Do you believe in the Dead? Or do you believe the Dead crumble into dust? I’m not talking about the Grateful Dead, I’m talking about what you are when you are no longer living. A deeply religious friend of mine believes there is a “thin veil” between the living and the Dead and you can communicate with those who have passed if you are sensitive enough and aware enough to either peer through the veil or strong enough to fold back a corner of the veil for a clear angle to touch.
by Nancy McDaniel
I don’t get out to the suburbs very much. Physically, and attitudinally, they are far removed from my current life. I really just go out when it’s time to visit my step-mom every now and then. But I was invited to a bridal shower, at a golf club “out there.” (Turnabout is fair play, I guess. I used to make fun of suburban friends who thought the city was just “too far to drive.” Have I become a reverse version of them now?)
There is a special place from my childhood called Happy Jack Mountain that I visit daily from New York City even though that Mountain resides more than 1,500 miles away near Scotia, Nebraska.
Afloat in the Flatlands
I travel to Happy Jack Mountain by closing my eyes and walking the winding trail of 234 railroad tie steps up to the 483 foot Peak that pinnacles 2,000 feet above sea-level.
This is the story of a time and place that will never change for me, for every time I visit Happy Jack Mountain, it is the Fall of 1969 when life was glittering and full of innocence and promise.
My existence was purely good and clean and I was four years old.
Nebraska is notorious for being flat.
In fact, “Nebraska” is the Oglala Plains Indian phrase for “Flatwater.”
The running joke is that Nebraska is 98% sky, 1% land and 1% manure.
Wind, Rain and Sunshine are the Holy Trinity that rule life upon Nebraska’s plains.
Nebraskans are known by some as “fly over folks” where people on either end of the nation only get to know us, our customs, and our dreams en passant as they arc over us in airplanes on their way to someplace bigger.