Tag: nebraska

Carceral Nation

The Nebraska Abolitionist: When Slave Owners Won the Day

When I was in sixth grade in Nebraska — around the time Alex Haley’s ovaricRoots” novel was making its debut in the world conversation about America’s shameful treatment of slaves — our teacher, who was Lily-white born and bred and a staunch conservative from Oklahoma, decided to hold a “historical” debate with a bunch of 11-year-olds on the topic of abolition.

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Carceral Nation

Predators, Children and Sexual Prevarication

Children are some of the most vulnerable in society. They are trusting by default and unaware by necessity of nature. Popular culture and the Arts are filled with the sexual exploitation of, and the aggrieved results of, unattended children in peril with no one to protect their best interests except, oftentimes, their grooming predators.

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United Stage

A Stone’s Throw: “That Abortion Play” 30 Years Later

Thirty years ago, as an undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, I wrote a play: A Stone’s Throw. The full-length drama was about the dilution of the human spirit forged against the willful hard-edge of moral exhumation — but my production quickly became known on campus as “That Abortion Play.” You may download an early draft of “A Stone’s Throw” on this Boles.com Prairie Voice Archive Scripts page; and here some of the reviews of the production.

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RelationShaping

On Becoming a Mentor: Listen to the Birds

Memory is an acute thing. It can baptize you, take you over, reflect on where you’ve been and, in some extreme cases, incapacitate you. Memory can also warm, warn and welcome you — and this story is a matter of the latter in the name of one my earliest mentors and influencers, Rick Alloway. Yes is hard. No is easy. Rick Alloway was always a Yes Man in the most honorific possible way.

Rick gave me my start in radio at KFOR 1240 and KFRX 103 in Lincoln, Nebraska when I was 13-years-old, and he helped correct me, win me and convince me in every single way of the world. He was never harsh or cruel or condescending — even when you earned such treatment. His greatest talent was simply listening and being infinitely patient. In the radio advert below, Rick is in the front row wearing a mustache and I’m right next to him sporting the sun-sensitive hipster glasses.

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United Stage

Never Speak to the Actors!

There’s an old, weary, chestnut in the theatre — that deserves to be burned alive, eaten whole, pooped out and buried in the deep blue sea and then never spoken of again — that goes a little something like this, when directors say to Playwrights: “Never Speak to the Actors!”

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RelationShaping

Giant Pile of Death Sucked Hollow

A long time ago, in a lifetime far, far away — when I was still eating flesh and muscle — there was a grand tradition during Summertime in Nebraska for family and friends to get together and eat outside under the sun, moon and stars.  BBQ was a rite of passage and to get there, you not only had to learn how to BBQ, you also had to be a master eater as well.

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Memeingful

On Winning the 1975 Pinewood Derby

If you’re a Cub Scout, there’s a yearly reckoning waiting for you — the Pinewood Derby — where you get to build your own race car out of wood and plastic and nails and race it down a track to see how fast your mind and hands are in the creation of something separate and spectacular that you cannot control. You build it and let it run away from you.  I had some success with the Pinewood Derby, as I share here:

As a Cub Scout in Lincoln, Nebraska David Boles entered, and won the Pinewood Derby. In 1973, igniting the fighting Fireball #8, he came in second place. In 1974, riding The Phantom, he did not place, likely due to the air-sucking quality of the jaw-like bat mouth. In 1975 — flying the Spirit of ’76 — he won First Place as the Grand Champion, even though race officials drilled out an ounce of golden lead weight from his undercarriage! Here are the requisite beauty shots of those historic racing fascinations.

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