The Church Near Milford, Nebraska

I would like to begin this writing with an apology.  I took on the challenge of creating this blog, for the sole purpose of promoting my art work, and attempting to supplement my income with the site. While at the same time, “entertaining” people with things that they just may not think about every day.   Lately, my writing AND my art seems to have evolved into wandering, meandering thoughts and recollections.  Understand, each of my art pieces has been inspired and brought about by 57 years of life on this earth.  A very long, very calloused 57 years.  You are welcomed…  No…  I am requesting, that you leave me your comments and opinions as to what direction YOU would prefer I travel.  Do you even care for the art?  Do you agree or disagree with my outlook or opinion of things?  Would you rather hear of the trucking days?  Does my writing suck?  Let me know!  Meanwhile, here I am…  Wandering again….

“The Milford Church” Prints

In 1972 I graduated from “Father Flanagans Boys Home”, otherwise known as “Boys Town”.  During my senior year, as almost all of my classmates were doing, I was trying to figure out exactly WHAT I was going to do following graduation.  Pat McGinnis, my guidance  counselor was at wits end…  I was too young to enter the military without my guardians permission (which my dysfunctional mother refused to do).  I wasn’t interested in a 4-year college.  No one had asked me about returning to Louisville. I didn’t know WHAT I was going to do.  As my other Boys Town brethren will attest, graduation day was truly the end and the beginning.  We were being evicted from the only place we’d know as “home” and being sent into “the outs” with our personal possessions, what little money we had saved, and a Boys Town diploma in our hands.

    Beginning my sophomore year in the Home, I’d begun taking Auto Mechanics through the trade school.  This choice was not only at the prodding of my best friend and classmates, Ron Zvara and Bob Flemming (rock & roll classmates). Ron told me we could sneak on top of the tool room for a smoke.  Both of my Dads in Kentucky had been telling me that I needed to learn a trade.  Surprisingly, I excelled in the class, and I loved the challenge.  The instructors, Mr. Bock, Don Chase, Frank, and Al at the bus garage… They ALL took me under their wing as a “mechanical prodigy”.  As a kid I’d loved taking things apart, putting them back together and making them work.  Cars and trucks were no different…  Both Ron and I were entered in the “National Plymouth Tune-Up Contest” in our senior year.  I spent the money I earned on campus, buying tool boxes and the tools to fill them. I was also investing in cameras.  I was going to be a mechanic.  I was going to race cars, become a famous mechanic and I was going to take pictures.

Good grief, how I stray!!!  Months before my graduation from Boys Town, both Ron and I were accepted and had received some financial aid to attend “Nebraska Technical College” in Milford, Nebraska.  In “the day” this was a nationally recognized college of the trades and there was a waiting list to enroll.  With Pat McGinnis help and the influence of Boys Town, Ron and I entered Nebraska Tech the first semester available.   On our first trip to Milford, Ron and I,  in the 1968 Chevelle I’d bought following graduation, THIS old church caught my eye at the exit ramp for the town of Milford.  I clicked photo after photo.   Later, after school had commenced and we had settled, my girlfriend and 1st wife Sandy…  She would drive from Omaha to Milford to visit on the weekends I wasn’t working for a garage in Omaha.  She and I would spend HOURS walking around the park in Milford AND this old church with the adjoining barn…  Hand in hand as boyfriend and girlfriends do, we talked excitedly about the future…

A few years later, I passed by this old church on MANY motorcycle trips from Omaha to Denver, or where ever the hell the bike took me.  When I got “drafted” into trucking, the old barn was gone, but the church remained.  As it does still, today. 

This piece brings back so many memories.  Days of innocence.  Days of teen-age love. Days of hope, excitement, travel, adventure.  Days of dreams which for the most part I fulfilled.  However, this print also represents my failures.  Memories that sadden me.   Sandy and I eventually divorced.  Ron moved back to Ohio and went to work at the steel mill.  He passed away with cancer some years later.   I sold my race cars and other toys, sold the garage and became involved with trucking…

Running the Omaha/Denver deal for a while, I passed by this church five or six times a week.  It still serves as a reminder…  Fond memories that began when I was seventeen and full of fire… 

I have this print available, and it’s being shown on 40 x 48 canvas which I realize is pricey.  YOU may order it on a variety of material AND a variety of sizes.  At the risk of repetition, PLEASE leave your comments, so I know which direction to follow…

This entry was posted in Appreciation, Art & Culture, Art History, Boys Town, Interstate Travel, Nebraska Bridges, Nebraska Humane Society, Nebraska Technical College, Nebraska Travel, Posters Cards Gifts, Summer, Thank You Cards, Trucker Buddy, Winter and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to The Church Near Milford, Nebraska

  1. I love your blog, and your pictures, Dennis! I just love YOU, because you are a great, kind man.


  2. Deidre – I cry because you adopted me in a difficult time… I love you to pieces… Forever and always… Thank you for believing in me….


  3. You are a complete defined person, and I like what I know of you, dont second guess you. Because who else could you ever be other than who you are?


  4. Dean Bathke says:

    great blog and good stories, good art and sometimes “wandering” can lead to great places, dont stop 🙂


  5. Jacqueline Carpenter says:

    Dennis you r wonderful from what I read and see..I adore your work..


  6. Ed Flanagan says:

    I too always looked for that church while coming from Hastings to Boys Town. It brings back lots of good memories. I thinking about getting a print. Is the quality that different from the poster paper to archival paper to the premium paper?


    • Ed – Poster paper can be mounted, laminated. For a great wall decorating solution, choose our poster paper. Printed brightly on semi-gloss finish makes brilliant, colorful images look crisp and smooth without a putting a dent in your pocket.

      The archival heavyweight matte paper is designed for displaying highly saturated images without sacrificing print quality. Has been great for my photography and graphic art, archival heavyweight matte paper delivers superior quality at a lower cost. Prints on archival heavyweight matte paper are fade-resistant and have a 90+ year archival rating. Frankly I like it because most of my work is intended for a matte finish.

      My preference obviously is the canvas. Most everything I create, I feel the intended “effect” come across as it was intended. Ideal for framing and comes already stretched, the canvas and is made from an acid-free cotton-poly blend and features a special ink-receptive coating that protects the printed surface from cracking. It’s produced with a tight weave ideal for any of my prints and is fade-resistant for 100+ years.
      (sorry to sound like an advertisement.. But I guess it is!!!) Thank you for asking.



  7. julie says:

    I always love your stories and your art work-jules


  8. JG McCue says:

    Thanks for sharing this with me, Dennis.Your story is fascinating. Hadn’t heard from you in a long time. Nor vice-versa, of course. Mea Culpa, Amigo! I like what you’ve done with the church. It definitely has that out-of-the-past-feeling. Deja vue. All over again! 😉


  9. Carol Trevino says:



  10. Regina says:

    Your words and the picture both capture the “FEEL” of the Church, makes one want to hop in their Car and find it and take it in mentally and visually..


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