The Superior Express -

Editor's Notebook

 


After the wildfire last week and traffic accident, I’ve had trouble focusing. My mind keeps skipping from one topic to another. Consequently, I have a number of short topics for this week’s notebook entry.

A few days ago I received notice of the annual meeting of the Nebraska Press Women’s group. A former Express co-worker, the late Blanche Bargen, faithfully attended the association’s meetings, shared their reports with me and served at least one term as association president.

For a time I was even an association member. Yes, there was a time before all the gender equality discussion that two guys were members of the association.

It came about this way.

I had earlier gotten acquainted with members of the press women’s group who regularly attended the Nebraska Press Association spring meeting. At one of those meeting the late Tom Allan of the Omaha World-Herald and I were visiting with the women staffing a trade show booth. They suggested we join their association and offered a very reasonable rate. I can still see Tom’s big grin as he turned to me and said, “Why not? Let’s do it!” And so we did.

I don’t know if Tom every attended a meeting. I know I never did.

In my early years in this business, I was good at joining statewide groups but never good at attending their meetings. For a number of years, I was a member of the state and national press photographers’ associations, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Midwest Direct Marketers Association. I enjoyed the few meetings I attended and learned lots but didn’t enjoy going to Lincoln and Omaha to attend their meetings.

While I miss the local in-person contacts I had prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve enjoyed an opportunity to again associate with statewide and national groups via digital conferences.

I hope the digital meetings will continue after the pandemic ends.

And speaking of travelling, I was upset last week to learn the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles is closing local driver’s license examination stations.

At a time when there is an international shortage of petroleum products, I didn’t think the state should be forcing drivers to travel out of county to renew their driver’s licenses.

Some offices have been indefinitely closed. In Nuckolls County, the only closing announced so far is this coming Tuesday.

If we are trying to conserve fuel, it’s not right for the state to make all of those people seeking to renew or obtain a driver’s license travel out of county to do so. And for those unfamiliar with driving in the larger communities, it may also be dangerous.

The notice reminded me to check my driver’s license to see when it is expiring. Good thing that I did for it will expire in about six weeks. I found it much easier to remember to renew when the licenses expired on birthdays in which the year was divisible by four. Under that rule I would have another year to go on my present license. But now with the five year renewal schedule it is more difficult. Though in my case it shouldn’t be for my license renews on those years when my age is divisible by 5. Do you suppose it works that way for everybody?

After looking for alternative license locations, I’m considering going to Geneva. The DMV schedule indicates the examination office is open in that community every Thursday and Friday. While the drive is longer, the schedule is more convenient than the Tuesday only date in Nelson.

But then I must consider what would happen if I was denied a renewal and couldn’t drive home. I could probably hitch a ride home from Nelson but I’m not sure about Geneva. Perhaps I could hitch from Geneva to Clay Center and then hopefully, hitch another ride south.

I have a record of successfully hitching from Clay Center to Superior and that makes me a little less apprehensive about the prospects of hitching-hiking from either Clay Center or Nelson.

For me Friday was a holiday. Not because of April Fool’s Day but it was the 50th anniversary of my move from Blauvelt’s Hill to a little house in Superior.

I didn’t want to leave the hill, but the neighbors must have been eager to get rid of the Blauvelts.

When I left for work that morning, the move was something we were considering but a date hadn’t been picked.

That afternoon my mother telephoned to share the news. “Don’t go home,” she said. “We don’t live there any more.”

One of the neighbors had organized a moving party. They arrived on Blauvelt’s Hill that morning, loaded up all our stuff and moved the Blauvelt Family into Superior. Though my mother lived another 32 years, in her vocabulary, the word home always referred to the house on the hill my father built for her in 1941. Not the place of her current residence.

I’ve been pleased with the move. The house at 500 Commercial, fits me pretty well. Hopefully, I can finish out my allotted time at that location. It is within walking distance of work and many community activities. With the Superior Auditorium across the street and the fire station only two blocks away, I’m surprised how quiet it is.

If I hadn’t looked out the window and seen the activity, I would never have known the Superior prom was held there Friday night.

The stray cat who likes to visit our yard, apparently can’t say the same. On Saturday she appeared to have been traumatized by all the activity. That cat seems to be afraid of everything and Rita has nicknamed her “Fraidy Cat” Friday evening I tried to feed her a scrap of meat but she was so disturbed by the traffic that I gave up and saved the tidbit for the next day. On Saturday, she was almost too tired to eat. I suspect she had been “On Guard” most of Friday.

 

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