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.
Continue reading → Cathedrals of Chalk: Return to Happy Jack Mountain