Life's milestones recounted in 'The Jewelry Chronicles'

Thursday, December 7, 2017

McCOOK, Neb. — In 25 years as a jeweler, Bill Longnecker has helped many customers celebrate special occasions, including engagements, weddings and silver, golden and diamond anniversaries.

Now, as his silver anniversary as a jeweler draws to a close, Longnecker is planning a special event of his own.

“I’m writing a book,” Bill says, adding that, “It will be published in printed, electronic and, hopefully, audio formats as soon as editing is complete.”

Called “The Jewelry Chronicles,” the book is a collection of short stories Bill has written about his experiences in the jewelry business.

“I deal with people at very important times in their lives,” he said. “Some of the encounters have been humorous and heart-touching, while others have been heart-breaking.”

As a member of one of Red Willow County’s pioneer families, the Longneckers, storytelling comes naturally for Bill, who still remembers vividly the tales told by his grandfather, Mitch Longnecker, a farmer in the Indianola area.

As a result, soon after starting his jewelry career in Kansas City, Bill started filing away the stories his customers shared with him, and he added to the list as his work as a jeweler led him from Kansas to Alabama and eventually to store ownership in Imperial and McCook.

“At first, I mainly told the stories to my customers, but, finally, in April of 2015, I decided to start writing the stories down.” Through the next couple of years, he kept at it, pecking away on his Apple I-pad to permanently record the mix of stories, “some of which will make you laugh and others which will make you cry.”

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