North Platte, Day 3. Reaching out.
Brown/Harano was the camera/photo shop where my dad took all of our film to be developed. Our only formal family portrait was taken there. So it is a pretty evocative name! And then I saw this in the window:
This was my first reminder that North Platte is a very red town in a very red state. A recent straw poll by the local weekly newspaper reported that about 78% of those voting prefered Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton. (Hillary got 18%, followed by Gary Johnson with 12%, with Jill Stein, Jesus, Pedro, and Bill Murray all polling in single digits.)
At the library, I talked to one of the staff members, who taught at the high school in the 60s and 70s and remembered the dress code battles of the time. Then I spent some time looking at the 1967 yearbook from North Platte High School, looking for former classmates. I found ten (!!!!) names that I recognized, four of whom still lived in town in 1999, when the last alumni directory was published. (Thank heaven for alumni directories, indexing female students by their former names and their married names!). Two of the women I found were also in my Bluebird troop.
Also also found a photo of North Platte from 1875 with a label showing the location of several landmarks, including the Unitarian Church, which no longer exists. The closest UU congregation today is in Kearney, about 100 miles east of North Platte. Oh, well.
I headed back to the Espresso Shop for lunch and some unrelated computer work, and overheard two patrons talking about meditation and theology. Deciding it was time to step outside my introvert bubble, I struck up a conversation and made two new acquaintances. Sherry is originally from Omaha, has lived in NP for about 30 years, and is a liberal, questioning Roman Catholic. Alan is the 3rd generation owner of the local clothing store, and promises to be a great resource on the shopping habits of local women!
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