Sunday, March 8, 2009

North Platte Stories

People love to connect with people, and they love to tell stories. Working at a consumer travel show booth brings you into contact with a lot of people, so you hear a lot of stories.

Like the woman who recently moved from North Platte to open her own bed and breakfast. She was moved to tears when she started talking about the day care she sold and saying goodbye to the children. She loves her new life but North Platte has a very important place in her heart.

Or the 82 year old man who was also moved to tears when he told of a particularly hard time in his life back in the 50's that had a North Platte connection.

There are more upbeat ones. The young couple who was stranded in North Platte for three days last summer when their motor home broke down and had a great time.

The motorcycle rider who only saw the inside of Great Plains Regional Medical Center during his unplanned stay in North Platte. The hospital took great care of him, by the way.

But, to the story that wins first prize:

It seems this gentleman was traveling across Nebraska on his way to a family funeral in Iowa. He got into North Platte late on a Saturday night and all of the hotels near Interstate 80 were full. He said he thought that every cowboy from a three state radius was in town, so my guess is that it was during NEBRASKAland DAYS.

So he drove through town to Highway 30, expecting to find a room in one of the little mom and pop properties, which he did.

Shortly after getting settled into his room he heard a commotion outside and went out to investigate. The owner was outside with his dog... and a skunk. His first words to the man telling the story was "Is this your skunk?"

Never have been asked that question before, the man was a little taken aback. "No," he answered. "It's not my skunk."

It seems that the owner had been called by a guest to report a skunk outside their room. When the owner arrived with his dog to chase the skunk away (Not necessarily a good idea in my view), the skunk started loving up to them like they were his long lost friends, purring and rubbing the owner's leg like a cat. Obviously a pet, which the owner was now stuck with until someone came forward to claim it.

The man's question for me was "Does this kind of thing happen a lot in North Platte?"

Well... who really knows.

I remember back in the day (which would be the 70's, when it was perfectly legal) when my dad's pet black bear escaped and was found by a rather perturbed neighbor. The bear was just looking for his pancakes and syrup for breakfast, but still gave the neighbor a bit of a scare.

So, maybe this kind of thing does happen from time to time in North Platte.

Thanks for stopping by. The coffee is always on.

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