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Friday, March 3, 2000

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Driving around Kearney

I went for a brisk walk this morning enjoying the cool air and clear skies. This is a neighborhood with plain small frame houses. There were sidewalks as when these houses were built people walked. The whole neighborhood is neat and clean and a joy to walk through.

After lunch with Rick, Betty and Heidi, Dad and I went to look at the museums. I was disappointed to find that both the Trails and Rails Museum and Fort Kearney weren't open for the season yet. We had a nice drive along NE-44 and L-50A past neat farms.

We did see the wooden fort but I was told later that there never was a wall around the original Fort Kearney. That was built by whoever first tried to get tourists to the fort. The fort is built on The Great Platte River Road that thousands of pioneers followed to Oregon and California. Now it's set in farmland instead of prairie and has cows on feed lots rather than buffalo.

The town of Kearney moved across the river to the north side when the railroad came along that side. It's one of the fastest growing towns in Nebraska and has a branch of the University of Nebraska. I was a little confused as I went to the University of Oklahoma and I thought we always played the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. This used to be a small college till a few years ago it joined the university.

We walked down the main street which is paved with bricks. Since they opened a real shopping mall in the north end of town, most of the stores are professional offices, furniture stores or antique stores, but there is still a fair amount of traffic and the street parking was full. The buildings were a two to three stories high with the moldings and brickwork from the first part of the century. We did find the Museum of Nebraska Art open and spent a couple hours enjoying their exhibits. They have some very fine Audubon prints and a special exhibit of Maori art.

That evening we went out to eat with Betty's aunts, uncles, cousins and brother and all their kids and spouses. She has a large and delightful family and we talked too much and ate too much. They came from all over the country as well as Nebraska. Betty's parents and brother have a farm in south west Nebraska.

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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