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In my adult life, I’ve lived in five different Midwestern college towns. That makes five episodes of moving and getting to know a new community: finding doctors and car mechanics, learning the street and campus layouts, locating shopping districts, meeting neighbors, and making friends. I’ve moved a sixth time to become a citizen of a new Midwestern city — Scottsbluff, Nebraska (which I abbreviate as “SCB”). This last move is a bit different from my previous moves for two main reasons.

First, I am now a homeowner, not a renter. I plan to live in Scottsbluff indefinitely, to put down deep tap roots in the community and make it my home.

Second, the culture of Scottsbluff is unlike anywhere I have lived. Scottsbluff is not a university town; it is primarily an economic hub for the surrounding farms and ranches. Located on the high plains west of the 100th meridian, it has a distinctly western vibe.

It’s an interesting place, Scottsbluff. Some people might think I’m kidding, since I’ve traveled the world a bit. (Really? You’ve been to _____, and you think small-town, rural Nebraska is interesting??) But — just like Tilcara, Argentina, or Drumnadrochit, Scotland, or St. Lucia, South Africa — Scottsbluff has its own unique foods, ways of doing things, points of pride, wildlife, scenery, history, and “survival knowledge” (is there a German word for that?).

Like I said, Scottsbluff is different from the places I’ve known, and is therefore interesting. As I get to know my new locale, I’ll share my experiences here.

UPDATE 2020: This blog is effectively retired, apart from possible updates or a rare new post or two.

I’ve lived in Wyobraska for 11 years now. I’m no longer a newcomer (though some folks with generations of family claiming the area as home would still consider me a newcomer). I just don’t have the same perspective about the region and desire to write about it as I once did.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. Suzanne Fehn permalink
    January 28, 2010 1:14 pm

    I can’t wait to hear about your first visit to one of the surrounding ranches/farms come spring.

  2. February 26, 2010 2:46 pm

    I love small Western towns. There’s a town in the geographic dead center of Colorado called Hartsel, population 64. The picture on your banner looks like a panning shot of that entire town. I miss being able to drive up the mountain and be in that place. But I like Georgia well enough. I have been frequently transplanted during my adulthood being a military wife and all and like you I have finally found the place to put down roots. No more the potted ficus I!

  3. Court Merrigan permalink
    April 12, 2010 11:31 am

    Speaking of the 100th Meridian, do you know this aptly titled song?

    It always made me think of home, Wyobraska, when I was abroad.

    Enjoying your blog. I returned back home last spring to SB after a 15 years away and am glad, very glad, to be back home. Every day I am. It’s good to read some good writin’ about this place.

    • Katie Bradshaw permalink
      April 12, 2010 11:58 am

      No, I hadn’t heard that song before. Very cool. Thanks for the link. And thanks for reading!

  4. April 13, 2010 8:57 am

    Just found your blog. It makes me homesick πŸ™‚

    I lived in Scottsbluff from 1977 until 1987 and I still have some very good friends who live there. I don’t get back there very often, though, and I like seeing your pieces about what it’s like there now. Even with the changes, if I could convince my husband (who I met in Kansas City a few years after I moved away from there) I’d move back in a second!

  5. August 28, 2010 2:47 pm

    I found you through Prairie Bloom. I was born and raised in western Nebraska and now live in Denver. I make it back several times a year. I look forward to following your blog and getting reacquainted with the community and resources in the area. FYI, on occassion, I write about local (Nebraska) food favorites such as cabbage burgers. Perhaps our paths will cross sometime while I’m visiting.

    • Katie Bradshaw permalink
      August 29, 2010 9:12 pm

      Andrea, I visited your blog, clicked on “okra,” and found a new recipe I must try! My blog has lagged a bit since I started working for the newspaper. Hope you can still find some things of interest therein.

  6. Sydney Warner Greaves permalink
    October 2, 2011 4:45 pm

    Really enjoyed reading your blog, which I stumbled across while looking for pics of longhorn cattle. Boy does it all sound familiar. Live in Upstate NY now, but I grew up in Gering, 4th generation West Nebr settlers! The FARM museum’s herd are my dad’s “girls,” as he organized their coming to the museum and is their main caretaker.
    Will have to look you up next time we are in town… I am a museum educator myself, and if you haven’t already, will take you to eat at Taco Town. For many of us, it is one of the highlights to coming Home for a visit.
    Thanks for a taste of home.

  7. Jen permalink
    January 13, 2012 7:24 pm

    I love following your blog but always find out about events I’d like to attend after they pass! Any chance you could post a calendar with events your aware of?
    Also, I’m a Milwaukee, WI native and miss the local cooking classes. Do you know of any offered out this way?

    • Katie Bradshaw permalink
      January 14, 2012 8:24 am

      Hi Jen.

      Welcome to Wyobraska!

      I simply don’t have the time or connections to keep up a calendar, but keep an eye on the Scottsbluff-Gering United Chamber of Commerce website. It’s probably the most comprehensive one in town.

      Funny you should ask about cooking classes. I don’t know of any offhand EXCEPT the ones offered today at the Scottsbluff winter farmers market (in the greenhouse at the back of Aulick’s TLC on Avenue B in Scottsbluff). The market runs from 1-4 and the cooking demos start at 2. There will be artichoke-olive chicken bake and brats with sauerkraut demonstrated.

  8. June 1, 2014 5:58 pm

    Hi Katie, Thanks for following my blog. Such a coincidence, too. I was born in Denver, most of my extended family lives in Wyoming, my growing up was Denver, Cheyenne, Wapiti (WY), Curtis (NE), North Platte (NE), and Fairfield (IA) where my mother still lives. My relatives from Cheyenne run the Bolder Boulder every year. I have yet to get there to join them, but someday. I’ve only driven through Scottsbluff as it is on the way between Denver and Curtis and I always thought of it as ‘half way’ when I was a kid in the backseat — seemed like it took FOREVER to make that trip. (Then again, Denver to Cheyenne seemed like a long trip,too. Perspective.) I’m pleased to have a small connection to NE again.

    • Katie Bradshaw permalink
      June 1, 2014 8:29 pm

      Glad to make your acquaintance in the blogosphere! I’ve not run Bolder Boulder, either, through many of my friends here have. Maybe someday. I hope to get back to Des Moines to run the Dam to Dam next year – my running club in Ames, Iowa, is having a reunion!

  9. Shawn Schuldies permalink
    January 3, 2016 5:28 pm

    Hi Katie,

    I’m another Scottsbluff expat. Graduated and left in ’84 but still return often because my mom still lives there. I’m glad you write this blog. I found it while looking for information on the Pink Palace. It’s great to see your perspective on my childhood hometown.

    Shawn Schuldies

    • January 3, 2016 6:45 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! I’m glad you appreciate what I do. It’s hard to know, really, what value this blog has in the vacuum of the Internet.

      And thanks for letting me know what led you to the blog. Since Google instituted new privacy measures a year or two ago, I no longer get the fun list of “search terms that led people to your blog.” There were some really weird ones sometimes, and I miss perusing the list.

  10. Larry Daly permalink
    March 16, 2016 3:03 pm

    Hey, Katie my name is Larry Daly and I’m the assistant to the Executive Director of The Carpenter Center, Bob Nemnich. Thanks for including us in your blog. The Carpenter Center has just installed new halogen lighting for the pathway around the center grounds. The pathway is lit from dawn ’til dusk. Just thought I’d pass along that information along to avid walkers or just our local folks out with their dogs.

    • April 14, 2016 9:30 am

      Thanks for the update, Larry. I just saw it in the Carpenter Center newsletter in the Star-Herald, too.

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