Reader Reminiscences

I began at the Reader as a movie reviewer, during one of the most dismal periods in cinema history. Somewhere I still have all the swag the distribution companies sent along in their efforts to excite us about their listless product – posters for movies with titles that strain with their eagerness to easily please: The Sweetest Thing, Death to Smoochy, Josie and the Pussycats, Mona Lisa Smile. I have a Mylar poster for the Johnny Depp movie Blow (for snorting blow off of, apparently), a calculator with the logo for A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and a Gosford Park mystery board game. Eventually I moved into various editorial roles over a period of a few years. We were a news- paper…

entered on 01/01/15 at 04:58 AM | read more »


Reader Reminiscences

I began at the Reader as a movie reviewer, during one of the most dismal periods in cinema history. Somewhere I still have all the swag the distribution companies sent along in their efforts to excite us about their listless product – posters for movies with titles that strain with their eagerness to easily please: The Sweetest Thing, Death to Smoochy, Josie and the Pussycats, Mona Lisa Smile. I have a Mylar poster for the Johnny Depp movie Blow (for snorting blow off of, apparently), a calculator with the logo for A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and a Gosford Park mystery board game. Eventually I moved into various editorial roles over a period of a few years. We were a news- paper…

entered on 01/01/15 at 04:58 AM | read more »


Reader Reminiscences

My brief stint as the editor of The Reader came during a weird time for the celebrated weekly newspaper. Ask anyone who was around then, and they’ll tell you – “Yeah, that was a weird time.” Our distribution manager backed into my new Jeep. There were a half-dozen stray kittens bouncing from office to office. The Reader’s original publisher was fired by the new owner. And for about 60 seconds, there was a local quasi-stuntman on fire in the front parking lot. (It was a cover shoot, but for the life of me I can’t remember the cover’s feature.) That was during my first week there. Seriously. That all happened in a five-day span, and as it turned out, that…

entered on 01/01/15 at 04:46 AM | read more »


Reader Reminiscences

I never once thought growing up I’d ever want to get into journalism, but keeping Sokol Auditorium open changed all that for me. There I found my passion, but it’s thanks to quite a few folks that I learned the trade.
That started for me watch-ing Fairbury, Neb. native, former Creightonian editor and now a senior editor at Associates Press, Barry Bedlan, putting together the early issues for Sounds News & Arts. 
With the launch of The Reader, I worked with the Simonson brothers, both brilliant editors and writers, and my happy introduction to the New Journalism expounded by literary giants Thomas Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson. Busy with Sharky’s Brewery and one of Omaha’s very first dog…

entered on 01/01/15 at 04:39 AM | read more »


Reader Reminiscences

Born in co-founder Mark Simonson’s apartment at 49th and Dodge, The Reader moved to the railroad car next to Sharky’s Brew-ery at 77th and Cass before settling in on the 2nd floor of the old Firehouse Dinner Theater and now Upstream Brewery in 1995. 
With the move to weekly, The Reader was now near the County Courthouse in the old Matthews Bookstore at 1618 Harney in the Keeline Building, the supposed spot where a young Henry Fonda watched the 1919 Lynching. In the basement, music editor Curtis Grubb launched Grasshopper Takeover and the band pad had frequest gatherings, most notably with 311 and opening act Gwen Stefani after their Civic Auditorium concert.
In 1999, The Reader moved back…

entered on 01/01/15 at 04:33 AM | read more »


Reader Reminiscences

It has been said many times throughout history that some of the greatest ideas are hatched in the darkness of a bar. The Reader was born in a brewpub in Omaha circa 1994. It wasn’t an easy birth. As newborns go, this baby was a bit anemic and lacked the rosy red cheeks of other publications in the continental United States. But within a month or two we started to add color to the cover and back page. Eventually it became a full-color publication. The Reader came into this life as a bi-weekly. It was published every other Wednesday. Some of the defining characteristics of this young publication included an actual “Letters to the Editor” section on the first page.…

entered on 01/01/15 at 04:29 AM | read more »


Reader Reminiscences

Pundits have predicted the death of newspapers for a century or so, but some keep defying the fore-casts, including The Reader you’re now reading. I’m not exactly a mass murderer, but I’ve killed a few weeklies myself. Or at least my columns ran in a few Omaha weeklies that didn’t survive. Not that all the papers that ran my words died. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil lives on, though it’s now part of the Omaha World-Herald’s corporate holdings. I wrote columns for a high school paper called the Echoes, and it still echoes (echo, echo). I even wrote columns for the University of Nebraska at Omaha Gateway and it soon celebrates its centennial. (For the record, its most famous column…

entered on 01/01/15 at 04:06 AM | read more »


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Assumptions

Bo Pelini behaved as if he had coached his last game at Nebraska, based on his sideline and post-game decorum, or lack thereof. That was the...

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Attention to detail

If not for Sam Burtch, the most dramatic play of this Nebraska football season might never have happened.

If not for Burtch, Ron Kellogg III...

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Sack leader

As David Santos remembers it, Connor Cook was rolling out and he was pursuing the Michigan State quarterback when Nebraska teammate Randy Gregory...

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Planet Power: Nov. 21 - 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving. Let’s be nice to each other and cultivate warm thoughts. You are what you think…
—MOJOPOPlanetPower.com

i SAGITTARIUS...

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Planet Power: Nov. 14 - 20, 2013

This issue marks my 17th year here at The “READER.” Thanks to John, Eric, my beloved Carrie, et al., for all your help, encouragement and...

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Planet Power: November 7 - 13, 2013

The new Aquarian-Age astrology is/will be ruled by the planet Uranus (yeah, I’ve heard that joke before). Traditional astrology, prior to the...

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Planet Power: Oct. 31 - Nov. 6, 2013

Happy Halloween! Let your subconscious desires flow as the twilight fades into the black of the night of the year. Don’t fear the night. You have...

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News You Can Use — Good, Bad, Ugly

Recent news items to keep the brain cells percolating.

The Good

Eggs aren’t bad anymore. Eggs never were bad in my estimation. Decades ago when the...

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Epigenetics

I was excited to read The Double Helix when I was young. That was the account by James Watson of the discovery of deoxyribonucleic acid as the...

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Vaccines: A Shot in the Dark

While raging about vaccines, both sides of the aisle seem fraught with emotion. Anti-vaxxers and pro-vaxxers are vehement in supporting their...

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Good Vibrations — the Cure for Hysteria

Just over 100 years ago, the most common cause for a woman to visit her family physician was a bad case of hysteria, a scourge once common in the...

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