Above: Joan in Boots, 30 years after her questionable decision to say, “I Do”. To me.
It rained a lot in Omaha last week. A LOT. Enough rain to turn an entire slope into a mud slide at the Omaha Zoo. It was bad enough that the zebra herd was replace with heavy earth moving machinery. Elephants however, stuck it out. The rain also turned parts of a lovely farm west of Omaha into a soup of mud garnished with the straw, plywood sheets and impromptu gravel which slowed, but did not stop, the faithful who came to celebrate One Man’s Junk.
Junkstock is billed as Three Days of Peace, Love and Junk, and like its 1970 inspiration Woodstock, it would take more than rain and mud to stop the throngs gathered to buy and sell the remnants of agraria from generations past, and the repurposed creations from artists and artisans from throughout the Midwest. Junkstock also featured a good chunk of live hillbilly music and creative eats, although the use of psychedelics appeared to be kept to a minimum. After some gentle prodding, my gal (above) thought ahead and brought her boots. While there were plenty of attendees sporting Wellingtons and other waterproof footwear, there were others whose dainty footwear will probably face a mercy killing.
We looked and talked a lot more than we bought, but that was the plan going in. While there were lots of interesting creations, the best may have been the apple-filled Chinese-style egg rolls, which the server augmented with hot caramel. My only complaint with them is that they disappeared too fast. Peace Out.
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Ever had one of those nights out when you make all the right choices and exceed every expectation by a mile? Me neither. Until possibly tonight. Joan and I are in Omaha celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. We’re staying near the Old Market Neighborhood downtown, We took a total flier on a seafood restaurant called Plank Seafood and Provisions. Normally I don’t buy seafood when I’m about as far from the ocean as you can be in North America, but tonight we took the chance. Ordered the Blackened Catchfish Creole with Crawdads over Dirty Rice.
It was one of the Top 10 meals of my life. Maybe even top 5. Service was great, and it did not break the bank. But things didn’t stop there. Walking just one block away, we found this:
Yes, quite possibly the only late-night Antique Store, Record Shop, Candy Store and Movie Theater in, well, anywhere. While Joan scoped out the candy, I thumbed throw a smallish, but high quality, collection of LP’s,..and found THIS:
The Phones were a Twin Cities band I saw exactly once in the very early 1980’s. They were the first band I’d heard played New Wave-ish covers of bands like Squeeze, Joe Jackson, Elis Costello, etc. We had a GREAT time that night, good enough to still remember it some 35+ years later. I had no idea they ever released a studio outtake EP of originals, and if I had the last place I’d expected to find it was in an all-night candy and antique store in Omaha, NE. Joan, as usual, exhibited a great deal of patience with me through all of this. When patience grew thin, I was rescued by an ice cream shop near by.
If there is a heaven, I hope it can live up to this evening.
I’ve been a lot of places in my life. Even though I’ve done two tours as a resident of Sioux Falls, SD, I have NEVER made the three hour trip to Omaha, NE. That factoid falls this evening. Joan and I are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary with a 3-day weekend to the Gateway To The West.
Among our stops: Junkstock . www.junkstock.com Now, before you jump on me, we had decided on the trip to Omaha BEFORE I learned that 3 Days of Peace Love and Junk is happening this weekend. Must have been meant to be. Joan’s free pick is the zoo, which I hear is looking good. We’ll have lots of time for other things, and this is where you come in: I am looking for recommendations on restaurants, used LP record/music stores, best places to find interesting old stuff, best attractions, especially those one might not find in the travel literature.
Please reply with your top picks, and forward/share to your friends who might know Omaha well. Thanks, and we’ll report from the field. Literally, the field. Ta Ta!