Only in America: Monowi, Nebraska

June 7, 2011 sexyknees
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Tree Hugger!

I know I have been on this big “America is Great” kick for the last little bit, but having traveled…and lived…all around the world I think I have earned the right to my opinion.  In other words, my view of America is educated rather than blind.  We make our mistakes, but as a people Americans are the kindest and most giving on the planet.  As for the government…well, is any government ever really all that good?

Anyway, I was watching one of the latest episodes of Larry the Cable Guy’s “Only in America” on the History channel and was reminded why our country is so wonderful.  This episode focused on a little town in Nebraska called Monowi.  With a population of one, it is the smallest town in the United States.

Back in the 1930’s, when Monowi was at its peak, the town boasted a population of 150.  The local railroad, which ran from Norfolk, Nebraska, to Winner, South Dakota, brought hopeful families to the fertile farming lands which surrounded this little town and all were thriving.  Mechanization eventually put these small farmers out of business, and when the railway closed in 1971 the town began to slowly die.

Being from a small farming town in North Carolina myself, I know what it is like to watch little places like Monowi fade away (in our case mostly due to the interstates).  It brings tears to my eyes witnessing the death of little family communities – a unique piece of American history – which can never be replaced.  Whenever possible, I try to visit the towns I grew up with and buy something from one of the local stores or restaurants.  It isn’t much, but at least I am doing what I am able to help.

By 2000, Monowi had only two residents – Mr. and Mrs. Eiler – and with the death of her husband in 2001, only Mrs. Eiler remains to keep the town alive.  Donning the hats of mayor, treasurer, secretary, planner, and librarian, Elsie (Mrs. Eiler) spends her days doing administrative work as well as running the local tavern.  She grants her own liquor licence and collects taxes from herself.  Additionally, every year she must produce a municipal road plan to receive Monowi’s share of state transport funds and a budget to finance the town’s street lights (of which there are four).

Larry the Cable Guy and his Only in America crew visited this little Nebraska town and spent time with Mrs. Eiler.  After seeing the condition of the roads – which were mostly mud – and the library (which is dedicated to Mrs. Eiler’s late husband), Larry made one call to the local radio station to announce that he was throwing a hog dog cookout to raise funds to help keep Monowi on the map.  By 1pm over 1200 people had arrived to lend a hand – either financially and/or physically – and fix both the roads and the library roof.  One call, people!  Well, it kinda helps to be a celebrity, but still…

My point is, only in America can you make one phone call and have people from all over the country show up to help one humble person.  Mrs. Eiler isn’t a celebrity and doesn’t have a lot of money.  She is just an average citizen like you and me.  The reason why these people drove for hours to Monowi is because Mrs. Eiler was in need and they were ready to give.  Complain all you want about the government and its choice to do this or that – just remember that in the end, it is us – the people of America – which makes this country great, and I, for one, am proud to call myself and American.  Thanks, Larry, for helping us see more clearly why our home is so wonderful (one episode segment at a time)!

PS:  if you are in Nebraska, please visit Monowi and pay Mrs. Elsie Eiler a visit!

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ky Erickson  |  June 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    great blog post Nikki. it brought a tear to my eye reading it.

  • 3. kw1970  |  June 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Awesome post here Nikki ! And I could NOT agree more ! By the way,, Looking HOT in this picture of you ! ! !

    • 4. sexyknees  |  June 17, 2011 at 12:12 am

      Thank you very much!!!

      • 5. kw1970  |  June 18, 2011 at 2:31 am

        Your More than welcome :O)


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