Why I Live in This Small Town: a necromance

This is the February writing prompt.  “Why I live in a small town”

Well, welcome!  I don’t get many visits here anymore.  My place is so crowded.  Let’s sit out here in the yard.

So, you want to know why I live in a small town like this.

Well, you have to understand…  I was born and raised in the country, on the edge of the reservation.  Going to school in Decatur was going to town.  I wasn’t raised in the city.  I didn’t like to drive in the city back when I drove.  The big city was no place for me.  The country was too far away from anything for me.   The small town was just the right fit.

Like I said, I went to school in Decatur.  Kindergarten through eighth grade was all I went to school.  Back then you had to test to get into high school.  My folks needed my help on the farm.  There was plenty to do so I stayed home during the days.  I’d go to the movies on the weekends, occasionally a dance, and all the county fairs and town celebrations in the summer.

It was a county fair, where I met my husband Jim.

I was at the Thurston County Fair in Walthill with another boy, Bobby.  We were in his car waiting for the Friday night fireworks, when Bobby tried to force himself on me.  I wasn’t that Kind of girl.  I liked going to shows, dancing, kissing, but not that stuff.  Well, Jim was walking by, when he heard me scream.  He had eyes for me too.  He threw open the door of Bobby’s Ford, pulled him off of me, and taught him the lesson his daddy should have.

Well what could I do?  I went home with him that night.  He looked so fit.  He was just back from the service.  He was my hero and I was in love.  We dated for a year and got married.  The best move I ever made.

We moved to South Sioux City.  It was way too big a town for me.  Then we bought a little house with four lots and two out buildings in Dakota City.  It was the nicest place I ever live in.  We lived there, had two children, and a great life.  Unitl I got sick and died and was moved here.

Section C. Lot 44 Dakota City Cemetary.

Now you kids go on home.  It’s too late at night for you to be in the graveyard alone.

Thanks for stopping by.


Battle of the Books Begins at the South Sioux City Public Library

This is the weekly column that I write for the South Sioux City Public Library.

Battle of the Books Begins at the South Sioux City Public Library

Basketball is in the air during the month of March:  the high school tournaments, the NCAA tournaments etc.  In that spirit, we have the Battle of the Books.  We have sixty-four books, thirty-two books of fiction and thirty-two books of nonfiction.  We are asking library members to vote on their favorite books.  The winner will be announced shortly after the NCAA championship game in early April.  Stop in, vote for your favorite book each week and see if your choices go all the way to win the Battle of the Books.

The Life and Legacy of Annie Oakley will be presented by Charlotte Endorf on Monday March 7th at 6:30 p.m.

Annie Oakley was described as the “greatest woman rifle shot.” A star attraction of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, Oakley thrilled audiences around the world with her daring shooting feats. A champion in a man’s sport, she changed ideas about the abilities of women in the 19th century, yet she opposed female suffrage. Her fame and fortune came from her skill with guns, yet she was a Quaker. Endorf’s presentation guides the audience through these dichotomies and dispels myth to reveal the real Annie Oakley.

Charlotte Endorf is a lifelong Nebraskan, a member of Toastmasters International (earning the Distinguished Toastmaster award twice).  She specializes in speaking to elementary schools, women’s groups, museums, town festivals, senior centers, and libraries throughout Nebraska bringing the platform girls of the Canteen, Annie Oakley and the Orphan Train accurately. Endorf and her daughter, Sarah, have published ten books. Endorf also developed three documentaries keeping history alive and a CD with an actual Orphan Train rider after a trip to New York City to uncover her records dating back to 1917.

This program is made possible through grants from the Humanities Nebraska Speakers’ Bureau.  It is also a Women’s History Month Program.

One Book, One Siouxland Book Discussion of One Summer, America 1927 by Bill Bryson will be discussed on Monday March 14th at 3:00 p.m.

In One Summer: America, 1927, Iowa author Bill Bryson transports readers on a journey back to one amazing season in American life.

The summer of 1927 began with one of the signature events of the twentieth century: on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop. When he landed in Le Bourget airfield near Paris, he ignited an explosion of worldwide rapture and instantly became the most famous person on the planet. Meanwhile, the talented Babe Ruth began his assault on the home run record, which would culminate on September 30 with his sixtieth blast, one of the most resonant and durable records in sports history. In between those dates, a Queens’ housewife named Ruth Snyder and her corset-salesman lover garroted her husband, leading to a murder trial that became a huge tabloid sensation. Unprecedented rain clobbered the American south, flooding the Mississippi River basin, a great human tragedy, the relief efforts for which were guided by the uncannily able and insufferably pompous Herbert Hoover. Calvin Coolidge interrupted an already leisurely presidency for an even more relaxing three-month vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The gangster Al Capone tightened his grip on the illegal booze business through a gaudy and murderous reign of terror and municipal corruption. The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, was filmed and forever changed the motion picture industry. The four most powerful central bankers on earth met in secret session on a Long Island estate and made a fateful decision that virtually guaranteed a future crash and depression.

All this and much, much more transpired in that epochal summer of 1927, and Bill Bryson captures its outsized personalities, exciting events, and occasional just plain weirdness with his trademark vividness, eye for telling detail, and delicious humor.

Fruit Trees – Planting & Growing is held on Saturday March 5th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  This class would be similar to ones we have offered in the past.  Join us for a refresher and pass the information on to anyone interested in fruit trees.  This class is taught by Vaughn Hammond, Orchard Educator and former Extension Educator, UNL.

Write for Your Life meets on Monday, February 29th at 6:30 p.m.  Our writing prompt for this month is “Why I live in a small town”, in honor of Nebraska author, Bess Streeter Aldrich, who was born on February 15th.  We will read what we came up with for our writing prompt, as well as sharing our individual writing projects.

Adult Coloring:  Each Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. we invite adults to join us for a time of adult coloring.  This is a relaxing and mentally healthy activity that you will enjoy.

Tangled Yarns meets each Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. for a time of needlework and fun.  Join in on the fun.

Get Reading Early:  To prepare to vote for the Battle of the Books get started by reading some of these books on the book list.

Play Dead by Harlan Coben.  When her husband, Boston Celtics’ star player David Baskin, dies on their Australian honeymoon, fashion model-turned-entrepreneur Laura Ayars begins to suspect that David’s death wasn’t a simple accident and launches her own investigation.

Tail of the Tip-off is by Rita Mae Brown.  When the dead body of building contractor H.H. Donaldson is found in the parking lot during a basketball game, felines Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, along with Tee Tucker the Corgi, know just what will happen next. Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen can’t help but try to solve the puzzle. Who could be the killer? Is it a mistress, an archrival, or Donaldson’s ailing wife? Soon Harry can’t trust anyone. Leave it to Mrs. Murphy and her gang to lead Harry right to the missing piece.

Fire Sale is by Sara Paretsky.  When V.I. takes over coaching duties of the girls’ basketball team at her former high school, she faces an ill-equipped, ragtag group of gangbangers, fundamentalists, and teenage moms who inevitably draw the detective into their family woes.

Have a great week and read good books.


Interview on Ancient Aliens

I recommend most of the nonfiction that my library purchases and coincidentally I was looking at books on UFOs this afternoon.  The ancient aliens theory is a subset of Controversial Knowledge in Dewey.

001.9 Controversial knowledge
         001.94 Mysteries
                  001.942 Unidentified flying objects (UFOs)
                 001.944 Monsters and related phenomena
       001.95 Deceptions and hoaxes
      001.96 Errors, delusions, superstitions
Many of the books on ancient aliens topic tend to be supportive of the topics.  Dr. Heiser mentions a number of good resources opposing the ancient aliens mythology.  That is only one of the reasons the following podcast worthwhile.




Mini Review: Man’s Search to Meaning by Viktor Frankel

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel is the memoir of a Holocaust survivor, followed by his insights of the source of the many of the causes of mental illness today.  Frankel recommends that we ought not seek happiness, but rather seek meaning in suffering.  This is one of the 100 Best Books of the 20th Century.  It is well worth reading.


Mini Review: Winter Morning Walks by Ted Kooser

Since the first of the year everyone seems to be looking for ways to motivate themselves to walk more.  Well, look no more.  Winter Morning Walks is a celebration of the things the one sees and thinks about when walking.  Kooser paints landscapes and still life portraits with an economy of words.  The poems run from December to March, portraying the variety of sights and sounds one sees in rural Nebraska.  Don’t give up your exercise app, but add Winter Morning Walks for a little extra motivation.

Overview of “The Aviator’s Wife” by Melanie Benjamin

From the deathbed of Charles Lindbergh, Melanie Benjamin writes the story of the aviator from the perspective of his wife Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  This well-researched work looks at the life of the Lindbergh’s from their courtship, marriage, his work with the airlines, his checkered past in connection with his support for Hitler’s Germany.  She also explores darker times in their marriage as it decayed through the years.

This book should stimulate your interest in reading more about the Lindbergh’s.

Charles A. Lindbergh 

The Wartime Journals of Charles A. Lindbergh by Charles A. Lindbergh.  New York, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich [1970].

Charles A. Lindbergh and the Battle Against American Intervention in World War II by Wayne S. Cole.   New York, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich [1974] .

Lindbergh Alone by Brendan Gill.  New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, c1977 .

The Airman and the Carpenter:  The Lindbergh Kidnapping and the Framing of Richard Hauptman by Ludovic Kennedy.  [New York] : Viking, [1985].

Under a Wing   by Reeve Lindbergh.   New York : Simon & Schuster, c1998. 

Lindbergh by A. Scott Berg.  New York : Putnam, c1998.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  [New York] : Pantheon, [1955]

Earth Shine by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  New York, Harcourt, Brace & World [1969]

Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead:  Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh  1929-1932  by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, [1973].

The Flower and the Nettle:  Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1936-1939 by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

We also have recommendations for novels about pilots and pilots wives.

Air Pilots Fiction

Circling the Sun:: a novel by Paula McLain .  Publication: New York : Ballantine Books, [2015]

All I Want by Jill Shalvis.  New York : Berkley Books, 2015 .

Ugly Love:  a Novel by Colleen Hoover.  New York : Atria Paperback, 2014.

The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian.   New York : Crown Pub., 2011 .

Falcon Seven by James W. Huston.  New York : St. Martins Press, c2010 .

Finally we have true stories about pilots and aviation.

Air Pilots Nonfiction 

Cockpit confidential : everything you need to know about air travel : questions, answers, & reflections by Patrick Smith.  Naperville, Ill. : Sourcebooks, c2013 .

American Patriot:  the Life and Wars of Colonel Bud Day by Robert Coram.  Boston ; New York : Little, Brown, c2007 .

Flyboys:  a True Story of Courage by James Bradley.  Boston : Little, Brown, c2003.

Devil at my heels : a World War II hero’s epic saga of torment, survival, and forgiveness by Louis Zamperini.  New York : Morrow, c2003 .

Born to Fly : the untold story of the downed American reconnaissance plane by Shane Osborn.  New York : Broadway, c2001 .










Flagship Romance at the South Sioux City Public Library

Flagship Romance will perform at the South Sioux City Public Library on Wednesday night February 24th at 6:30 p.m.

 Flagship Romance consists of newlywed singers and songwriters Shawn Fisher and Jordyn Jackson. To describe their sound, they have coined the term “Harmonic Alternative Folk.” Anchored by Fisher’s unique guitar playing, Flagship Romance compositions are centered around and feature the couple’s unclassifiable vocal blend.

Since the release of their debut EP, The Fudge Sessions, in January of 2013, Flagship Romance has toured the US multiple times, making stops at legendary venues such as The Bitter End in New York City and multiple performances at the historical Florida Theatre in Jacksonville, FL. The variety of acts that this duo has shared the stage with is a tribute to the universal accessibility of their compositions and live show. These names include Iris Dement, Claire Lynch, the Goo Goo Dolls, Jack’s Mannequin, and Mason Jennings. Flagship Romance has also been a part of some of 2013’s biggest festivals including SXSW, Mumford & Sons’ Gentlemen of the Road Stopover, and the Gamble Rogers Folk Festival.

 In today’s music market, where more and more avid listeners are clamoring for something honest and real, Flagship Romance plans to take that honesty, chemistry, and “real-ness” to new heights.

 A ten dollar suggested donation to help with the travel expenses of the band will be taken the night of the event.

 Cover to Cover Book Club will discuss the book The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin on Monday, February 22nd at 3:00 p.m.  The book takes a fictional look at the life of the wife of the famous flier Charles Lindbergh, Ann Murrow Lindbergh.

 Technology Classes:  We offer technology classes on Monday through Thursday of this week.

 On Monday we offer Tech Monday at 6:00 p.m. and Everything Google at 7:00 p.m.

 On Tuesday, February 23rd we have Tech Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., Microsoft Windows 1 at 11:00 a.m., Microsoft Windows 2 at 1:00 p.m., Smartphone Apps at 2:00 p.m., and E-book Reader class at 5:00 p.m.

 Wednesday we have Searching the Internet at 6:00 p.m. and Job and Career Accelerator at 7:00 p.m.

 Finally, on Thursday, February 24th we offer Excel 1, 2, and 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., E-book Reader is at 2:00 p.m., Using Reference Sources 3:00 p.m., and Internet Privacy at 4:00 p.m.

500 Years of Latinos in America:  As a part of this celebration we will introduce this new program entitled Your Stories on February 22nd at 6:30 p.m. In this program, we will begin recording immigrant stories of what brought you to the United States. This will be a continuing program of the South Sioux City Public Library.

Youth Activities: This month we have LEGO Build – Every Monday starting at 3:30 and ending at 5:00, we will have LEGO’s out in the youth area of the library for children to build with.  Come let imaginations fly!

 Family Movies – All movies are “PG-13” ratings or lower, for the whole family to enjoy!  Family movies are shown on Mondays at 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays at 1:00 p.m.

 Night of FUN – Night of FUN is a program to get families used to coming into the library and finding a

fun atmosphere. We explore books, crafts, games, and science.  This is on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m.

 Wow! You Made That? – Children in 3rd grade and older can come learn all about the outdoors and their surroundings – from wildlife to camping.  This class is held on Tuesday February 23rd at 4:00 p.m.

 Pat-A-Cake Pals – This is a time to introduce the library to our youngest customers, those under 2 years old.  We sing, read, and play on Thursday, February 25th at 10:00 a.m.

 After-School Program – This is a time for kids in grades 3rdthrough 5thto hang out at the library. We will have snacks crafts, hands-on learning, reading, and more!  This is on Thursday at 3:15 p.m.

 Toddler Time – A story time for children 2-3 years old and their caregivers. We enjoy books, crafting and a snack on Fridays at 10:00 a.m.

 Seed Starting Class:  Learn how to get seeds started before the planting season on Monday 22nd at 6:30 p.m.

 Have a great week and read good books.