It's true, you CAN get anywhere from here

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Marylou Luther grew up in Cambridge, where her dad was a farmer and car dealer, and her mother had an eye for fashion.

After journalism school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she wrote what was probably then called women's news -- weddings, engagements -- "and moved my editor's car every two hours so she wouldn't get a ticket."

Later, at the Des Moines Register, she was assigned to write fashion stories, even though she protested that she didn't know a thing about fashion.

She went on to the Chicago Tribune, to New York to work for a group of fashion trade publications published by her future husband, Arthur Imparato, and later to Beverly Hills, where she became the fashion editor for the Los Angeles Times.

Along the way, she interviewed people like Christian Dior and Coco Chanel, and covered Yves Saint Laurent's debut fashion collection for Dior in Paris in 1958.

"He came out on the balcony of the House of Dior and traffic stopped," she was quoted in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "People were yelling and screaming in the streets. It was like a national event."

Recently, in Paris, Marylou Luther received the French government's Ministry of Culture's prestigious Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Marylou Luther from Cambridge, Nebraska?

Yes, that's the one.

Much has been written about famous men from Southwest Nebraska -- politicians like George W. Norris, Frank B. Morrison, Ralph Brooks and Ben Nelson, as well as numerous athletes and others with accomplishments in various fields -- so it should be no surprise that a woman like Luther found her small-town roots no reason not to aim for the top of her profession.

A letter on this page from Col. Del Townsend, who has provided a number of full scholarships to deserving area students, as well as a response earlier this week from one of them, Heather Svoboda of Chicago, illustrate the reason our area is home to so many talented people.

Generous people -- with their time, talents and, yes, money -- have done all they can to make sure our young people are prepared and inspired to find out just how much they can accomplish.

Like the McCook airport's old motto, it's true: You CAN get anywhere from here.

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