The Little Town That Could

You know what I mean if you’re from a small town. You’re used to it – the laughs, the snickers from those “city-folk” who seem to think they have it all figured out. But there are just some things that they can’t understand – and won’t unless they become a part of a small community, just another name for a really big family.

I’m from small town Nebraska. And I couldn’t be more proud.

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So where exactly am I from?

I’m from sledding down the overpass with the entire community after a snowfall.

I’m from vegetable soup brought over by friends the minute they hear you’re sick.

I’m from community fundraisers for anyone struggling with anything when the entire town comes out together in support.

I’m from sharing the reality with the world that your husband has attempted suicide five times and being terrified of what people think – except for the 4,000 or so you know will have your back. (read more of our story at

I’m from a Facebook post about your lost dog that soon goes “Dawson County viral” because nobody wants your little boy to be sad for a minute longer about the fact that he can’t find his puppy.

I’m from quick grocery store trips that turn into hours because you found 40 or so people you just had to catch up with.

I’m from gravel roads and wood-burning stoves.

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I’m from one stoplight (or none…I lost count).

I’m from one of the only video rental stores left in the state.

I’m from small-town businesses that consist of a greenhouse and nursery in the spring and summer and turn into a paint-your-own pottery and canvas art studio in the winter just to give families and friends something else to do.

I’m from sledding behind a four-wheeler.

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I’m from driving around for hours drinking hot chocolate while looking at Christmas lights of your “neighbors” miles around.

I’m from holiday home tours and Mario Kart competitions.

I’m from every weekend at the lake in the summer (and often after work during the week too).

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I’m from where people say “smells like money” when we take a whiff of the nearest feedlot.

I’m from Nebraska beef (enough said).

I’m from husbands and wives working together to run their family businesses.

I’m from gourd and pumpkin launching in cornfields.

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I’m from chili and cinnamon rolls.

I’m from Runza.

I’m from Jesus.

I’m from asking for prayers and feeling the results.

I’m from volunteer fire and rescue teams.


I’m from life flights and town sirens that cause the community to all stop and pray (and I’m from the people who know what it feels like to need those prayers).


Jeremy’s truck after the accident in 2012. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to the Cozad Fire and Rescue team and to all doctors, nurses, ambulance, and flight staff.

I’m from angel trees and selflessness.

I’m from support groups and church families.

I’m from teaching the family business.2015-11-10 11.42.12

I’m from vacations to the big city that result in desperately just wanting to go home.

I’m from following tractors and cattle drives – and strongly preferring it to following bumper-to-bumper traffic.

I’m from high school sweethearts.

Teen Love

Jeremy and I had been dating for a little over a month in this picture…I was 16 (junior in high school) and he was 18 (senior). 🙂

I’m from knowing all the names and families of the custodians, mail persons, mechanics, etc. who take such good care of my family and friends.

I’m from in-home daycare providers who become family because they love your kids as much as you do.

I’m from 8-man football. (Go Eustis-Farnam Knights!)

I’m from Friday night lights and pee-wee flag football.

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I’m from small-town fairs and church lawn gatherings.

I’m from bonfires and booze cruises (Disclaimer – the rule is drivers don’t drink in case you’re not from here.)

I’m from rescuing every pet you have ever found in the lake, on the side of the road, or in the shed.

I’m from community art & music events that bring out the entire town in support.

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I’m from grandma and grandpa just down the road.

I’m from “It takes a village to raise a child.”

I’m from hay bales and highways.

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I’m from a phone call from the neighbor telling you they saw your child act like an asshole and they know you’ll want to “take care of it.”

I’m from climbing the roof to see the storm.

Setting Sun

The sun still beams through storms over Cozad, Nebraska in June of 2014.

I’m from friends in low places.

I’m from hunting and fishing.

I’m from cream cheese pickle rolls.

I’m from family game night.

I’m from small town Nebraska, and I’m me because of it. I would never raise my boys anywhere else.

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I’m from the little town that could…you know, that town nobody understands unless they live here, that town so many believed would “go under” so many times, that town that continues to be the best place in the world to live. Yeah…that town.

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6 thoughts on “The Little Town That Could

  1. Bailey,
    You are a breath of fresh air, a total delight to listen to. You touch my heart and soul with the depth of your commitment to God. I cannot tell you how proud I am to know you and Jeremy. We are blessed to have you and your sweet family as part of our small little town!
    Thank you for being you!

  2. That is EXACTLY what Cozad is all about! And I’m proud to ALWAYS call it home! The Koch family will always be part of my ‘Little Sioux’ family…everyone of them from Rod and Wanda all thru the boys, grandkids, marriages, etc. They have always been and always will be Cozad. Thanks for the accurate reflections that unknowingly bring memorial ‘mist’ to the eyes and everlasting joy to the heart. You captured ‘us’!! Thank you! Ever proud and joyfilled, David Sheets. CHS 1989.

  3. Thanks to Sandy and the Sheets family for reposting this. It brought tears to my eyes. On my two visits to Cozad it seemed to me to be the small town where every child should grow up. Coming from a biggish city I was amazed by a schoolyard where the children were not fenced in and where only one person supervised their break! BY the number of people who attend church every Sunday. By the friendliness of those we met. When the UK and much of the east coast of the USA is paralysed by snow I’m sure thatthis “little town” just got on with life!

  4. Very well said !!! My heart to the core… from a true Cozadian in small town Nebraska ♡♡♡ You have a way with words that open closed doors, thank you , thank you !!!

  5. Beautifully written! I’m a transplant to Cozad but having now lived here for 39 years I can attest to all you have said. Cozad is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Thanks for putting it in words for all to share!

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