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You’ll Never Believe What Took Place On The Nebraska Prairie Over A Century Ago

As anyone from small-town Nebraska knows, you can learn the most interesting things by just walking around, being friendly, and talking to people. This was the case recently when my family and I went walking around beautiful historic Brownville. We went on a Sunday, so not much was open other than the tiny general store. We all crowded into the shop, and while the kids picked out sodas I struck up a conversation with a local man who was standing in the doorway. He had been on the front steps of the shop when we arrived, working out some sort of deal over the phone. Like most of the people we encountered in the little town that day, he seemed mildly curious about the off-season strangers wandering around his town. As we paid for the drinks and the kids amused themselves with the “old fashioned” bottle opener, the man and I chatted about what my family was doing in the area.

When I mentioned that I was researching a story for work, and that my job involves writing about interesting things in Nebraska, his eyes glinted a little and a grin turned up the corners of his mouth.

“I’ve got a story about Nebraska for you.”

After relaying the tale, the man in the general store informed me that the folk band The New Christy Minstrels wrote a song about Brown’s steam wagon, and by chance they would be performing in Brownville in April. Whether that was a coincidence or a sly bit of guerrilla marketing I’ll never know, but I’m happy that I stopped to chat that day. You never know what kinds of interesting stories you’ll hear when you just take a few minutes to talk with a friendly stranger in Nebraska.

Delana
Delana is a writer and editor who has lived in Nebraska for most of her life.