Monday, January 26, 2009

There is no place like Nebraska

I read with home state pride this article in today’s New York Times on my morning commute: A World Away From Wall Street, a Bank and a Robber. This human interest piece in the weekly NYTime’s “This Land” column focused on a bank robbing in a rural Nebraska town with a population of 136.

There are so many things that I loved about this article:

1) The bank is a family operated business with six employees, and the owners each have part-time jobs to supplement their income.

2) I loved the description of the bank give-aways in the lobby:
A rack of candy canes and complimentary yardsticks jutting from a bucket by the door.
My mother likes to send me various local business give-aways (bottle opener key chains, fly swatters, calendars that stick on your car dashboard, etc.) as holiday stocking stuffers.

3) The community response to the robbery is so frickin’ charming:
The bank locked down, and someone called 911. Within nine minutes the sheriff’s deputies arrived. Soon came the first of many calls of concern and support, a few of which, a smiling Mr. Van Cleef remembers, went like this: “Hear you’ve been robbed. Can I bring you over a pie?”

As much as I love being a city girl, I love reading these types of articles to remind of the simple life of rural America. Going on my fifth year in the big city of Boston, I still have moments of adjustment. My instinct when hearing of any friend in crisis is still to pick up some disposable aluminum trays and bake a casserole. Sigh. You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.

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