Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Omaha Irish Cultural Institute concert

Today began with a beautiful crisp sunny morning , biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs and the feeling my body was reaching it's normal equilibrium, time wise. Biscuits and gravy have never appeared on my plate before but I'm in Nebraska and it was very good.
Hit the road with my friend Jan and headed for Nebraska City, a town of about seven thousand people on the Missouri river. Used to be a port in the old days for shipping up and down the river. Jan had lived there for a while when she was young and thought I might enjoy the scenery. It's in south eastern Nebraska. We stopped along the way and I walked on the real Prairie, just what it was like when the buffalo roamed back in the day. Most of the Prairie anywhere was ploughed up for wheat and corn and very little of it remains today. There was a certain magnetic feel to it, a very strong earthly pull .... back to the Stephen King thing again....
We visited Arbor Lodge, a quintessential Italianate mansion with fifty two rooms. It's an historic landmark and in poor repair. However, about 1900, the immediate land around the home was planted with trees from all over the world and it is quite the tourist attraction. The owner's name was Morton and he was responsible for the founding of Arbor Day, nationally.
We headed north for Omaha and arrived around 5pm at Castle Barrett, a very interesting building next door to Barrett's Pub. Inside, it had the feeling of a very large reception room complete with oil paintings, a bar and a life size statue of St.Patrick. After a few hellos we went back to some friends for wonderful midwest beef strogganoff, very fortifying for the job ahead...
By the time I got back to the "castle" they were waiting for me ! There were close to one hundred people all sitting in chairs when I walked in.....as if to say "OK, we're here, entertain us"... there was a bit of that Presbiterian "pinched" look about a few of them and I did feel just a little intimidated. Not for long, it turned into a wonderful show and rarely have I received such a warm and wholehearted welcome from an extremely appreciative audience.
It was a terrific night overall, and I do look forward to my next visit back. It's quite cold here at the moment, as I write, and their winter here is very severe. They are definitely a hardy people that see their fair share of tough times.
Tomorrow is the long drive west, about four to five hours, to Sutherland. We take Interstate 80 out along the Platte river to the grazing lands of Western Nebraska. The terrain is supposed to get really flat, it's fairly hilly around here, and we will meet cowboys. Sutherland has a population of eleven hundred so I'm looking forward to tomorrow night's tale....should be a very interesting concert....until then......

No comments:

Post a Comment