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The Long and the Short of It

Small town spirit PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 03 May 2012 15:51

By Sheri Hink

The Wauneta Breeze


Last Thursday I had the opportunity to attend the FFA banquet. While I was there I found myself drawn in by the keynote speaker, Vance Heyer, a young man now living in Lincoln who grew up in a small town.

Heyer spoke poignantly about the benefits of living and working in a small town. Sure, there are draw backs, ones that all of us who grew up in a small town—and sometimes the media—are quick to point out. But, in the last few years there’s been a movement that recognizes the power and strength of small towns.

This is what Heyer focused on in his speech to the FFA members at last Thursday’s banquet. He spoke eloquently of the benefits of learning a work ethic at a young age through the chores that rural life often requires of young people. He spoke of the togetherness that small town residents feel, something that, in my opinion, is felt less keenly by those from “big” places.

Ten years ago I decided I was done with rural Nebraska, I was moving to Illinois and never coming back. However, it didn’t take long until I found my heart longing to come back to the rural way of life, the life I grew up waiting to escape.

I’ll never forget my mother’s surprised exclamation when I called her to say I was going to write my thesis, the culmination of my sociological education, on a farming topic. But, that’s another story.

My point today is that the tragic event of last week, and the reaction of the community to the tragedy, has touched me.

I find myself mourning the loss of Cody even though I never had the pleasure of meeting him. I feel like I’ve gotten to know just a little of Cody through my conversations with people who did.

I heard about a man who gave 110 percent in work and play and who saw value and worth in every person he met regardless of their origin, race or ethnicity. I learned of a man that had charisma, drive and tenacity to accomplish just about anything. Now that’s what I call the epitome of a small town boy.

Those kinds of individual and community spirit are things I see as unique to small towns. And, wow, is that spirit powerful.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 May 2012 15:51
What a town! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Friday, 06 April 2012 19:19

By Sheri Hink

The Wauneta Breeze


My family and I have been back in Chase County for almost three months now. After coming back and getting reacquainted with the Village of Wauneta I must say I couldn’t be happier to be back.

I enjoyed my time in Kearney, Lincoln, Normal, Ill. and Denver—each town has its own special appeal. But, there is nothing like western Nebraska, at least in my opinion.

Although a native of Champion, I spent plenty of time in Wauneta as a child. I fondly remember my mornings at the nursing home helping Betty Brack with activities or coloring in my mother’s office while she worked. (Now that I’m a mother I’m not sure how she managed that!) I have fond memories of talks with Margaret Shephard and Mickey Hanson. Afternoons were spent at the Wauneta swimming pool.

I’m thrilled that Brad and I have the opportunity to raise our children in a community as welcoming and supportive as Wauneta. Since our arrival, I’ve witnessed a close sense of community that far surpasses that which I’ve experienced in larger communities, a sense of community made possible by relationships forged over generations.

We have been taken aback by how welcome we’ve been made to feel, even with our kids making noise at the Senior Center luncheon or in church. And watching how the community has come together on the nursing home project has given me real insight into the kind of people who live here.

Waunetans are go-getters who work together to accomplish goals for the common good. Those are exactly the kind of values I hope to instill in my children. Living here, they will have plenty of good examples to follow.

Last Updated on Friday, 06 April 2012 19:20
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