Boystown, Nebraska

I’ll bet you’ve heard of Boystown, but did you know that it’s in Nebraska, that funny-shaped state bordering the Missouri River between South Dakota and Kansas.

I was born in Omaha, Nebraska and
Boystown was just another school that our football team played each fall. We had no idea that it was "famous" nor that a movie had been made about it.
Boystown was founded by Father Edward J. Flanagan in 1917, as a place for abused, abandoned and neglected boys. The boys came from all over the country and many were on the rough side - tough and sometimes on the streets can do that to a kid.

Because of the circumstances which brought them to Boystown, some Omaha parents, mine included, were very adamant about their daughters not having anything to do with the Boystown boys. “You are NOT to date any of those kids!” …. I can still hear my father saying that, even after 50 years.

My nephew spent several years at Boystown after his parents divorced. After the divorce, he tried to get into as much trouble as he possibly could....stealing a bicycle, selling aspirin and claiming they were drugs, etc. The Boystown counselors said that he was trying to get his parents back together.....even if it meant being arrested and being sent to "juvie". They would HAVE to talk to each other. He has evolved into a wonderful young man with 3 children, a steady job and is the coach of his son's wrestling team.

When Father Flanagan bought 160 acres of land at 137th and Dodge Road, it was “way out in the country” ….10 miles from the Omaha city limits. Now, Omaha has expanded to the west, and has completely encircled the campus. Yes, although it’s called a campus its really a little village unto itself. The boys become citizens of a town rather than residents of a home. They elect their own government, Mayor, vice-Mayor, Council and Commissioners. Boystown has it's own fire and police, the boys aren't in charge but learn by actually taking part. In 1936, Boystown became an official village of the State of Nebraska.

The boys live in cottages with their family-teachers in a family situations. The teachers are guidance counselors or have been specially trained to help troubled youths, married and usually have children of their own. The boys learn to clean and cook, do chores, make their own beds, help with the dishes, mow the lawn, and are treated like any other kids would like to be. There are 8 to 9 boys to a cottage, usually two boys to a bedroom.

There are no fences in
Boystown other than the ones around the farm area. When Father Flanagan laid out the plans for Boystown, no fences were included nor locks on the doors. He said, “I am not building a prison. This is a home. You do not wall in members of your own family.” Occasionally boys would walk away from the campus but they almost always found their way back or were picked up by local police or county deputies and brought back.

I’ve often seen the boys and their teachers shopping at the nearby grocery store. (I live about 6 blocks from Boystown…our mail comes out of the Boystown postoffice and we often buy farm grown produce there in the summer.)

They are given a list of grocery items and they get their first "learn to shop" (Shopping 101) lessons. The boys are very respectful to other shoppers and will look you in the eye as they put their hand out to shake yours. “Hello, my name is ________”….this is something they are taught as soon as they arrive at the campus. It tends to be a little startling to shoppers if they haven't seen or met the Boystown shoppers before. Many of the kids came from abusive situations and looking someone in the eye and putting their hand out in friendship is the beginning of healing.

If you are in Omaha, attending the College World Series, here on business or vacation, make it a point to visit Boystown. They have free guided tours or you can wander around on your own.

Did you see the movie “
Boys Town" starring Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney? It was a true story and the boys will be proud to show you the Oscar it won which is on display in the Boystown museum.

"He ain't heavy, Father . . . he's m' brother"

Tip of the Day - Foggy shower mirror

My favorite "Tip of the Day"....clean your mirror with shaving cream!

I like a HOT shower and although we have a fan in the bathroom, the mirror gets steamy and foggy. If you clean your mirror with shaving cream, as you'd do with Windex, it won't fog will be perfectly clean, no oily film and you'll see your reflection as usual.

But, don't do what I did! I pointed the can of shave cream at the mirror and pressed the button....whoosh, I had a gob the size of Texas on the mirror with rebound splatters all over the wall! And more than a few blobs on me!

I know better now!

Which Movie Star Are You?

Have fun with this. Which Movie Star Are You? Ever wonder which movie star you are most like? (probably not...but do the quiz anyway)

Well ~ A team of researchers got together and analyzed the personalities of movie stars. The gathered info has been incorporated into this quiz.

There are only 10 questions so it doesn't take long. Number your paper from 1 to 10, then answer each question with the choice that most describes you at this point in your life, and then add up the points that correspond with your answers. Don't look ahead or you will ruin the fun!

1. Which describes your perfect date?
A) Candlelight dinner for two
B) Amusement Park
C) Roller blading in the park
D Rock Concert
E) Have dinner & see a movie
F) Dinner at home with a loved one

2. What is your favorite type of music?
A) Rock and Roll
B) Alternative
C) Soft Rock
D) Classical
E) Christian
F) Jazz
3. What is your favorite type of movie?
A) Comedy
B) Horror
C) Musical
D) Romance
E) Documentary
F) Mystery
4. Which of the following jobs would you choose if you were given only these Choices?
A) Waiter/Waitress
B) Sports Player
C) Teacher
D) Policeman
E) Bartender
F) Business person
5. Which would you rather do if you had an hour to waste?
A) Work out
B) Make out
C) Watch TV
D) Listen to the radio
E) Sleep
F) Read
6. Of the following colors, which do you like best?
A) Yellow
B) White
C) Sky blue
D) Teal
E) Gold
F) Red
7. Which one of the following would you like to eat right now?
A) Ice cream
B) Pizza
C) Sushi
D) Pasta
E) Salad
F) Lobster Tail
8. Which is your favorite holiday?
A) Halloween
B) Christmas
C) New Year's
D) Valentine's Day
E) Thanksgiving
F) Fourth of July
9. If you could go to any of the following places, which would it be?
A) Reno
B) Spain
C) Las Vegas
D) Hawaii
E) Hollywood
F) British Columbia
10. Of the following, who would you rather spend time with?
A) Someone who is smart
B) Someone with good looks
C) Someone who is a party animal
D) Someone who has fun all the time
E) Someone who is very emotional
F) Someone who is fun to be with

Now total up your points on each question:
1. a-4 b-2 c-5 d-1 e-3 f-6
2. a-2 b-1 c-4 d-5 e-3 f-6
3. a-2 b-1 c-3 d-4 e-5 f-6
4. a-4 b-5 c-3 d-2 e-1 f-6
5. a-5 b-4 c-2 d-1 e-3 f-6
6. a-1 b-5 c-3 d-2 e-4 f-6
7. a-3 b-2 c-1 d-4 e-5 f-6
8. a-1 b-3 c-2 d-4 e-5 f-6
9. a-4 b-5 c-1 d-4 e-3 f-6
10. a-5 b-2 c-1 d-3 e-4 f-6

AND.....take your total and find out which Movie Star you are:

(10-17 points) You are MADONNA: You are wild and crazy and you know it. You know how to have fun, but you may take it to extremes. You know what you are doing though, and are much in control of your own life. People don't always see things your way, but that doesn't mean that you should do away with your beliefs. Try to remember that your wild spirit can lead to hurting yourself and others.

(18-26 points) You are DORIS DAY: You are fun, friendly, and popular! You are a real crowd pleaser. You have probably been out on the town your share of times,yet you come home with the values that your mother taught you. Marriage and children are very important to you, but only after you have fun. Don't let the people you please influence you to stray.

(27-34 points) You are DEBBIE REYNOLDS: You are cute, and everyone loves you. You are a best friend that no one takes the chance of losing. You never hurt feelings and seldom have your own feelings hurt. Life is a breeze. You are witty, and calm most of the time. Just keep clear of back stabbers, and you are worry free.
(35-42 points) You are GRACE KELLY: You are a lover. Romance, flowers, and wine are all you need to enjoy yourself. You are serious about all commitments and are a family person. You call your Mom every Sunday, and never forget a Birthday. Don't let your passion for romance get confused with the real thing.

(43-50 points) You are KATHRYN HEPBURN: You are smart, a real thinker. Every situation is approached with a plan. You are very healthy in mind and body. You don't take crap from anyone. You have only a couple of individuals that you consider 'real friends'. You teach strong family values. Keep your feet planted in them, but don't overlook a bad situation when it does happen.

(51-60 points) You are ELIZABETH TAYLOR: Everyone is in awe of you. You know what you want and how to get it. You have more friends than you know what to do with. Your word is your bond. Everyone knows when you say something it is money in the bank.You attract the opposite sex. Your intelligence overwhelms most . Your memory is the next thing to photographic. Everyone admires you because you are so considerate and lovable. You know how to enjoy life and treat people right.
(All you little Debbie Reynoldes can stand up and take a bow.... we're the darlings of the social set!)



I thought I would share this with all of you. For if you are reading this then you are the Storyteller. Enjoy as I did.

We are the chosen. My feelings are in each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve. To me, doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before.

We are the storytellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called, as it were, by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to "Tell our story". So, we do.

In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told the ancestors
"you have a wonderful family, you would be proud of us"

How many times have I
walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say.

It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who am I and why do I do the things I do? It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying I can't let this happen.

The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to doing something about it. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish. How they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their Family.

It goes to deep pride that they fought to make and keep us a Nation. It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us. That we might be born who we are. That we might remember them. So we do. With love and caring and
scribing each fact of their existence, because we are them and they are us. So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family.

It is up to you, the next generation to answer the call and take my
place in the long line of family storytellers.

(Unknown Author)

Plastic baby bottles - yes or no?

I think we will replace Andrew’s plastic baby bottles with glass…’s news report says that bisphenol, a chemical used to make baby bottles and other shatterproof plastic containers could be linked to a range of hormonal problems.

From what I understand, heating the baby bottle in a microwave releases more of the chemical. And we wonder why our children and grandchildren have been developing illnesses and health problems in greater numbers.

More than 90 percent of Americans are exposed to trace amounts of bisphenol, according to the CDC. The chemical leaches out of water bottles, the lining of cans and other items made with it. Thats a scary statement.....we're slowly but surely being poisoned. A little here, a little there, adds up to a lot more than a trace.

The American Chemistry Council, which represents manufacturers, said the report “affirms that there are no serious or high level concerns for adverse effects of bisphenol on human reproduction and development.”

A spokeswoman for the International Formula Council, which represents baby food makers, said Tuesday added “ that no foreign governments have restricted or banned its use. “

Now why doesn’t that statement make me feel relieved?
Visit this site.......Plastic bottles and diabetes

I Don't Like Getting Old!

I had just about reconciled myself to the fact that I will turn 75 in April. OK, I can live with least I'm alive and still doing most of the things that I love to do. I'll never make it to the top of Mt. Everest or try my hand at sky diving, but they were never at the top of my wish list anyway.

What I DON'T like are the miscellaneous body aches that seem to be occuring with more and more frequency. For the past week I have been hurting...I think it is sciatica, a problem I had five years ago when I herniated a disk. I had surgery for that and it more or less didn't bother me. However, now I have the same pain as I did before, but with less intensitity.

I feel like I have a burning band running down the back of my right leg, starting at the cheek and ending at the ankle. My lower back is stiff and painful, and it hurts to sit for longer than 15 or 20 minutes. (I have a goodly amount of "padding" on my backside, but it feels like I'm sitting on bare bone).

I have been munching aspirins several times a day but feel it's time to grit my teeth, make an appointment and visit my doctor.....I have a high pain tolerance, but this is getting rediculous.

Wealth...a dream not realized

"Always try to rub against money, for if you rub against money long enough, some of it may rub off on you." (from Damon Runyon's "Very Honorable Guy").

Greenbacks, dough, moolah, rhino, jack, buck, bread, c-note, dead presidents are just a few names for our American dollar. No matter what you call it, money is necessary and money is wanted. But the question is, “how do I get it”.
Lets see, you could have inherited it, i.e. Kennedy, Romney, Bush, and other billionaires in the United States. Or, you could have won the national Lottery (as opposed to that one that you keep getting emails from in Nigeria), hit the jackpot at a casino or, like Jed Clampett, be “shootin’ at some food” and strike oil.

"We need to make some extra money!" Who hasn't said that at one time or another!! Our first attempt, several years ago, was to join the Amway group. Unfortunately, although they have great products, most people didn’t want to pay the prices for quality products. They could "get it cheaper" at Wal-mart or Target. We didn’t make any money (but had a really clean house!)
Next, I thought I’d try selling Tiara glassware, another great company. I was doing pretty well, taking the glassware to home parties, a la Tupperware, until the company went out of business. I had high hopes that we had found our "pot of gold" (the only gold we have is the trim on the Tiara plates.
Our last endeavor was selling on EBAY….we still do that, but aren’t getting rich that way either. Ebay’s charges and fees are killing any profit that we could make.
And, people are looking for bargains and unless you are offering items that are really special, unique or outrageously cheap, things don't sell. (see me for some great deals on jeans, shirts, dog hair, Nebraska sweatshirts etc.)

Oh well, I didn’t start writing this blog to make money…in fact, I didn’t know that blogs COULD make money. (and this one isn’t !!) But, I enjoy doing it, doesn't cost anything and gives me something to do on those long, cold Nebraska nights.

Costume Party

Only our friend JJ would want to host a costume party in the middle of January in Nebraska. Since she is a fairly new Nebraskan, she has no clue how quickly the weather can change from reasonably bad to really ugly!

JJ and husband have a home on a lake near the Platte River about 18 miles from's a nice drive and since its fairly "woodsy' we usually see a few animals....deer, pheasants, raccoons, and the occasional turkey. But, its somewhat isolated.... many of the owners only are there in the summer so most of the neighboring homes were closed for the winter.
The party was so much fun....bunch of old friends dressing up. I went as a 1960 hippie....I had made a wig out of dyed cotton balls glued on a cap made out of a piece of panty hose. Actually, it looked pretty good. My husband went as an organ grinder, complete with monkey.

It was lightly snowing when we left home but by the time the party was over.....we were in the midst of a blizzard. It must have been hiding somewhere in outstate Nebraska and arrived here faster than expected, because the local weather forecast didn't say anything about having a major snowstorm!

JJ didn't want any one to try to get back to Omaha, so we had a senior slumber party. 8 couples managed to sleep on couches, floors or whereever they could. I won't say that we were comfortable, but it was adventurous. Since we didn't plan on staying overnight, we all slept in our costumes.

I woke up to the sounds of what I thought was gunfire....."hey, this is a game preservation hunting allowed".....but I was wrong. What I was hearing was the sound of tree sap freezing and breaking branches....the temp had really dropped, nearly two feet of snow had fallen AND no electricity.

B-U-M-M-E-R big time! no hot coffee, no bacon and eggs...just cold cereal, chips and dip and whatever was left over from the party.

Getting back to the main road was very of the guys had a pickup truck and he blazed the way for us and we all followed each other....a caravan consisting of a hippie, organ grinder, Arab, little black monster, male nurse and surgical team, a couple of "ladies-of-the-street", an overage cheerleader, and members of the "Village People" (yes they did a great rendition of "YMCA").

We all arrived home safely only to find that our own homes were without electicity, downed trees littered the streets, and people were in their yards wondering "what in the heck happened!"

Menards, Lowes, K-Mart and another other stores that sold chain saws sold out within a day. We'd get calls from friends.."hey, I was just at Menards, they got in a new shipment of chain saws!"....or "don't bother going to Lowes, they're sold out".