Nebraska was placed on the list of states to hit because my niece swears I will like it for some reason…she was right.
I was pretty beat and thought I was going to stop in Lincoln, but I continued to Grand Island. As I exited the highway I drove miles into farmland which brought a calm in the open space. I couldn’t wait for the stars to appear. City living got me missing the vastness of the night skies.
I get to my hotel and drive around for a cool minute before finding my dinner spot. I pass the Nebraska State Fair and think- hey, I should hit that later tonight! But for now I am hungry and find Ed’s Steakhouse.
On one side of the marque reads ‘Hiring line cooks’ on the other side reads:
ANITA CANCER IN REMISSION
FREE KIDS STK W REG STK
Decision is made and I park.
I sat at the bar and ordered the most amazing steak! I started chat’n with Steve and Matt- from Davie Jones Convenient Store- they are traveling electricians. Steve knew of serious food recommendations and Matt just cracked me up with his phone’s ringtones… predator and the siren from the Ghostbuster Mobile. And then there was Wendell. Wendell, who was sitting at the end of the bar, kindly asked if he could join as Steve and Matt took their leave. He was kind enough to offer me what looked like a chicken tender and I politely declined. I later come to find they were Rocky Mountain Oysters. This is where the night got a bit interesting.
We got to chatting and I told him I thought that Nebraska was pretty sweet…the fact that a business would advertise that one of there peoples was in remission was amazing. And he explained that Anita was the owner’s wife.
Wendell was born on a wheat cattle farm. It was no wonder that at the age of eight he started working in the profession…he started ‘showing’. (showing- walking heifers within a judging forum). At an early stage in his life Wendell showed serious signs of distress concerning his adenoids and tonsils. His grandparents lived in Truth & Consequence, New Mexico where his mother thought it important to visit with Miss. Magnolia Ellis for treatment. Call is voodoo, but Magnolia was the local medicine woman/witch doctor. There have been many names for what she represents, but only few words/definitions for what she had performed. She took young Wendell and cupped him by the throat. As a child Wendell was notably nervous having is throat held tight by the lady, but his mother assured him it would be alright. And as time would have it, Wendell’s doctor remained puzzled by the change as Wendell had overcome all issues.
On a second family note, as Wendell was much older and he remembers his father experiencing a time with depression and stress which in turn lead to ulcers. The family took a visit to New Mexico and rented small cottages in the neighboring area of The Magnificent Magnolia Ellis. Each family member took advantage of their closeness to Magnolia and would try and schedule a session once a day until their departure. Wendell’s father’s ulcers had miraculously disappeared. No medical explanation available.
Magnolia has since passed on and her family is now keeping her practice alive. I have officially placed Truth & Consequence, New Mexico onto my map and eagerly look forward to meeting the family.
So tonight has nearly come to an end when Wendell turned to the big man at the end of the bar and says, “That’s the owner, that’s Uncle Ed”. “Hey Ed, this is BeccaJean and she has never had a Mountain Oyster. Would you mind cooking one up and putting it on my tab?” Ed says nothing, nods and walks to the back. At this point Wendell makes sure that I understand that I’m about to eat a fried testicle. Dang- so this is what it has come to.
Uncle Ed returns with a couple plates, he was inspired and made one for himself. I join him and we take down these testies with a few fell swoops. Was a little like gator though I briefly gagged at the reality.
So then I tell him the reason I decided to dine at Uncle Ed’s Steakhouse was because of the message on the marque outside. And he starts to talk about his wife. Get this, she HAD stage four pancreatic cancer…and she is officially in remission. I look at him with complete disbelief and say, “How?.. This is unbelievable! HOW?- It was only a year ago when a kind fella I knew passed on from the same take down.” We all agree that none of us had known anyone to survive pancreatic cancer… so how did she do it? Uncle Ed says it was prayer. And you know what- I’ll give it to him. Call it prayer or the power of a group of loving people focusing loving goodness onto another person- yes, I think healing can be done this way. Uncle Ed looked at me and we caught this heavy moment eye to eye- we stayed quiet and then he stood up and excused himself. He made it clear- he loves that woman something fierce and they insist on more time together…and that is that. It was great to meet Uncle Ed and Wendell and I appreciate them sharing some of their life stories with me.
I am sitting in a hotel room and completely happy to be typing at midnight…back in the throws. Was a good tonight…and I’ve been invited to a heifer gathering at the Nebraska State Fair as Wendell has a cattle show in the am.
I woke and decided to hit the Nebraska State Fair simply because this was a rare encounter…and it was one of a kind. I met the nicest folks and had a great sit down with some super sweet ladies for some coffee and cinnamon rolls. Was a classic hang for sure and Wendell did alright in the competition.
Yep, my little niece was right…and so it has begun.