While watching the CBS “Sunday Morning” show during a workout on my elliptical, I was reminded of all the wonderful places I’ve seen around the United States while attending National Federation of Press Women annual conferences.
There was a feature about the man who has been the solitary winter caretaker at Yellowstone National Park for 42 years. The frosty scenes around the lodge, Old Faithful and the surrounding area were familiar from the 2008 late summer post-tour there hosted by our Idaho members.
Steve – didn’t catch his last name – is an accomplished photographer. His winter images show Yellowstone in a way no one else sees it, and some have been published in National Geographic.
I saw a different part of Yellowstone in spring 2012 after the NFPW board meeting at the same Idaho Falls hotel. NFPW President Teri Ehresman and AGENDA Editor Cathy Koon took several of us on a two-day tour that included the north road through the national park.
One of the amazing things about networking at NFPW conferences and seeing new places is that I immediately pay attention to broadcast and print stories about those places. Plus, I know there are friends who may live and work nearby.
Last September in Greenville, S.C., I was asked by people from several states about the Good Samaritan Hospital cafeteria here in Kearney. Video cameras in the new, garden-level cafeteria caught a wall of water crashing through the floor-to-ceiling windows during a deluge of a rainstorm in early August.
That video, used by Nebraska TV stations and on lots of media websites, made the national news. So it was seen by many NFPW members across the country. By the way, NFPW member and Kearney Hub colleague Mary Jane Skala wrote a story for Saturday’s newspaper about the cafeteria’s restoration and reopening.
Whenever I watch “Alaska State Troopers” on a cable TV network, I remember going to Alaska in October 2011 as the new NFPW president to attend the Alaska affiliate’s 50th anniversary celebration.
Sherrie Simmonds, one of the Alaska hosts for our 2015 conference in Anchorage Sept. 10-12, took me sightseeing one day. On the highway to Girdwood, we saw a trooper with a stopped car and a videographer nearby, and concluded it must have been a ride-along day for the TV show crew.
My other visit to Alaska was the 2000 NFPW Conference, and I can’t wait to get my plans made soon for the 2015 conference and tours.
Just think of the places we’ve been in just that past few years: Greenville, S.C.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Omaha, Neb., – Council Bluffs, Iowa; Chicago; San Antonio, and on and on. At each conference, we’ve had opportunities to travel with NFPW members who live there.
They show us places we may never have seen before and may never see again. As you know, I see every conference as an opportunity to learn new things, network and as a photo op.
I wish I could invite all of you to south-central Nebraska right now, where millions of migrating geese and ducks already are in the air and on the wetlands, and about 600,000 sandhill cranes will be coming in the next week or so.
Some cranes are here now. It was a thrill about a week ago to hear my first crane song. But the big show of cranes flying over, roosting in the Platte River at night, and jumping, dancing and showing off in our area cornfields and grasslands is a March treat.
Meanwhile, pure white snow geese with their black wingtips are the best show. So, until the sandhill cranes take over the rural Nebraska stage and until I can go crazy shooting photos in Alaska six months from now, here is a postcard from Nebraska.