Sunday, November 28, 2010

'Papa's Angels' - a review

I know it's a little strange to write a review of a play when there is only one performance left, but I was so saddened by what I saw tonight(Saturday, Nov. 27), that I felt I had to do something.

I estimated the Neville Center for Performing Arts was perhaps a third filled tonight. How discouraging!

The weather couldn't have been better, so what's the problem?

It's not a big-name, well-known show - at least to most of us. "Seussical," the first production of the 2010-2011 season, is a hard act to follow. "Papa's Angels" doesn't have well-known songs in it.

So, that's what it doesn't have. Here's what is DOES have: A tender story of the Jenkins family who live near Highlands, N.C., in 1935. Grins and Sharon Jenkins have five children. The story begins by showing a loving, close-knit family - which includes Grammy - full of joy and music.

Tragedy tears at the soul of the family and one wonders if the family unit will be able to survive.

Indeed, the family does survive but only after some tense and heart-wrenching moments.

Did you like "The Waltons" on TV? Then I think you would like this production. So much of the play seems reminiscent of "The Waltons."

North Platte is so fortunate to have a talented and dedicated theater group. The talent in North Platte and the area is amazing. How sad that after weeks of study and rehearsals, the actors have to perform to such small audiences!

If you have a couple hours or so this afternoon (Sunday, Nov. 28), please consider seeing this play.

The play is at 2 p.m. in the Neville Center for Performing Arts, Fifth & Dewey. I'm sure there will be seats available so just show up at the theater 20 or 30 minutes ahead of time to buy your tickets.

When the play is over and the performers come forward for the curtain call, clap loudly for them. In fact, give them a standing ovation. We did Saturday night.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The AHA Moment

Almost every Christmas I have an "Aha moment" where I see the true spirit and meaning of Christmas shining.

Sometimes it's in a play or a song, other times it might be in an act of kindness.

Today I saw it while ringing bells for the Salvation Army in North Platte.

The day was perfect to stand at the southwest door of Walmart. Just a light breeze, a bright sun-filled sky and the temperature was very comfortable with just a light winter coat.

I greeted people with a "Hi! How are you?" and said "Thank you" and "Have a Merry Christmas" to those who stopped by to put a some change or a few dollar bills in the recognizable red bucket with the Salvation Army name on it.

A modestly dressed, short lady, leaning on her cart for support, approached our post. A child - I'm guessing a grandchild, maybe 11 years old or so, but taller than she was - accompanied her.

After receiving some money to put in the bucket, the child reached out to put the money into the "X" slots in the red bucket.

"No," the lady said. "Wait, I want you to think about what you are doing."

"They are collecting money for the Salvation Army. It helps people who may not have food to eat or don't have a good place to sleep.

"When you put the money in the bucket," she continued, "I want you to think about all you have and I want you to put the money into the bucket with gratitude."

The child nodded thoughtfully and reached over to put the money into the red bucket.

"Thank you and have a wonderful Christmas," I told the lady and child.

"Aha!" I thought to myself as they walked into the store, totally unaware of the gift they had given me for the Christmas season.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Another important vote

Ace Hardware in North Platte has six specially decorated Christmas trees inside the store at Parkade Plaza.

Decorated Christmas trees aren't unusual at this time of year, but the difference with these six trees is that they were decorated by six nonprofits in North Platte as fundraisers.

Now it's up to you to help choose the winner by putting your dollars and loose change in the bucket beside the tree you like best. There are big buckets beside the trees and when I looked the other day there wasn't a lot of money in any of the buckets.

These organizations - Rape & Domestic Abuse Program, Lincoln Connection (homeless shelter), Food Pantry, Bridge of Hope, Children's Museum, and the Lincoln County Historical Museum - have needs to be met all year long. They don't get to take a day or a week or a month off; their needs continue every day.

So do me a favor and stop in at Ace Hardware and vote with your money.

However, you'll have another chance to help these organizations. Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 1 p.m., these trees will be auctioned off, with Brad Stickelman as the auctioneer. If you don't have a tree at your office or home yet, here's your chance to have a pretty tree AND help a worthwhile nonprofit.
Lincoln Connection (homeless shelter)

Lincoln County Historical Museum

Food Pantry

Children's Museum

Bridge of Hope


I rarely read my horoscope, mainly because I don't believe in them. I think they are written by people - some may be well-intentioned - to be so general in subject that some part of the horoscope for the day could fit just about anyone's day.

However, on occasion, while I am working the crossword puzzle, I will let my eyes glance to the right a little and read my horoscope for the day.

I only remember one thing mine said for today: I should be careful because money could slip through my fingers. Hmmm, no money, no plans to shop. I should be safe on that one.

On a whim, I stopped at the Westfield SunMart and bought some food. I was chatting with the clerk and took out a dollar bill to pay for my purchase when it was my turn. The customer ahead of me and the clerk and I were talking about a recent fire in North Platte, when the customer told me "you dropped your money."

I looked on the floor and couldn't see my dollar bill, but then looked behind me and it had fluttered a foot or so back of me. As I bent down to pick it up, I had to chuckle. I guess this was one time the horoscope did get it right.

As I chuckled, I explained to the clerk about my horoscope.

"Well, now that I've let money slip through my fingers, I guess I don't have to worry about it for the rest of the day," I told her smugly.

I got out coins to finish paying for my purchase.

I reached out to hand her the 60 cents - two quarters and a dime. A quarter slipped from my hand and landed on the counter.

I'm glad to report I've had no further incidents with money slipping through my fingers. Of course, I haven't bought anything else either.