Delegating Denver #31 of 56: Nebraska

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Total Number of Delegates: 31 Pledged: 24 Unpledged: 7

How to Recognize a Nebraska Delegate: Most Americans experience Nebraska only in passing. At 35,000 feet overhead or speeding through on I-80, the state looks flat and boring. It is neither, but that doesn't stop the "flatter than a ninth-grade prom date" jokes. Residents of the state are only happy to perpetuate the misperception, because it gives simple-minded outsiders something meaningless to fixate on while Nebraskans go about their plans for total world domination. And make no mistake: They are extremely serious. There will be no more laughing when the Cornhuskers are in command. After all, this is the birthplace of both Kool-Aid and Dick Cheney, and for Democrats, these names are synonymous with suicide missions. In addition, for the last century, the nation's most beloved citizens, Hollywood celebrities, have beencontrolled by a cabal of Cornhuskers who call themselves "the Nebraska Coast Connection." The "Dream Factory" itself was invented by Wahoo native Darryl F. Zanuck, and our brightest stars continue to be "audited" by the minions of Tildenite L. Ron Hubbard. Nebraska delegates will similarly wear fashions that are purposefully flat and boring in an attempt to dissuade unnecessary attention. Females will wear “Something Unexpected” from Omaha-based Gordmans, which means a forgettable garment purchased at a discount. Males will wearthe Cabela's Seclusion 3-D Stonewashed Canvas shirt and wrinkle-resistant flat-front chinos over MTP Series Performance underwear with scent eliminator. Seriously, you never know what might hit you.

Famous Nebraskans: First indigenous woman to become a doctor Susan La Flesche Picotte; Tribal chiefs Red Cloud and Standing Bear; leaders of the free world Gerald Ford and Dick Cheney; business leaders Daryl F. Zanuck and Warren Buffet; religious leaders Malcolm X and L. Ron Hubbard; A-list actors Harold Lloyd, Henry Fonda, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Cliftand Hilary Swank; B-list actors James Coburn and Swoosie Kurtz; D-list actors Sandy Dennis, Janine Turner and Nick Nolte; F-list actor Larry the Cable Guy; TV journalists Dick Cavett and Paula Zahn; Spy magazine co-founder Kurt Andersen; Acme Novelty Library cartoonist Chris Ware; dancer Fred Astaire; Eagles bass guitarist Randy Meisner, pop-rocker Matthew Sweet, Maroon Fiver James Valentine, and all the members of Bright Eyes, Broken Spindles and Cursive.

Famous Nebraska Democrats: First district representative, 41st United States Secretary of State and three-time losing presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan; 36th Nebraska governor and U.S. senator Jim Exon; 38th Nebraska governor, ex-boyfriend of actress Debra Winger and former U.S. senator Bob Kerrey.

Famous Nebraskans With Denver Connections: 7News reporter Lance Hernandez; 9News morning anchor Gary Shapiro; 9News weatherman Marty Coniglio; Region VIII FEMA director David Marstaud; Julia Blackbird's Cafe owner Julia Siegfried-Garrison; RealWorld: Denver actor Tyrie Ballard; Red Cloud West singer-songwriter Ross Etherton.

State Nickname: The Cornhusker State (official); The Cornhustler State, The Cornhusky State, The Cornhonky State, The Cornholio State (unofficial) Population: 1,768,331 Racial Distribution: 85% white, 4% black, 2% Asian, 1% Native American, 8% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $30,758 Unemployment: 4%


Most Nebraskan Neighborhood: Bear Valley

Most Nebraskan Bar: Appaloosa Grill 535 16th Street Mall (at Welton Street) The live local acts at this club are as varied as the roster of Omaha's Saddle Creek Records.

Most Nebraskan Restaurant: Elway's Downtown 1881 Curtis Street This steakhouse, owned by a professional football player, is pure Nebraska nirvana.

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Best Day Trip: Georgetown Loop Railroad

In 1864, Golden businessman William A.H. Loveland planned to build arailroad up Clear Creek Canyon, with hopes of breaching theContinental Divide and reaping the wealth from Leadville mines. Doing so would help make his small town in Jefferson County a transportation hub and, hence, the state capital. His Colorado Central Railroad finally reached Georgetown in August of 1877. Lack of fundsand the steep grades beyond forced him to look to Nebraska-based Union Pacific Railroad for help. Robert Blickensderfer, an engineer from Omaha, solved the geographical problems of getting the train up the 6 percent grade to Silver Plume with a series of curves and one grand loop whereby the track crossed over itself via a 300-foot-long trestle nearly 100 feet above Clear Creek. When work crews reached Silver Plume, the money ran out. By that time, a rival railroad company had made it to Leadville and Denver had been selected as the capital city. But in a strange twist of fate, the fortunes of the Colorado Central were helped a second time, by yet another Nebraskan. Photographer William Henry Jackson, dissatisfied with his portrait-studio business, left Omaha to document the landscapes of the West. The photographs he took of the new Georgetown Loop in March 1884 were used in promotions across the country. As time went by, tourists came in increasing numbers to "do the loop." Tourist revenues were vital to the railroad's existence. Sadly, much of the rail line was pulled up in 1939 and replaced with the asphalt of U.S. Highway 6, which was later widened into I-70. Delegates need only follow the interstate to Exit 226 at Silver Plume to experience the little loop that remains as tribute to our twisted neighbors to the northeast. — Kenny Be

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