Jeanne Schieffer

The other morning, while listening to KLIR as I drove to work, I heard “Life in a Northern Town” by The Dream Academy. In the song, you’ll hear the singer recall a special memory about his hometown and the people in it. "Ah hey a ma ma mah."

(Those of us who are baby boomers will recognize that part of the chorus.)

Hearing it brought back my own memories of the various towns I lived in when growing up. My father was a South Dakota highway patrolman and, as such, was transferred about every four years to a new community. Between the year I was born and the year I went to college, we had moved our belongings in and out of a Mayflower moving van six times.

Yet, each town had its own character and its own memories.

I recall being told I was too young to carry the morning-delivered milk in heavy, glass bottles from the back step into our Belle Fourche kitchen. I also remember long rows of tables and chairs in the armory covered with ketchup bottles and hundreds of paper plates piled high with hot French fries. It was part of an annual event to celebrate “Potato Days” in Clark. Then, there’s the memory of working my first job as a car hop at the A&W on the north end of Euclid in Pierre.

"Ah hey a ma ma mah."

We all have them – these sentimental recollections of the hometowns which raised us.

And, if you are like me, you are still growing up. No matter the age, we continue to bank these special moments of life experienced in a Nebraska town called Columbus.

I have lived here since June 1990, and some of my favorite memories include drinking coffee at Stack-N-Steak with my writing group to discuss our individual novels; watching my daughters beam while dancing in colorful costumes during Barb’s and Lynette’s recitals; and meeting friends for delectable delights such as pie at Picket Fence, roast beef sandwiches at Off Campus, or soup at 38th Street Café.

Then, there’s the happy “Good morning, young lady!” I received from a clerk my same age at Hy-Vee which put me in a great mood to start my day; or the delight I had in compiling a set of pink Depression glass dishes from several antique dealers; and buying a box of macaroons from a local entrepreneur at the Farmer’s Market in Frankfort Square.

More than likely, some of your best memories have taken place at, or in conjunction with, a Chamber-member business or a Chamber-related event.

Whether it’s a picnic at Loup Power District’s Lake Babcock campground, taking your children to the Horn T Zoo, watching the Red, White, Kaboom! at Ag Park, getting your fingers sticky from your favorite barbecue choice at Columbus Days, or going to that long-awaited movie with your friends, memories are a reflection of our Columbus experience, and the Chamber and its member businesses are focused on making life in this Nebraska town enjoyable, memorable and worth repeating time and again - like a catchy chorus we can’t get out of our heads.

"Ah hey a ma ma mah."

Jeanne Schieffer is the president of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.

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