Thursday, September 06, 2007

This Just In....From Chadron, Nebraska

The Sunday Times reports on the goings-on in Chadron, Nebraska in A Rough Script of Life, if Ever There Was One. About 5,600 people reside in this rural outpost in far northwestern Nebraska. The Chadron Record is the newspaper of record in the area. Outside of the obituaries, the most popular feature is "Police Beat," where transcripts of calls to the police dispatcher are published. A selection follows:

Caller from the 900 block of Morehead Street reported that someone had taken three garden gnomes from her location sometime during the night. She described them as plastic, "with chubby cheeks and red hats."

Caller from the 200 block of Morehead Street advised a man was in front of their shop yelling and yodeling. Subject was told to stop yodeling until Oktoberfest.

Caller from the 400 block of Third Street advised that a subject has been calling her and her employees, singing Elvis songs to them.

Caller from the 200 block of Morehead Street advised that a known subject was raising Cain again.

Officer on the 1000 block of West Highway 20 found a known male subject in the creek between Taco John's and Bauerkemper's. Subject was covered in water stating he was protecting his family. Officers gave subject ride home.

Caller on the 900 block of Parry Drive advised a squirrel has climbed down her chimney and is now in the fireplace looking at her through the glass door, chirping at her.

Caller from the 800 block of Pine Street advised that she had just left some one's home and she forgot her jacket, and requested an officer to get her coat.

Caller from the 100 block of North Morehead Street requested to speak to animal control because caller felt that someone was coming into his yard and cutting the hair on his dogs. Dispatch advised caller to set up video surveillance on his house. Caller said he planned on it.

Caller stated that there is a 9-year old boy out mowing the yard and feels that it is endangering the child in doing so when the mother is perfectly capable of doing it herself.

The story is only available through "Times Select," so I cannot provide a link.

The writer notes that "it records those small, true moments lost in the shadows of the large--moments that may not rise to the Olympian heights of newsworthiness, yet still say something about who we are and how we create this thing called community."

So slow down the next time you are going through Chadron. You might even want to stop in at Taco John's or Bauerkemper's. But it might also be wise to avoid the "high-crime area" of Morehead Street.


Aunty Belle said...

Doan know much about Nebraska, but enjoyed yore Flannery post---this heah is what I'se wonderin': who is the Flannery of today?

Mimi said...

The podunk town I grew up in still publishes a similar police blotter in their bi-weekly newspaper.

John said...
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John said...

Aunty belle, I don't think there is a Flannery of today. Someone like O'Connor doesn't come along very often. But then, I don't read contemporary literature, so I really don't know. I've glanced at the work of the gaggle of Southern authors who are often touted in "The Oxford American" etc. But their work all seems much the same to me--Southern trailer-trash Gothic.

Mimi, my little town (soon to be suburb) does not publish police reports (would that they did). But the headline this week brought a smile, in light of the Chadron article. It seems that someone has stolen our historical marker. Apparently it had been missing for some time before anyone noticed. The county historicial society issued a plea for its return--no questions asked.

Aunty Belle said...

On Flannery...I did have lunch in Atlanta once some few years ago wif' Sally Fitzgerald (courtesty of mah sister who arranged it) and as of then Sally didn't think there was nobody comin' along who'd fill Flannery's shoes....

Did enjoy Summons to Memphis, but tried other Southerns--Lee Smith, Tim Gautreaux (sp?) an' none seem of the same caliber.

He doan write fiction, but fer some excellent essays and distilled philosophy, does ya' know Marion Montgomery of University of Georgia? (Possum and Other Receipts for the Recovery of the Southern Being).

John said...

Aunty Belle, well I'm jealous--having lunch with Sally Fitzgerald and all. Glad you mentioned "Summons to Memphis." I have read all of Peter Taylor's stories and novels. They are simply exquisite. In my view, he is an American Anthony Powell, but like Powell, he will remain an acquired taste, with a limited audience. I feel so strongly about Taylor that the last time I was in Sewanee, I spent a lot of time poking around the cemetery there, looking for his grave (unsuccessfully).

Aunty Belle said...

John, Sugar Pie, Mercy--I'se all over yore blog and --well, words fail--Found yore Oak Leaf Hydrangeas, the travel journeys, books and spiritual readin'...jes' a whole lotta fascination goin' on.
(I found ya' at What's Wrong, I think)

Wish't I could chatter--I am gonna read more of Taylor on yore recommendation, and offer ya' Ron Hansen and Cormac McCarthy iffin' ya ain't already got a shelf full of em'(McCarthy is born Southern, jes' a transplant to the SW )-- but I need ter keep mah head down fer a few days to git some work finished.

SO, I'se savin' a revisit
to yore blog as a reward fer tendin' ter bidness.

Keep the faith,
Aunty Belle