OPINION

Davis' Dispatches with Julie Davis

Julie Davis
Nebraska City News-Press

Living the Dream

Did you have a chance to attend the “Dream Switch” event that took place Aug. 29 in the parking lot of the Nebraska City Veterans Memorial Building? It was a musical presentation about a young woman from a small town who has big dreams, and it was followed by a community discussion about the dreams Nebraska City residents have for their town.

The conversation will be continuing Sept. 28 at the Morton-James Public Library, with meetings planned at three different times that day to accommodate as many people’s schedules as possible.

At the after-concert event, audience members, some of whom said they had waited 50 years to return home, said that the story resonated with them, while others found some of the details, such as gaining Instagram followers, applicable to their lives.

Future plans and dreams for the community included a request for a pickle ball court, the addition of family-oriented dances at the Veterans Memorial Building, the possibility of a “senior prom” for older residents (also at the Veterans Memorial Building), and the expansion of fine arts opportunities, including those offered at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts.

One audience members expressed a wish to see a greater variety of jobs available in Nebraska City so more young people might be able to return home after college and find good-paying jobs here, while another said she wished for more community support to the town’s school districts because  good school systems help attract more people to a city. 

Conversation moderators then asked the audience to say what makes Nebraska City special and why did they choose to move here? Answers to these questions ranged from the way residents look after and care about one another, to the Missouri River, to the peace and quiet of a small town.

I would echo the thoughts of another speaker who said if the right people aren’t in place in a particular town, it’s just a collection of buildings, rather than a community.

Since I joined the staff of the paper seven years ago, I have to agree it’s the people who make Nebraska City special. You have all been extremely welcoming and helpful to this Californian who crossed the river from Iowa in December 2014.

At the time, it worked out that Nebraska City was about midway on a route my ex-husband and I had planned for our antiques and collectibles business, but it soon turned into a great opportunity for me to resume my news reporting career.

I’ve watched the community come together to help after floods, organizing community meals and lodging for our temporary residents from Iowa during 2019, and I’ve watched it socially distance to get through the pandemic as best we can. 

Whatever lies ahead, I imagine Nebraska City will rise to the challenge, appreciate the benefit, or enjoy the opportunity together.

Julie Davis