Since it was Spike’s birthday and I know he loves opossums, I called in all my favors at the zoo to arrange a visit from Ralph the Opossum. The zoo does not do this kind of thing for anyone and I am eternally grateful they made a one-time exception to make my friend smile. I hope you had a good one, Spike.
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I have found it rare to have a colleague that is hard-working, but also finds time for fun and friendship. Spike Jordan is one of those people. Spike originally joined the Star-Herald as a copy editor before moving over to reporter. When long time ag editor Sandy Hansen retired, Spike stepped in to fill those shoes. Earlier this year, he moved on to be the editor of the Hemingford Ledger. I’m pretty sure he came back to the Star-Herald solely because he missed my awesomeness.
As a journalist, he has taught me a lot about copy editing, design, and digging deeper in investigative reporting. He has joined me on interviews, particularly one where we got to hang out with yaks, told tall tales, and educated me on the finer points of stealing cake. He has been there for me when my mental health issues strike at work and helped me along the way. So, with the help of fellow reporter Mark Gaschler, we spent several hours creating a welcome back gift for Spike to show appreciation toward him as only a couple of nerds could do.
I crossed the old wooden bridge over the canal on County Road 17 and continued on. The dirt road makes an almost ninety degree turn just up ahead before winding back to the left, then right, ending in a small, open area. A sign lets you know you all the people and organizations who have made this area possible. The Cedar Canyon Wildlife Management Area parking area is uneven and rocky. It’s just a dead end, but only for a vehicle.
I cannot resist spending time at the zoo. This is such a well-known concept at the Star-Herald that if I happen to not be in the office for a few hours, people assume I am at Riverside Discovery Center hanging out with the animals. It is an incredible place of conservation, survival, and care that it is often the first place I go to when my mind needs to be calmed.
Each year, the Monument Marathon in Gering attracts runners from around the world to the unique course in western Nebraska. All reporters are required to spend the day covering the event. Although the work is mandatory, I enjoy volunteering to take photographs in front of the Scotts Bluff National Monument.
Each year, the Sioux County Historical Society Museum in Harrison, Nebraska hosts a historical tour around a portion of the county. This year’s trip took us around the eastern part of the county with highlights about the early-day settlers of Sioux County, family plots, schools, the Agate to Andrews Mail Route, and stops in Marsland and Belmont.
My only foray into Texas was a quick three-day visit to Dallas. Paul and I visited the School Book Depository building and took a tour. As I leaned as best as I could to see out the window I said, “Nope. Not possible. I’m a good shot and I couldn’t have done that.” With those few words, I had solved the case. Lee Harvey Oswald couldn’t have done it alone.
I’ve met a few Texans since then, mostly in passing. Over the past two years, however, there have been three Texans who worked in the local media, two at the Star-Herald.
After dropping by the zoo on Saturday, August 25, 2018, to cover a story about raptor recovery (link will be here once it’s published), I got sidetracked on the way to my car. Outside the gift shop is are several boxes with flowers for pollinators. Here are a few of the photos I took of the bumblebees flying around.
On Saturday, July 7, 2018, Paul was driving east on 42nd Street. As he passed the hospital, he saw an animal wobbling across the road. He thought it was a squirrel and thought he’d better check it out. When he did, discovered a little kitten, about five or six weeks old, was nearly blind from the conjunctivitis and goop oozing from his eyes. Paul picked up the kitten and brought him home.