All posts filed under: Audio Vignettes

Energizing Valentine

As Chris Hernstrom in Valentine told me, there is a lot of energy around the Arganbrights. Here Kyle and Kurt talk about entrepreneurial advancement of the Valentine community, its pioneering spirit, world-class environment, clear-eyed socio-economic development and, of course, Americus Liberator. Listen below to audio excerpts

The Best Steak at Mrs T’s

Tama Sundquist runs Mrs. T’s in Loomis, NE, a town of less than 400 people. I confess to my embarrassment that I nearly passed straight through Loomis, even though it was a scheduled stop on my four-week project. A quick drive through the town, which was indeed a quick drive, revealed few places to stop and fewer people to speak with. However, I stumbled across Mrs. T’s and encountered a vibrant personality in Tama. Exuding warm assurance, she welcomed by name all the patrons that came into her convenience store and lunch stop. I am ashamed to say that I assumed that the lunch would be mediocre and said I would stop just for coffee. Once the steak lunch special started sizzling on the grill, however, I rapidly succumbed. It was the best steak I have had for years. Tama is the kind of person that fills a room with energy and she was a highlight of this project. In this audio vignette, she touches a little on how she came to be in Loomis, …

Law Enforcer – Servant to Community

Dale has particular perspectives on community, not least as a retired law enforcement officer: “I think I did a good job of community relationships and stuff, and that was the most enjoyable part of it. And I think that’s the part of it I still miss the most.” Dale believes law enforcement is a servant of community and, despite several brain injuries resulting from his duties, chooses not to see people as adversaries. Dale also reflects upon the benefits of tourism in Valentine and contributing to a healthy community. Listen below to Dale’s story:

Garry Clark: A Leader Above

Garry Clark describes his role as the economic development director for Cuming County being much more than that. He is a community developer whose role is really about benefiting people. Garry candidly discusses his experiences growing up in Washington D.C. and his perspectives on life as an African-American resident in a smaller town. Garry also reflects intelligently on choosing a community-focused lifestyle in West Point. He also told me he is a mean ball player too! Listen to Garry below:

Elvis has nothing on Owen

“Everybody just wants to be appreciated.” As Christmas beckons, Owen’s  courage, personality, warmth and candor is a tangible reminder of the festive season. Without sentimentality, he earnestly wished for universal peace and harmony, while also reminiscing about his own lost love and reflecting upon his own experiences. Owen is an exceptional, wonderful person. Listen to Owen below:

Lisa Smith, Holding Space for Community

“Everybody has a voice and if we just take the time to hear it, we can get underneath the things that keep us from deep learning, from deep interaction, from deep humanness,” says Lisa Smith in Hastings as she reflects in this vignette upon the nature of conversation, self-doubt, having a voice and shared human engagement. Recorded in a Chinese restaurant over dinner, we talked also about how Lisa holds space for community, as well as the potential necessity of the Heimlich maneuver… Listen below