Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Guy Reaching His Dream & Where Rivers Collide

I had received an invitation at the Nebraska Book Festival from Nancy Gillis to come to the John G. Neihardt State Historical Site to hear world traveler Dean Jacobs. It was a gorgeous Sunday so Susan and I decided to make the drive up to Bancroft.

I'm glad we did - it was a fascinating presentation. Dean is a native Nebraskans who, after a few years in the corporate world, decided to quit his job, sell his house and travel the world. To maximize his travel, he knew that he'd have to live very cheaply - $10-15 a day. That meant that he'd be traveling among people who also lived, traveled, and ate simply. We heard some amazing stories and saw some fantastic photos for about two hours. The big message, though, was to follow your dream and don't let anyone get in the way of it.

That's something I've come to appreciate more and more in the past few weeks. I've always written for a living, but hoped someday to have written books, to do some freelance writing, and maybe even do some speaking. I'm doing that NOW and I'm not even quite sure how I got here! Well, I do know, but it still strikes me as strange that I am living my dream.

Anyway, I did thank Dean for the presentation and affirmation of following one's dream. Do take some time to visit his site at I've done what Dean has done, although certainly not on his scale. In 1980, I quit my radio announcer job in Lincoln, sold my possessions and went hitchhiking to Montana for one of the most enjoyable months of my life. I was living for probably $4-5 a day and one night even slept under an interstate bridge! THAT is living cheap, my friends.

I should add that Nancy (the executive director of the site) was a very gracious host and even gave me a little introduction for my presentation there next year. She also got some books for their book section.


Yesterday I decided to do some "cold calling" on the area museums before the rain started in for the week. I made stops at the Sarpy County Museum and Cass County Museums to let them know about the book as well as my availability as a speaker; the head person wasn't in in either case, but I left information and will follow up.

While in Plattsmouth, I saw a sign indicating the Missouri-Platte Confluence site. I've lived here all of my life and have a strong attachment to both rivers, but I'd never seen the confluence. I drove northeast of Plattsmouth for about three miles and arrived at a little pull-off area at the meeting point of the rivers. It really is an impressive sight - two great rivers, both with a staggering amount of history, at their meeting point. I didn't have the Nikon, but had my little Sony with me and snapped a few.

I finished the afternoon with a stop at the Western Historic Trails Center in Council Bluffs and got a date for my presentation and booksigning there - Saturday, Dec. 6, at 2 p.m. for the "Holidays on the Trail" event. Hope to see you there!

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