|The old Burlington RR depot, Red Cloud|
Last time I was around the place it was 1993 and 140 attendees at the Willa Cather Conference (Hastings) gathered there for an evening concert of World War I songs, the week's central focus being 'One of Ours', the book based on the military exploits (and death) of Cather's cousin. I remember being terribly moved when everyone broke into 'Over There', a song which I'd always construed as jingoistic but which now came across as touchingly hopeful, and therefore quite tragic. And now, here I was, 23 years later, eating my dinner at that window under the red signal. I have to say (yet again) that the Willa Cather people down there have created a world-class set-up - and there's a lot more to come as the next phase in the development takes shape: green rooms for the theatre, apartments to rent, and all the refurbishments done in style with quality materials. The woodwork is just beautiful. (I don't think I was supposed to have seen that, but I did - somehow.)
I got home Monday morning and was in the dentist's' place this morning (Tuesday) with my mouth full of that gooey blue stuff they use to take impressions.
What did I achieve in twenty days? Substantial sales, a lot of good will, and a probable lecture tour in 2017, that being the year Nebraska celebrates 150 years of statehood. Made a few more friends too. So thank you, Cornhuskers.