Reader Reminiscences

Those were the days, my friend … and though I can remember only three or four of them from that wine-soaked era, I nonetheless look fondly on the years I spent writing little doodads for the Reader. I fancied myself to be Dorothy Parker -- except for, you know, the writing talent -- and I’m almost certain we all had a wonderful time back then. But beyond my own self-indulgent observations on the drinking life, I learned the value of an alternative publication in the community; one that fearlessly speaks the truth and tells the stories of culture, art, and the human experience often overlooked by mainstream media. … I also learned the value of keeping a corkscrew in my…

entered on 01/01/15 at 05:05 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

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 »


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

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Planet Power: Nov. 21 - 27, 2013

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—MOJOPOPlanetPower.com

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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

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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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Blinded by the Light

It took only a few seconds for me to realize it. I was lying in bed in the wee hours, staring at late night movies on TV. Most everyone in the music...

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Biophobia: The Global Epidemic

Health officials, both in the United States and internationally, have rightfully noted that the irrational fear associated with the Ebola crisis in...

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Top Ten Reasons to Attend Omaha Health Expo

The eighth annual Omaha Health Expo takes place April 11 and 12 at the CenturyLink. It’s an important convocation because it’s the only assemblage of...

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Corn: Nothing Green About It

A plague is upon us; pestilence abounds; a pox we planted ourselves. Forget locusts. Forget frogs. Forget bird flu, kudzu or African snails. The...

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