A Story to Warm Your Heart

Omaha is a good town. The College World Series is there and there are some big companies based there. Believe it or not, there are hills there.

A Story to Warm Your Heart
Capital Thinking | A Story to Warm Your Heart

Capital Thinking • Issue #119 • View online

The state of Nebraska comes down for a lot of derision from many of the elites in America.

After all, it’s in flyover country.

It’s mostly rural. The biggest city in Nebraska is the football stadium of a Cornhusker home football game.

Hence, a lot of people poke fun at it.

by Jeff Carter | Points and Figures:

During World War Two, trains moving soldiers east and west used to stop at North Platte, NE. The trains took on water and the soldiers dropped some off.

The North Platte Canteen popped up virtually overnight. Writer Bob Greene wrote a book about it and wrote an article about something special that happened in North Platte recently.

Read his piece in the WSJ if you want to get a warm fuzzy in your heart.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Greene writes about WW2,

“Starting in December 1941, they met every train: up to 23 a day, beginning at 5 a.m. and ending after midnight.
Those volunteers greeted between 3,000 and 5,000 soldiers a day. They presented them with sandwiches and gifts, played music for them, danced with them, baked birthday cakes for them.
Every day of the year, every day of the war, they were there at the depot. They never missed a train, never missed a soldier.
They fed six million soldiers by the end of the war. Not 1 cent of government money was asked for or spent, save for a $5 bill sent by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.”

My sister lives in Lincoln, NE and I have a lot of friends that grew up in Omaha. One characteristic about Nebraska people no matter their political stripe or where they come from is they are nice.

Omaha is a good town. The College World Series is there and there are some big companies based there. Believe it or not, there are hills there.

They have some unique food culture in Nebraska. My friend Brendan says you have to get a runza. As a matter of fact, there is a runza trail. There now is a fast food chain in Nebraska called Runza. It’s a cult!

In the early spring if you go to western Nebraska you can witness one of the greatest migratory bird migrations in the world. There are other places in western Nebraska where you can see the ruts from conestoga wagons on the Oregon trail.

You forget just how much of the US is really cowboy country. It’s not just the traditional American west but lots of places from the Atlantic ocean all the way to the Pacific.

My friend Pete is the current governor. We have the same hairstyle and love for the Cubs. I like his barber.

When you drive into Nebraska you see the state motto, “The Good Life”and for many many people it is. It’s nice that in North Platte, they try to spread a little of the good life around to people that might not be familiar with it.

Greene writes,

It was one soldier’s 21st birthday,” Lisa Burke said. “When I gave him his cake, he told me it was the first birthday cake he’d ever had in his life.” Not wanting to pry, she didn’t ask him how that could possibly be. “I was able to hold my emotions together,” she said. “Until later.”

That is the good life.

That is America. Uncompelled selfless giving.

Photo by Thomas Fields on Unsplash

*Feature photo by Pop & Zebra on Unsplash

*Originally appeared July 26, 2018 on Capital Thinking