Ahhh, krep; sorry. I called up the wrong version last night before going to bed - saw that everything looked good in the browser, and didn’t realize I was looking at a local page. By the time I got the emails and messages I was unable to do anything about it, so . . .

Wander back, if you wish, and take a look at all the nice pictures I so painstakingly selected and arranged. Or don’t, I don’t care, FINE, hold it against me forever, be that way.

Anyway <majelbarretvoice> and now the conclusion. <majelbarretvoice> Briefly. We were to take the stage at 4 PM. I got up, went downstairs looking like an unshaven apparition, got lobby coffee, went back to my room to pull myself together. Watched some Fox (madness) and CNN (madness) and then donned the uniform and headed to the AEI.

Nice place. Nothing so DC as spending the day in a think-tank that used to be the home of some Big Historic Name - in this case, Andrew Mellon. (No, his first name wasn't Carnegie.)

I had eaten nothing. I figured I’d get to the event in time for lunch, so breakfast was swordfish.

So the day was mostly listening to a lot of clever people say interesting things. Our podcast went smashingly - our guest, Larry Kudlow, the president’s economic advisor, had to cancel b/c of an emergency meeting, which made me check the market to see if it had dropped nine thousand points. Did an hour with Rob Long, who was remarkably calm for a man waiting to learn if his sitcom was picked up for a third season (It’s “Kevin Can Wait”) (it wasn’t, alas) and Peter Robinson, the soul of decency and forbearance - I mean, he’d interviewed General Mattis a few hours before and now Rob and I are going on and on about Korean Instant Water Heaters and Hidden Sperm in Obama’s Portrait.

Anyway, it was my one shot at this and I wanted to do well, and what made me happy was how happy I felt doing this.

As I’ve said over the years in this spot, it’s an odd life. If you’d told me when I’d left DC I’d be back some day to do this, I would have been delighted.

Afterwards we went to the Palm, where I had to stare at these two guys . . .

We ate steak and Oh Lord, A) it was good and B) six hours later I was still mostly steak. Everyone staggered back to their rooms to be inert and process the steak.

That was it. Great fun. The flight’s another matter, but I’ll save that for tomorrow.



Minatare, NE. The wikipedia entry sounds like a 5th grade school report: The community is named after a sub branch of Sioux Indians called "Minnataree" who lived in the area. The community was originally named "Tabor", and was established in 1887. The development of the area was based on the agriculture industry. The town moved and was renamed when the railroad bypassed Tabor in 1900. "Minnataree" is an Indian word meaning "clear water.” The community incorporated in 1900.

Makes you wonder where Tabor was in the first place . . . hold on, there’s a Tabor in the state, and it’s actually bigger.

Well, leave that for another day. Let’s begin.

In the distance, the skyscraper of the prairie.


I'm not sure why I chose this. Perhaps it sums up the old empty places with the elevator in the distance, the old residue of the 20th century. Perhaps it set a mood. If someone showed you this picture and said "Nebraska," what type of downtown would you imagine? Let's see what they have.

Stop the presses:

Are the buildings full of mutated people who cannot bear the touch of sunlight? Was this ever a lively street with stores and folks who knew their neighbors?

Someone sat with the window open, the fan going back and forth and back and forth, and read a newspaper story about the war. He could smell the fertilizer, the dust from the elevator. It was four in the afternoon, and he didn’t know if he wanted a beer or a nap. The best thing about Saturday was he could have both.


That’s what happened upstairs. Perhaps. More likely than not that it did.

Whatever that sign on the pole said, there’s no point in repairing it.


Looks like vinyl siding in the doorway. Note the different colored bricks, which suggests . . . what? A window, removed? Some sort of signage? What was this thing?

Mild Buckaroo Revival revision:


Is it all dead? I know, 800 people in'ts a lot, but that has to support a few places.

The space on the left looks like a going concern, but it’s not the friendliest office I’ve ever seen.

"Had to board 'er up. Light was gettin' in and searing my flesh, settin' my hair on fire and everything."


Never has a sign - even one intended to be sarcastic - been so completely refuted by the structure to which it attached:


That barf-up of faux stone is remarkable, isn’t it.

And then, surprise:


A bank that’s still a bank. Helluva 50s remodel, too. LET’S MAKE IT ALL MOSTLY DOORWAY

From the historical society, the original entrance:


Car dealership, if I had to guess.

But not any more.

I know the old windows must have been a pain to maintain, but did anyone ever think how lousy this would look?


It makes a town look as if everyone became sullen and mistrustful of things that looked nice.

No gas today. Any idea what the brand might have been?



I’m going to say it's Skelly.

They’ve been gone since 1977.


Finally: even the church has gone out of business.


Jeebus, that was depressing.

On that note, I release you to peruse three motel postcards, from the ever-growing collection. See you tomorrow. I HOPE



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