Archive | nebraska RSS feed for this section

Enjoying a Literate History in Siouxland, John G Neihardt and Bancroft, NE

18 Oct

People attend the John G Neihardt Day celebration at the Nebraska state historic site in Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The John G Neihardt Nebraska state historic site in Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Every year citizens and literary fans of John G Neihardt get together to celebrate his life at a small museum dedicated to him and his writings. Scholars attend and extol his virtue and foresightedness plus his friendship with another culture at the time of his life, Native Americans living in the area.

Pathways of understanding and turmoil in a garden site at the John G Neihardt Nebraska state historic site in Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Pathways of understanding and turmoil in a garden site at the John G Neihardt Nebraska state historic site in Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The study that Niehardt wrote in is preserved and one can gaze into it and wonder about this person who didn’t dislike his aboriginal neighbors but rather embraced and learned from them. Writing tomes about his friendship and their beliefs. In today’s crazed society to publish every little nuance and inkling at first blush of thought, this man was more introspective and deliberate in putting his thoughts to paper and sharing those insights. Something which seems a little quaint these days.

The John G Neihardt study where he did much of his early writing at the Nebraska state historic site in Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The John G Neihardt study where he did much of his early writing at the Nebraska state historic site in Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I can’t really assume that simple times meant simpler thoughts. It’s just that maybe folk took a little longer to ponder and consider before engaging. Life was hard then as it is now. It may just be hard in a different fashion. But taking time to reflect and think is something that never really goes out of fashion but seems often overlooked in today’s society.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

People attend the John G Neihardt Day celebration at the Nebraska state historic site in Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

People attend the John G Neihardt Day celebration at the Nebraska state historic site in Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The John G Neihardt study where he did much of his early writing at the Nebraska state historic site in Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The John G Neihardt study where he did much of his early writing at the Nebraska state historic site in Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Another Day in Siouxland a Different Scene Unfolds, Mulberry Bend Overlook

10 Oct

at the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There is always a good argument for revisiting places one has previously visited and photographed, even in Siouxland. Time, day, time of year, it all changes what was previously witnessed and recorded. And for lucky photographers scenes are mostly not redundant making it more enticing to stop in and take a second, third or fourth look. I previously came across Mulberry Bend Overlook on a warm, humid and sunny day.

at the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

at the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I never tire of traveling about and seeing places, sharing them with friends on photo outings. One always hopes for optimal days, that is sunshine and blue sky, to photograph in, but weather and other unplanned exceptions can cause one to reevaluate how one sees and learns to adapt to situations that are not always ideal. Simple challenges are good for a photographer in broadening one’s perceptions and images captured. It also makes a hot cup of coffee taste even better on a damp, chilly day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

at the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

at the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A rainy day at the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Visiting a Small Siouxland Community, Bancroft, NE

26 Sep

The community of Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When I get out and about I like visiting small towns in Siouxland. Getting a chance to stop and walk about and see what is there. Although the times I visit may not be ideal in that if it’s a weekend, there may not be much activity. And generally speaking, in small towns these days activity is limited unless there is a community-wide event occurring.

The John G Neihardt Nebraska state historic site is located in Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The community of Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Then there is the matter of taste. I like finding what I consider interesting subjects to photograph which does not reflect the nature or character of some places I visit. But visually it appeals to me whether it’s a doorway with peeling paint, brick structures built in the mid to late 1800’s or some other quirky attribute that is what I gravitate to photograph.

The community of Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And I have found visiting a number of these smaller communities these days they all generally have grain elevators anchoring one end of the downtown. A tribute to the agricultural industry that is important to so many Siouxland communities in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. And sadly businesses that may have thrived for a period of time but run their course.

The community of Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But exploring the area one lives in is an interesting pursuit I believe and knowing and understanding a bit more about one’s community is not a bad thing. Plus so many times one meets people that makes it all worthwhile and helps in appreciating what one finds.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The community of Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The community of Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The community of Bancroft, NE, NE Sunday, August 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Summertime in Siouxland, Nature in rural Nebraska

7 Aug

Summertime can be a cornucopia of critters, both large and mostly small. Insects blossom during this time of warmer temperatures and humid days. But what can a person do? When driving about in Siouxland I do stop my car and get out and take a look around. Sometimes a closer look, which makes it all the better when one is pleasantly surprised in nature.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A butterfly lands on a thistle in a field at Winnebago, NE August 3, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A butterfly finds a landing spot in a field at Winnebago, NE August 3, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating Heritage in Siouxland, Winnebago Pow Wow, Winnebago, NE

1 Aug

 

Various Native Americans with different tribes participate in the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Winnebago Tribe recently celebrated its heritage at its 153rd consecutive annual Pow Wow honoring Chief Little Priest and his warriors who worked as scouts for the U.S. Calvary. The Pow Wow is all inclusive as other tribes also participate from across the U.S. and at times from Canada. The Grand Entrance is the beginning of the celebration each day in the main arena where drums and songs accompany dancing by the many tribe members.

A slow shutter speed accentuates the motion of a young boy dancing during the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Various Indian tribes participate in the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Each tribe and possibly clan within a tribe has its own particular style of dancing (traditional, grass or fancy and shawl dancing) which is reflected in the attire worn by the tribe members. And these styles and dances are passed down through the generations of family. Another aspect of the dancers is the incredible attire they wear and beautiful work that goes into each one’s creation.

A woman wears a finely beaded hair piece for the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A couple with the Omaha Tribe and who live in Macy, NE get their son dressed in his Native American attire so he can participate in the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Young girls and women also dance during the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Tribe members and visitors can easily interact and chat giving one not familiar with Native American culture an opportunity to learn more about the Winnebago and other tribes and individuals that may travel hundreds of miles to participate and enjoy the camaraderie of similar heritage. If one has never attended such an event it is an enjoyable experience to meet people and gain insight into an American culture that is under appreciated although complicated, like many aspects of American culture, due to a contentious history of the U.S.’ evolution as a nation.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A participant of the Grand Entrance listens to opening remarks at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A variety of Native American dress is represented by various tribes from throughout the U.S. during the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A variety of Native American dress is represented by various tribes from throughout the U.S. during the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A variety of Native American dress is represented by various tribes from throughout the U.S. during the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Zoo Time near Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE

30 Jul

Visitors walk through the Desert Dome at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE has a number of different types of environments where various species are displayed, giving visitors a sense of the climate these animals inhabit as the zoo continues to build out these habitats.

A Cape Thick-Knee stands guard next to its chicks at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A bird stays nestled in a bush in the Desert Dome at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But still it’s not the same as being in the original space from where the species, if not this particular animal, hails from. But with fascination visitors are drawn to see these magnificent creatures, great and small. I don’t find it morbid, but intriguing along with others who spend a day walking, watching and admiring.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A gorilla looking for a little solitude as it eats an afternoon snack at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A baby gorilla gets a little TLC from zoo staff at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A seal cooling off on a humid day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Portrait of a parrot at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Learning Local History in Siouxland, Decatur, NE

22 Jul

One can find a lot of local history at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It never amazes me that little gems can be found in places with a little bit of luck and curiosity. While out driving about in Siouxland one day I ventured over the Missiouri River into Nebraska and the community of Decatur. It prides itself being the second oldest settlement in the state, dating back to 1854, and incorporated in 1856. Information found says a little over 400 people live there. The nice part, besides being located next to the Missouri River is the community’s museum.

Jane Judt, upper right and Norma Williams , center right, greet visitors and tell them about the local history located at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A lot of local history can be found at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. This month was about local sports history. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A lot of local history can be found at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

One of the museum docents, Jane Judt, explained that theme of presentations is always changing every few months, so the information provided doesn’t get stale and which I would believe encourage locals to stop by and see what historical facts are being shared. When I visited the theme was sports with a variety of memorabilia displayed.

Jane Judt talks about the history of the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An upstairs room decorated as a classroom at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A lot of local history can be found at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But the small museum also contains nuggets of information about the early settlement days and the people who relocated to this area as folk migrated to the west looking for a fresh start and an opportunity to improve their lives. Tales told over and over again in many small communities’ museums that are found throughout the U.S. It’s the story of immigrants and people looking for a better life, a tale that reflects  many who settled in the Siouxland region.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A lot of local history can be found at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A lot of local history can be found at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A lot of local history can be found at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

%d bloggers like this: