photos

PlainSky, Nebraskans: National Geographics and Television in School Lunch Room, Seneca

National Geographic Magazines and Television, Seneca

National Geographic Magazines and Television, Seneca

District Six died more than 15 years ago.

It sits at the top of the southern ridge in Seneca, its Nebraska sky blue north wall peeling paint, its doors ajar, its roof rotted and open to the sky in many places. At the corner of the cafeteria one afternoon, I found these National Geographic magazines and old television, the gold border of the magazines a stark contrast to the brown, sienna and green of decay that dominates the rest of the room.

It is a stark reminder of the future of many small western Nebraska schools, as they face diminishing class sizes, reduced funding, and dying communities.

PlainSky, Nebraskans: Wave Pizza, Grand Island

Wait Staff, The Wave Pizza Company, Grand Island

Wait Staff, The Wave Pizza Company, Grand Island

The Wave Pizza Company sits on Walnut Street, right next to an unlikely neighbor: The Farmer’s Daughter Cafe. Between The Wave and Farmer’s Daughter, the clientele couldn’t be more different; piercings and ‘tudes for the staff at The Wave, gingham and love for those at The Farmer’s Daughter.  Both sit at the far southeast corner of the area for my PlainSky, Nebraskans project, which is personally limited to the area north of Interstate 80, and west of Highway 281. Though Grand Island is just slightly east of 281, it is an important tool for contrast, since it is urban, diverse and growing; in opposition, Harrison, at the far northwest corner, is rural, homogeneous, and dying.