some unwanted attention lately in the form of a $101,808 fine. ...
The matriarch of the family (06/28/16)
It is summer and time for family reunions. A bunch named Trail, well maybe related to someone named Trail, has been for years gathering to celebrate mostly each other. Of note four of the ladies had a maiden name of Call, the "call girls", qualify because their mother's maiden name was Trail. ...
Uncle Charlie (06/21/16)
The year was 1955 and your columnist was about to depart to a new life in the Air Force. Dad took me on a special trip to St. Joseph, Missouri to meet and visit with his Uncle Charlie Trail. Now understand that the Trail clan hadn't been close as I grew up and to that time I had only met one of my father's aunts. My father's father had died from the infection of an abscessed tooth when dad was six years old...
Into each life some rain must fall (06/14/16)
As many of you fine readers of this column know your wordsmith went directly from the farm, high school, into the Air Force Academy. There many friendships were made and one of the most unlikely has endured over 56 years now and counting. J.T. Smith was as different in background from this farm raised kid as possible. ...
Living the dream (06/07/16)
Is this a great country or what? If one wants to see how the seasons progress it is interesting to simply drive south across Kansas and Oklahoma. Three hundred miles south and the maturity of the crops about the equivalent to a month in time. When we left home last week a discerning eye showed just a touch of gold to the green waving wheat. ...
Road trip (05/31/16)
Driving west out of Denver. Winding roads forever climbing. Up up up to the summit of Monarch Pass. Select "Altitude" on the Garmin Navigator and it shows over 11,000 feet above sea level. Wow, that is how high I fly headed to Denver when I desire to keep radar coverage. Only this time it is tires on the road and no wings involved at all...
Sacrificin' grandmas (05/24/16)
Grannie Annie and I had the pleasure of dining with one of McCook's treasures last week. The lady was Linda Aldrich, Col. USAF Retired. Linda's dad Ray worked as an engineer at the Bureau of Reclamation. Her mother, Gladys, a stay-at-home mom, raised Linda and her sister as they were educated in the McCook Schools. Good people...
You voted for LB840 (05/17/16)
It was happy birthday for the old guy and Grannie Annie honored me by buying a new gas grill for our patio. My choice. Now I ask dear reader, "Have you priced a grill lately?" Some are more expensive than the full time stoves for a new kitchen. I chose a small two-burner model with a five-year warranty. ...
Vote and vote again (05/10/16)
Today is primary day in Nebraska. The really big election comes in November. I hope you cast your ballot because your voice is important. This old political junkie will be eager to see the results tomorrow morning. No doubt the voter turnout will be dismal as the presidential delegates are already named and we being few in Nebraska receive little national media attention anyway. ...
Treat yourself (05/03/16)
Heads up. Thursday is this year's National Day of Prayer. You probably have your own venue but a group of us are gathering at Hillside Perks that day for a morning of coffee, breakfast, and prayer. Good combination. Your columnist has been "volunteered" to do the appellation to God on behalf of the media and the military. Fertile ground that for sowing the seeds of hope...
Homestyle Christianity (04/26/16)
Did you notice? McCook, at the Fairground's Kiplinger Arena, was privileged to host some 400+ entries for a Nebraska High School Rodeo event this last weekend. Hundreds of high school age boys and girl from across the state plus horses, parents, grandparents and fans converged on our good facilities...
Guardians of 'correct' (04/19/16)
Shakespeare's exact line "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers,'" was stated by Dick the Butcher in "Henry VI," Part II, act IV, Scene II, Line 73." Every once in awhile, I get reminded that Shakespeare was right on. The bard was commenting about an unscrupulous leader, Henry the 6th of his time, but it still may ring true for the politicians of today...
Beauty among us (04/12/16)
Heads up. Don't miss it. Check out the planted and tended beauty spot on the east end of Hillcrest as you head down West 5th street. The green of spring has arrived as the bulbed flowers, tulips and jonquils, show their welcome colors. The thinned and manicured lilac bushes are leafing out and will be showing their fragrant flowers in short order. It is worth the drive past and next time you see Don Harpst tell him thanks...
Peanut butter spring (04/05/16)
Bring on the warm(er) weather! I've been walking the sidewalks, alleys and best of all the walking trail in McCook. Mine is an attempt to melt off belly fat and yes I know the exercise of pushing back from the table will help greatly in that effort. ...
Odds and ends (03/29/16)
It is the yearly ritual of preparing our income tax return. I've personally done it every year since 1956. Keeping records with the help of a personal computer has been a great help as that aid became available. Then in more recent years being able to purchase a computer program that accounts for every nook and cranny of the complex law, well almost, helps make the task easier...
Palm Sunday to Easter (03/22/16)
Two events in Christendom leading to one of our most sacred observances. It is a time to pause and reflect on the great life we have been privileged to live in our world today. Lessons to note, personal lessons, lessons affecting family and lessons important to our country today...
Observing at the Democratic caucus (03/15/16)
"You can sit in those chairs marked 'Observers' over there along the wall. Please do not participate in any of the discussion throughout the evening." was the courteous remarks of the chairman. In other words Sit down and shut up! Grannie Annie and I, lifelong Republicans, were curious how the local Democrats ran a Caucus in order to select their candidate for the upcoming presidential election. ...
Storms at Hillcrest (03/08/16)
A week ago the Gazette reported on problems at Hillcrest, Red Willow County's wholly owned Nursing Home. What do they call it now -- Long Term Care? Hillcrest is dear to my heart in part because it is where my parents and Grannie Annie's mother spent their last days. Clean, wonderful, shall we say sainted, nurses caring for the patients. In my heart a wonderful asset for the residents in this area...
Taking a trip back in time (02/23/16)
Well it really isn't possible but last week I came close. I needed to make a quick trip to check on my brother who lives in Long Pine. Ah yes Long Pine, Nebraska the small, really small, village that sits high on the bank of Long Pine Creek between Ainsworth and Bassett. ...
Reaction (02/16/16)
Plaudits to City crews and Airport personnel in clearing McCook's big snowfall of the year. Fortunately Grannie Annie and I chose to live on a corner blessed to be an intersection of two snow routes and our streets were kept well cleaned. Those streets off the snow routes took a little longer with several days of hard packed rough driving and it is all a memory now thanks to sunshine and warmer temperatures...
A variety of thoughts (02/09/16)
Allen Millar had one of the best descriptions of life in the Sandhills I ever heard. Allen said that "Where we lived the neighbors were so far apart we had to keep our own tomcats!" I knew and enjoyed Allen during his reign as Dean of McCook College or was that Chancellor or maybe Superintendent and it could have been McCook Community College. No matter we love the place which brings good people to our community...
Small town America (02/02/16)
Saturday last I spent in Holyoke, Colorado. My mission observing (and silently cheering) as an aviation student took the checkride for a Private Pilot license. Why Colorado? Well at the moment there was no FAA designated examiner qualified to administer the test in my student's splendidly kept Stinson 108 (manufactured in 1947). ...
Foundation of faith (01/26/16)
Once in awhile a person gets assigned a task that puts one a little outside his comfort zone ... "Do an interview in front of the camera?" was the request from a "local" television host. "Sure I can do that but let me find someone better and more deserving," was my response. Good luck on that one! Some kind soul, anonymous, had fingered me so the commitment was made...
Long-time human relations (01/19/16)
For some time, Grannie Annie and this old guy have done Bible- based devotions at the close of breakfast. TV off. It is amazing how often the Bible hits the nail on the head. At the moment we are into the Book of Psalms. It is the 12th Psalm and David is complaining to God. David directly to God, no intermediaries, no sorting through the press or Satan or the church, just one on one. I like that...
Taxes and tankers (01/13/16)
Happy day. The Nebraska Legislature is in session. Watch your pocketbook. Governor Pete Ricketts was noising about the need for property tax relief. Always a popular theme for those we elect to be charge of spending our tax money. "Vote for me and I'll reduce taxes." Easily done but it rarely happens...
Taxes and tankers (01/12/16)
Happy day. The Nebraska Legislature is in session. Watch your pocketbook. Gov. Pete Ricketts was noising about the need for property tax relief. Always a popular theme for those we elect to be charge of spending our tax money. "Vote for me and I'll reduce taxes." Easily done, but it rarely happens...
Let's call them Daesch (01/05/16)
The first week in the new year and it is a slow news day. The politicians aren't back to work yet -- not a bad thing. No change in the hopefuls running for president since the end of last year. Trump is full of bombast and no plan laid out on how to get things done. Cruz I like and Rubio not a bad choice either. Hillary and or Bernie too horrible to contemplate. Politics!...
Political theatre (12/29/15)
Inbound to my desk from my favorite wing commander -- a former B-58 pilot. That airplane was our pride-of-the-fleet supersonic bomber but sadly didn't stay in the inventory very long. He later led one of the raids across Hanoi in a mighty but slow B-52...
Happy Christmas (12/22/15)
Christmas coming. Christmas coming. If you haven't already drive out the next night to marvel at the grandest decorated Christmas tree in town. Just east of the gym at McCook College, a multitude of colored lights, candy canes, tall and magnificent. Well done...
Time for change in the Muslim world? (12/15/15)
Today we learn a new word. It is "Deobandi" the name of a fundamentalist Islamic group. In the news we hear of young Muslims that have been "radicalized" and then come to Christian America and Europe to perform terroristic deeds in the name of Allah. Little do we hear of it but those fundamentalists also are committing the same kinds of atrocities against their fellow Muslims whom they deem not true believers as followers of Muhamad...
Happy thoughts (12/08/15)
As you read this Grannie Annie and I will have been to El Paso, Texas to deliver Adopt A Chaplain "Christmas care packages." All those boxes, our SUV packed full to the roof, to Captain Ch. Saare, assigned Chaplain responsibilities for a unit deployed to Bogotá, Columbia in South America. Who knew we had troops in that part of the world? Evidently it is a contingent of troops that has been deployed to duties there for some twenty five years and counting...
World history (12/01/15)
Quite a few years ago a friend, Wayne Boyer, kept a pack coyote hounds at his ranch a few miles south of McCook. Most of the pack were "hot blood" greyhounds he picked up at dog tracks. Wayne and his buddies would load their coyote hounds in a "dog box" in the back of their pickups then drive the pastures and canyons in search of the wily coyote. ...
Retreat and Rejoice (11/24/15)
It was the familiar sound of the bugle sounding retreat. I stepped from my car and came to attention facing the flag. Then came the familiar strains of The Star Spangled Banner". I held a salute as did everyone else at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma when the flag was lowered at the end of the duty day. It was a time of introspection as this old veteran flashed memories of my time proudly serving in uniform...
America at its best (11/17/15)
Have you ever attended a big wedding and had the feeling in your heart that this marriage will last? Sure you have. This was the happy experience of Grannie Annie and your old guy columnist this past weekend. A few years ago I taught the groom to fly right here at the McCook airpatch. ...
The POW Choir in the Hanoi Hilton (11/10/15)
Tomorrow is Veteran's Day, an official United States federal holiday that is observed annually on Nov. 11, honoring people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, also known as veterans. It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I (major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect). ...
Non-governmental giving (11/03/15)
Matthew relates a parable that Jesus spoke to his followers. The king had made elaborate plans for his wedding feast but many of the invited guests begged off and made excuse not to come. So: "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. ...
Return on investment (10/27/15)
Okay imagine that you are a business-person with your own company. You farm raising corn and soybeans. You own and have paid off all the machinery needed to work the acres that you now till. Now the neighbor across the road offers to sell you a quarter section of ground just like you farm. You put the pencil to it and figure that yes you can meet his price, borrow the money, and pay it off in eight years. Your return on the investment (ROI) is adequate to let you make the deal...
Ahh, the Democratic debat (10/20/15)
Yes Grannie Annie and I watched the breathlessly awaited (by the liberal media -- not us) Democratic Presidential Debate last week. The two-hour program only seemed like it went on and on and on for three hours. Reading my friend "Mike at Night's" weekend column made me pause to wonder if we had watched the same event...
Willis Jones, hero (10/13/15)
Gone but never to be forgotten. Saturday at a large funeral we paid tribute to a life well- lived. Then at an impressive service at the cemetery the American Flag draping his coffin was removed, folded, reverently with great dignity and precision as only a military honor guard can do, and presented to family. The sad lingering notes of Taps sang out, a "21 gun salute" echoed and Willis Jones was sent off on his journey to eternity. God Bless you and thank you for your service...
We were soldiers once, and young (10/06/15)
Well somehow the young went away. Grannie and I just returned from a reunion of the air refueling tanker squadron that I served in from 1966 to 1969. Four years of duty flying the KC-135 -- same airplane that the Nebraska Air Guard operates yet today...
Reunion and more (09/29/15)
It was a great weekend. Forty six classmates, well over half of those still living, from McCook High School class of 1955 showed for our 60th Reunion. A happy to see each other jovial group it was. Members traveled from their homes in Florida, Seattle, Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, Montana as well as climes more local. One formal event, a banquet and the rest of the time visiting, telling stories and attending many of the events of McCook's Heritage days...
A chance roosting at Roosterville (09/22/15)
One of my aspiring students found an airplane that he was interested in buying, a older but really nice Cessna 182 in the Kansas City area. We hopped into one of Red Willow Aviation's airplanes to fly down to look. Our destination the Liberty, Missouri airport. 0N0 in aviation parlance...
While you were gone ... (09/15/15)
Next week we are hosting a reunion for the McCook High School class that graduated way back in 1955. Sixty years! For the class members that may not have returned to this fair city in all that time I will attempt to point out a few changes. Now of course we classmates haven't changed any, well maybe the hair is a bit thinner and lighter in color, or possibly a few pounds have settled in more comfortable places but what the hey at heart we are the same eager 17-18 year olds that set out to change the world. ...
Just and unjust (09/08/15)
Today in a jail cell somewhere in Kentucky sits a lady named Kim Davis who probably hasn't enjoyed this just passed leisurely Labor Day weekend. As you probably know, it has been on the news big time lately, how County Clerk Kim Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. ...
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. ...
Dick Trail
The Way I Saw It