Monday, July 14, 2008


Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Your stubbornness is my perseverance – this tendency, once we've got hold, to hang on. Surrender is not a word in the middlewestern vocabulary. We set our jaw, grit our teeth, and lean into it. Like a punch-drunk boxer we'll stand there taking whatever punishment is meted out. We might wobble, but we'll take it and take it until the final bell sounds. We don't win points for style, maybe, but we know that endurance is a virtue, perhaps the only virtue, and we endure.

I am headed west to West Point, Nebraska, to take in the community's Sesquicentennial, its celebration of one hundred fifty years of endurance on that piece of ground there along the Elkhorn River. West Point, as they say, the Best Point, for a hundred fifty years. Imagine their holding on, the people of West Point, their stubbornness and their perseverance.


There are two kinds of people, I've found: givers and takers, who also divide to do-ers and done-to. The givers do not arrive at meal-time and expect to be fed; the takers do.

I arrived in West Point right at suppertime, so I ate at Pizza Ranch on Main Street before heading to the Lindbergs where I would spend the week. Dick and Gwen are often my hostelers when I am in town. My hostelers and my friends.

It was 7:00 p.m. when I entered by their front door on Monitor Street. Yet, because they had been involved in last minute preparations for the Sesquicentennial, they were just getting ready to eat, and offered me supper. "No, no," I said. I really was full. "But I'll have something to drink while you eat." And so I did.

And we visited and caught up on the news.

To be continued....

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