First in the news as of late, I would like to mention a few things about Tony Premo, the Plattsmouth man who was attacked in lieu of his son on September 9th. As with many stories, this one is said to be about a girl as well. A 15-year-old girl told her ex-boyfriend to quit calling her, and then the "Plattsmouth Boys" challenged the "Weeping Water" boys to a fight. Tony Premo's two sons were among the numbers in the former, and they returned home after the fight. Then the boys from Weeping Water showed up at about 1:10 AM making a ruckus. When Tony Premo went out, he was attacked and injured critically and nonsensically in the conflict.
The last I've heard of his status is that he has had damage to his skull which has robbed him of his sight, but there is a hopeful outlook for his recovery. Please forgive me if the information is not up to date and or innacurate, as I haven't found any more current stories than the one in the Plattsmouth Journal and the Omaha World Herald. I would like to extend my prayers and best wishes to him, his family, and even those who assailed him. Why them as well? They may have done something atrocious, but none the less they are still children who have lost their way in violence. But they are still young, and there is still the possibility of hope for them as well as those that were victimized that night.
Still, the big point to make here is about the use of violence in resolution to conflicts. In my own belief, there is nothing worth raising a hand in violence over except in defense. Words are the weapon of my choice if they are necessary. It is important to remember that everyone is someone's child, and this is a fact that must be respected. While the world around us is churned by the turmoil of war, hunger, and crime, the last place we need more of it is on our doorsteps. A little understanding and empathy can go a long way as well in all corners of life.
In a somewhat related story, the Plattsmouth police are now carrying tasers with video recorders. This will not only protect the police officers who use these devices from being persecuted for their use, but will also provide protection to those they may potentially be used upon from their unfair use.
And now, on to more positive notes, I would like to discuss a few of my impressions of the city. My father is a writer for the Plattsmouth Journal, and there have been many days that I've joined him at work in the city. This edition will be on my car, which I bought from the lovely woman Bonnie who serves as editorial assistant there.
The old car I had was a nightmare. Its raditor constantly oozed out the noxious green substance into my car itself, and the heat didn't work. It was a little grey 1996 Chevy Corsica. On the day it died, the death throes came in the form of a stalled and then smoking engine. Suddenly, I was entirely without transportation. My father looked into new vehicles for me, and came up with a $50 buy from his friend Bonnie. It needed a new water pump, since the engine overheated without it, but was otherwise in good condition. So he took me with him to the city to go have a look at it.
It was spring then as I recall, and the city was looking beautiful with its blooming trees and returning green. All was quiet as we went along the main street, spending a little time being entirely lost. The first place we stopped at was not Bonnie's house at all, tucked neatly into one of the many dead-end roads that leads to a plethora of forest and privacy. Beyond the steep hills (which have always invoked trepidation in my heart), it seemed like a scenic location. It was not, however, the goal of our journey, and it was already getting toward the late evening so we were quick to head off to the proper home.
Bonnie came out to show us the vehicle, which was parked along a dirt alley behind her home. My first impression upon looking at it, quite honestly, was a resounding "YUCK." The car was badly rusted in many places, and missing distingushable chunks of metal from around the door. There was another light blue vehicle I had my eye on that she was selling, yet price was the issue at hand and I was in no position to be picky. So I was handed the key to it, and bidden to direct the vehicle to Jim's repair shop. We poured some water into the radiator to sustain it, and so I climbed in with my additional water. It was hot and muggy on the long, soft bench seat, and smelled stale from disuse. I started it up, and it did so without qualms beyond the overheating engine light. The remarkable part of this was that this vehicle had not been used for months upon end, and yet started up with so little fuss that I found it remarkable. Following behind my father's red SUV, I drove it through the city streets. Its transmission was surprisingly smoothe, and I was pleased with this impression. I got it to the lot of the repair place and left it there, feeling almost like I had just abandoned my new friend transportation.
A few days later, I went back to the city to pick it up after the repair. With great anticipation, I turned the key... And it started again. This time, there was no engine light warning me of impending doom, but instead just the gentle grumble of an old, loyal engine. Though there was still more to do with it, so I drove it to The Journal's back lot. I crossed the main street to the hardware store with some money and bought myself a few cans of rust repellant paint to help take care of the faded black exterior. It was an... interesting shade of red, remarkably akin in hue to rust itself, which felt ironic. But the patches in the paint were inviting damage and I was happy to spray the thing down. The man in the store was elderly and kind, especially to my ignorant questions as to what would actually help. Later I bought in Omaha some black spray to add onto it, and mistakenly also bought a can of silver paint. Thus, the strange flame-like apparitions were sprayed on with the help of my older brother and his girlfriend and a car identity was born. It has loyally carried me all the places I want to go ever since.
The point of this story is to illustrate a point that I have learned: small towns may be overlooked by the majority of the rushing world, yet it is only in a small town that you can buy a car for $50 and need only a small amount of repair before it is in perfect working order. Bonnie's kindness was utterly remarkable in giving me this car at that price. On top of it, the 1987 Chevy Celebrity is literally as old as I am. The man in the hardware store was very patient with me, and the mechanic who did the repair job not only did so with astounding speediness, but also did it so well that I have not had a problem since. This car has also taught me to change my own fuses, check my own various car fluids, and to love something that may have appeared to have been worn down through the ages but is still able to provide me with the gift of transportation. Without the community of Plattsmouth, and all the wonderful people in it, I might have been able to get a vehicle... There's no doubt in my mind though that the experience would not have been so smoothe, so welcoming, and so expedient. So I wish to extend my thanks to everyone who helped me, and to the people of the city itself who made it possible for a genuinely caring group of people to live and work together without the congestion indicative of a metropolis.
You people, you're the best.
Next week, I will hopefully have the new 12 megapixel camera I just bought today on eBay. Stop in for that newsletter, because it will be absolutely brimming with photos of the city! See you next week.