Irene North


I liked Barbie

A screenshot of Weird Barbie from the movie “Barbie.”

When I was a little girl, I played with Matchbox cars and made mud pies. I climbed trees. I fell out of trees. I never played with Barbies. I did once pull the arm off a Barbie and shove a firecracker in inside the doll. I got into trouble for it. It was absolutely worth it.

I hadn’t planned on seeing the Barbie movie. However, after spending several days reading how people are complaining that the movie is “too woke,” I decided to check it out.

But you never went to war

Puck on the couch.

But you never went to war

Happy Birthday to me

I couldn’t decide what I wanted for my birthday today, so I got it all.

Photo Essay: An adventure in an adventure

One of my favorite places to hike is the Cedar Canyon Wildlife Management Area. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. If you sit quietly anywhere, you can hear the birds and the crickets. If you’re there on the right day, you might hear elk or see bighorn sheep.

Today, I went for a hike with my friend, Jen, who is relatively new to the Scottsbluff area. We hiked a little over five miles in total.

This is our adventure, or mis-adventure if you’ve ever hiked with me.

One year later

It’s been a hard year for me in relation to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. I’ve written about my personal feelings several times and I don’t really want to rehash any of it right now.

Today is a hard day. The Dobbs decision fucked over so many people. Others have been working hard trying to keep up with the seemingly never-ending changes and bans. I’m not going to try to redo what so many others are doing better, but I will link below some good resources to keep up with what’s going on. I am grateful to everyone who is on the front line keeping track of all of these changes, so the rest of us can be informed and take action.

Returning to what I love

A robin rests on a fence post at the Scotts Bluff County Fairgrounds.

On October 28, 2013, Steve Frederick gave me the opportunity to prove I could write. As the editor of the Scottsbluff Star-Herald, he told me on my first day, “I can’t teach you how to write, you already know how to do that, but I can teach you to be a reporter.”

For nearly six years, that’s what I did. I learned about my adopted home of Scottsbluff and all of western Nebraska. I found cool stories to tell and suffered through countless boring meetings, so I could go out and tell more cool stories.

It never really goes away

My mom had just taken me to get my hair cut. She had to run a few errands before we went back home. I was sitting in the front passenger seat. We were stopped at the red light by the police department when a friend of hers started talking to her from the next lane over. After a few minutes, her friend asked her who the boy was with her in the car.

“That’s not a boy, that’s Irene,” Mom said. She said it matter-of-factly like her friend was an idiot for not recognizing me. I was six years old.

My thoughts on the local paper

On May 17, I sat down in the middle of the night to record my thoughts on the state of the local paper, the Scottsbluff Star-Herald, and share a little bit what it was like to work there.

Memories of my cousin Patrick

My cousins, from left to right, Andrea, Kaylie, Jacob, and Patrick.

I can’t remember if it was 1992 or 1993, but I had traveled back to New York from Lincoln, Nebraska, to visit my family. I had called ahead of time and asked my Aunt Elaine if she would cut my hair. Most of my haircuts as a child were done by her.

I used to keep my hair short and had the same cut often. I knew Aunt Elaine. I knew she wouldn’t mess up my hair. “Just do it the same way,” was all I asked.

Christian Nationalism in America

I wanted to share two videos from Seth Andrews, which speak to the terrible turn this country has taken. Both are insightful and thoughtful. I hope you take the time to listen and ponder what is being said.

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