Soft Old Cheney

Turtle doves and freight train whistles wake me. I am home. Not the home of everyday life, but the home of my childhood. Not even the house of my childhood, but the magical, soft, comforting yet exciting sounds in my night memories; summer camp cabin or Grandma's pink bedroom with the rose patterned curtains. Wood floors squeaking under rocking chairs, the low hum of grown-up conversation, buzzing insects just outside the window screens, and distant thunder combine in a cushioning amniotic sphere.

South of Lincoln the country roads are poetry. "Going out Old Cheney"--that would be a lovely drive east in the county as Old Cheney Road goes from blacktop to gravel. Turn south on a mile road and cross Yankee Hill Road, Rokeby Road, Saltillo.

Old Cheney Road never reaches Cheney, the "populated place" too small to be a hamlet. Take 84th Street two miles south of Old Cheney Road to Yankee Hill to find the spot. If you are driving along Highway 2 you'll spot a large yellow barn slowly being dismantled by nature or intent. That's Cheney. Two churches, the Methodist founded in 1880. Say it softly. "Cheney" sounds like "shaney", "Cheyenne", or the gentle shun in "nation". It's not "check", "chuck", Dick.

Cheney. Cheney was platted in 1874. It was named in memory of a man by that name who was the first settler on the town-site. Cheney is shortened from Cheyney's Station the name by which the town was originally called.

Walk along the track. Rocks crunch under foot. Wind rustles the dry grass, and rattles loose pieces of the grain elevator. Pick up two rusty old spikes. Drop them in the back. They clink pleasantly as the car bumps down the gravel road back to the highway.

As for check chuck Cheney, it is true Dick Vader was born in a secure undisclosed location otherwise known as Lincoln, Nebraska. Read the fine print if you must, but please go back to the sounds above.

Cheney, Dick[chē'nē, chā'–]Pronunciation Key
Cheney, Dick (Richard Bruce Cheney), 1941–, vice president of the United States (2001–), b. Lincoln, Nebr. At 13 he and his family moved to Casper, Wyo. http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0907136.html

Vice president of the United States, former U.S. representative, and former secretary of defense. Born Richard Bruce Cheney, on January 30, 1941, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Cheney was raised in Casper, Wyoming by his parents, Marjorie and Richard H. Cheney; his father worked for the Department of Agriculture as a soil conservation agent. The younger Cheney won a scholarship to Yale University but dropped out during his second year because of poor scholastic performance. He worked for the next two years before returning to college at the University of Wyoming, where he earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science by 1966. http://www.biography.com/search/article.do?id=9246063

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