Publications to tell story of McCook

Friday, July 16, 2004

Come late fall and early winter, the state spotlight is going to be shining on McCook. The reason for this are two publications, "Portraits of Nebraska" and "Nebraska Life," both of which will feature major stories on McCook.

McCook's chapter for "Portraits of Nebraska: Pride in Our Hometowns" has already been written by Gene Morris, publisher, and photographed by Bruce Crosby, editor, of the McCook Daily Gazette. The material is now being edited and designed, and will be put into book form by Nonpareil Publishing of C0uncil Bluffs, Iowa.

The projected publication date for the hard-bound book is late fall of 2004, or early winter in 2005. Chapters will feature 25 selected Nebraska communities, with each containing 2,500 to 2,800 words of prose and 15 to 20 pictures.

"We're pleased with how well the writing and picture-taking parts of the project went," Morris said. "We're now eager to see the finished product."

Pre-publication book sales, offering a $10 discount for early orders, are scheduled to start in August. As the writing and picture-taking phase of one project is being completed, work is just beginning on the other. David Bristow, managing editor of Nebraska Life magazine, was in town Thursday and Friday to gather material for a feature story on McCook. The article, in the 2,800 to 3,000 word range, will appear in the November-December issue of Nebraska Life. The publication, which comes out every two months, focuses attention on Nebraska communities, paying particular attention to community events, the arts and culture.

In the July-August edition, now on the newstands, Kearney is the featured community. The current issue also features an article about "The Battle of Massacre Canyon," which was written by Bristow. The massacre, regarded as the last great Indian battle in America, took place Aug. 5, 1873, approximately three miles east of Trenton and 19 miles west of McCook.

When Bristow was in town, he and Morris sat down to talk about their writing projects. By mutual consent, they agreed to wait until both writing drafts were finished before viewing the other's work. "That way," Morris said, "we'll both be giving our own perspectives. Once the stories are published, it will be interesting to see how they compare."

McCook, this town of 7,994 population tucked in the southwest corner of Nebraska, is commanding special attention as its 125th anniversary approaches. The writers and photographers agree that the recognition is appropriate, because, in their shared view, McCook is a special place filled with special people.

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