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Trouble Says: Bring flannel shirts when visiting Omaha

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 “...And bring a flannel shirt.” Those were the words of Anne’s son earlier this week.

Omaha. Omaha, Nebraska, that’s where we are bound. While you are enjoying the Seafood Festival and the days that follow in Cedar Key, Anne and I will be enjoying Omaha just to the west of Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Anne has family in Omaha. We will have visited there three times in the past five years or so. Omaha is one of the two largest cities (towns?) in Nebraska, Lincoln being the other. Omaha is about the size of Gainesville without the University of Florida students. It was the eastern terminus of the Union Pacific Railroad along which the “Golden Spike” was driven in Utah. It was one of the early cow towns on the western frontier. The Missouri River runs through Omaha on its journey to the Mighty Mississippi.

On our way to Omaha we have a layover in Minneapolis. The Mississippi River is a clear stream there, running over falls and rapids through what is normally called Minneapolis-St. Paul. From there, we fly south and west to Omaha. Omaha at one time was the culture city of the U.S. west of the Mississippi River. And today, as small as it is, still has quite a number of live theaters complete with acoustics and sounding boards of the type used before microphones and speakers.

Mike’s and Brian’s presence in Omaha is no accident. Mike, an educator in the arts, is working in live children’s theater. And Brian, likewise, is a playwrite and educator of some renown, national awards and all. Both of them are actors and have toured the U.S. together and individually. Needless to say, Mike and Brian have planned a busy schedule for us centered around theater, autumnal and local attractions.

Knowing from experience, I respect Mike’s suggestion to bring along a flannel shirt. The weather there is quite volatile. Remember Dorothy and Toto hailed from a nearby state. And a couple of Decembers past, it was snowing when we arrived. The departure flight was delayed due to blizzard conditions. For that whole trip, the mid-day highs were below 20 degrees.

So when we get back, the Festival will be history. But keep in mind that we were out there, somewhere between Cedar Key and Omaha, in our never ending quest, looking for Trouble in Cedar Key.

Gene Benedict can be contacted via email at tnckgebe@yahoo.com.