Publisher's Letter March/April 2013

Our publisher, Chris Amundson, takes a moment to reflect on what makes Nebraska's "Good Life" even better than advertised.

(This letter originally appeared in the March/April 2013 issue of Nebraska Life Magazine)

NEBRASKA’S “GOOD LIFE” slogan was created a few years before this young publisher was born.

Some of my earliest memories are road trips to Minnesota to visit family there. On the way home, my mother and I grew more excited when we saw the “Nebraska… the good life” sign over the Missouri River at Sioux City.

I’ve often wondered why we don’t proclaim “The Great Life” in Nebraska. But in many years of publishing this magazine, I’ve come to learn we are not boastful people. In Nebraska, good is good enough.

Then again, it is becoming more evident to me as I travel the state that our good life is not really defined by what we do for recreation, how we work or by what games we watch on Saturday afternoons. Rather, we are a good life because of the people who live here.

In this issue we feature Beth Tielke of O’Neill. Many Nebraskans outside of Holt County may not know Beth personally, but they likely know her sandwiches, which are a mainstay in cooler cases at gas stations across this state. After the restaurants have closed for the night, Tielke’s sandwiches give our staff sustenance and energy to finish latenight trips home.

More than feeding hungry writers and photographers, truck drivers and construction workers, Beth has made a career in doing good deeds for others. In our story, Matthew Spencer tells about Beth’s care packages for the military and about the time she clothed and fed a wayward traveler detained in O’Neill. Beth’s exploits in goodness go on from there.

Throughout this issue of the magazine are stories about good people like Beth. They run wineries, keep the memory of Omaha’s Peony Park alive and are the backbone of the town of Curtis in Frontier County. They build and maintain parks along the Platte River. They uphold the literature and eternal questions of Willa Cather. As we go out searching for our stories and photos of Nebraska, we often cross paths with good people. We can’t help but include them in this magazine.

We don’t subscribe to the belief that Nebraskans are better than anyone else, but there is something about the culture of this state that holds goodness in high regard. You see it in people like Beth and others featured in these pages.

Governor Exon launched that pretty-good slogan and public relations campaign in 1970, and I’m grateful that he did. Respectfully, the governor didn’t quite get it right. True to our highest principles, the signs at our borders instead should say, “Nebraska… the good people.”

Christopher Amundson,

Editor & Publisher

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We thank you for joining us in this bimonthly exploration of Nebraska. Many subscribers have been with us since our first issue 16 years ago. Others have come aboard more recently. At Nebraska Life, this is more than a magazine, it’s a mission. Would you consider helping us grow our mission by introducing a friend or neighbor to the magazine this spring?

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