We’ve Got The Beets

July 1928, Nat’l Geographic

Last night, we dined at a local Mediterranean restaurant, feasting on shawarma, falafel, mixed makaly, tabouli, and pita bread. They keep a container of cold beet juice next to the lemonade, so I had two full glasses. They said the secret ingredient was orange juice. My husband won’t touch it because he says it tastes like dirt. Evidently, it’s the geosmin, an organic compound that you can smell in the air after a rain shower. Yes, that earthy odor. I love it.

In the 1920s, Nebraska met the growing need for sugar with beets, as cane sugar thrived only in warmer climates. Pictured above is a western Nebraska beet sugar mill, with two young men in the foreground. The pile weighed in at 22,000 tons. While Minnesota is the top state producer of sugar beets, Nebraska ranks 6th and has been at it for over 100 years. In fact, a town built solely to process the yearly tons of beets was named Melbeta, which means “sweet beet” in German.

What about you? How do you feel about beets?

Inside Lincoln, Nebraska 1943, Part III

Rocket 1943 Yearbook

Today we wrap up the series on Lincoln Nebraska during 1943. All of these pics were taken from the Northeast High School Yearbook, otherwise lost to posterity. I’m so glad to preserve these images digitally, and thereby preserve bits of history.


“Making these for defense?” I don’t know how a hog house aids defense, but there’s a lot I don’t know. Like the words “Modernage” and “dirndl.” Maybe a dirndl dress was a good distraction from the worry of brothers and boyfriends fighting overseas.


Meanwhile, back at the hatchery…Rocket43-HillHatchery


Here a woman reviews wallpaper samples at Van Sickle’s Paint Store, and a couple checks out rakes at the hardware store.

Even though life wasn’t “business as usual,” a little butter and rouge could help preserve a lady’s sanity.

Thanks for joining me on this glimpse into Lincoln!

Inside Lincoln, Nebraska 1943, Part II



Fourteen points! Can you imagine buying meat with points? War changed life on the homefront.

Down at Helin’s Grocery, you could take your pick of produce without using your blue ration coupons. That’s a good way to get folks to eat their greens.



Able-bodied men who were not overseas were able to advise ladies on fruit purchases.


But who wants cheap fruit when there’s a bakery nearby?

Harmony Bakery

Inside Lincoln, Nebraska 1943, Part I

Smack-dab in the middle of WWII, life went on in small town America.

The Rocket 1943
The Rocket 1943


Fortunately, that wasn’t the only place to go for a Coke date. Baker Pharmacy was also well-stocked.


Aware that their future likely held military enlistment, teen boys from Northeast High School enjoyed the luxury of hometown life, hot food, and picture shows such as World At War.




%d bloggers like this: