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You haven’t viewed a total eclipse until you’ve watched it on a hill high above the flat Nebraska plains with nothing and no one for miles and miles and miles.
The Oligmuellers – don’t you love that name – invited us to their farm 15 miles north of my little western Nebraska hometown.
There’s always a certain amount of disappointment after the media hype. “Is that all there is?” you ask. I was prepared for a letdown.
That’s not what happened. As we say in the media world, “that eclipse exceeded my expectations.” When the sun receded, “dusk” settled across the plains and, yes, the cows meandered home. We were transfixed viewing this miracle. For two minutes, we were awestruck in that amazing dusk-like darkness. Spontaneously, we cheered.
As the sun reappeared, we headed down the road to Grandma Winnie’s house for a mid-day feast of Runzas, freshly picked corn on the cob, watermelon, cucumbers and tomatoes grown in the Oligmueller garden, topped off with Winnie’s homemade apple and strawberry pies. Even the crust was homemade.
The only way to enjoy a solar eclipse. We’re planning to do it all over again in seven years right here in Texas.
A couple days before we traveled to the Sand Hills of Nebraska, we took a short jaunt to the Nathaniel Center on Russell Palmer Road for the Third Annual “Lake Houston’s Got Talent” Show.
I had lots to do what with our journey to the Total Eclipse, but it’s impossible to say “No” to Kim Brusatori. She’s the founder of The Village, a community-based program for special needs adults and their families and a true Lake Houston jewel (both The Village and Kim).
“Got Talent” showcased 16 acts – singers, dancers, magicians. The audience got to vote for their favorites. Judges selected the winners.
Just like the Total Eclipse, “Got Talent” exceeded my expectations. Our favorite pediatrician, Dr. Hy Penn, mesmerized with his magic. There were two standouts. Little Gentry Lumpkin has a voice that shakes the rafters, and you’ll giggle at Kyle Ryan’s patter while you ooh and aah at his magic. It’s a fundraiser for The Village so, when The Tribune promotes next year’s “Got Talent” show, get a couple tickets. No, buy a table. You’ll probably get a hug from Kim.
It’s time to focus on my fave beverage (next to Dr Pepper) – coffee. Last column, you heard all about the coffee catastrophe. Climate change is threatening our coffee supply and I’m concerned! A Tribune reader sent me a link to VitaCup. It’s Arabica gourmet coffee (or tea if you’re into that), roasted then packed with vitamins by what the website calls their Chief Vitamin Officer.
If the website is telling the truth, this coffee will “…bring back those youthful feelings of bursting energy and focus.” The words on the site, which are a little over the top even for me, quote one “expert reviewer” who described it as modern day holy water. And it tastes good, too. The website says so.
I’m almost sold. I’ve got to see for myself. Does it exceed expectations like the Solar Eclipse and “Lake Houston’s Got Talent?”
Stay tuned. I’ll investigate.

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Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.