"Preston Love died in 2004 at the age of 82. He believed that everyone could enjoy jazz, could even play it with a little raw talent and lots of hard work. But no one – rich or poor, black or white – should forget where it came from: hardscrabble African American communities, among them Omahaís Near North Side."
"The price of admission is hard to beat: $5 at most, with the occasional free movie or event. You can load up on candy, pop, and buttery popcorn for even less. The experience never feels cheap though. In fact, you feel like you are supporting something special and important. Donations are always welcome."
"Visitors could outnumber residents 10 to 1 that day, including everyone from scientists to mystics to grandkids and old college friends. Hotels in the nearby cities of Grand Island and Kearney are booked solid. Picnic packages at the winery are sold out, and campsites at Ravenna Lake are filling up fast. NASA Astronaut Mike Fincke is lined up to speak at the high school.
"The shadow, so to speak, is on Ravenna."
"Dressed in beaded buckskin, the Aztec Dancers formed two lines. The peacock feathers in their headdresses waved like prairie grass. An elderly woman rose from her chair in the shade and smoothed her traditional Korean dress. Lit by the sun, the pink and green satin stood out, even amid that colorful crowd."
"I was 14 years old, and I had a paper route. It was my job to deliver this news to about 65 homes in my neighborhood. But, by the time I had come home from school, loaded my papers, and set off on my bike, the story was already out of date. Police had already caught the bomber. It was me."
"Every Christmas, the eight-layer, five-pound Napoleon Torte would cause traffic jams at 33rd and R. The sourdough rye got only better as they preserved their unbroken chain of yeast culture, from one day's bread dough to the next, year after year. And despite some ups and downs – "like any family thing," Alfonsas says – they grew stronger in their commitment to the bakery and to one other. "We were first-generation immigrants," Alfonsas says. "All we had were each other."
"But Glen T. Locklin didnít waste his breath whining about FEMA. He had a town to rebuild. After the storm, the painter and business owner from Gallatin, Tennessee, drove his truck down to the Charles B. Murphy Elementary School, set up camp, and posted a new sign out front: Welcome to the Pearlington Recovery Center."
"Sultan Al Ruzaiqi of Oman and Mohammed Aldalooj of Saudi Arabia, both students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, didnít normally set an alarm clock on Saturday morning. Their hometowns, rising from the desert sands near the Tropic of Cancer, were about 35 degrees warmer this time of year. But they didnít complain. After all, they had come here for a new experience – and a fuller picture of America."
"They talked about youthful fisticuffs, challenges over pride and girls, and all that happened outside the high school dance. This was the main street of their youth. But their work on the theater is not really about the past."
"A Nissan Sentra gets excellent gas mileage – 37 on the highway. Its efficiency falls off, however, on rugged, rural Mexican byways and desert dirt roads."
"Castro says something inflammatory or jails a prominent opponent, Cuban Americans become louder and more generous with campaign money, and U.S. politicians have fresh reasons to leave the embargo intact – even after 45 years and no progress toward a free Cuba."
"That is the kind of country I want to live in. On Saturdays, 50 hammers raining on nails. On Sundays, tears of joy before a crowd of strangers."