While waiting in a row of cars at the traffic signal earlier this week, I glanced at the older Subaru station wagon in front of me. It was a “Legacy”. It seems like whenever I’m stopped behind one of those cars, I think about the human value of legacy.
The particular street intersection plays an important part of this meandering contemplation. The street upon which I was waiting is named “Pasewalk Avenue”. It crosses the major thoroughfare, 13th Street.
The significance of “Pasewalk Avenue” is that it was named in honor of Ferdinand Pasewalk. Mr. Pasewalk was one of the leading citizens who had arrived in Norfolk, Nebraska as part of the second “colony” of settlers from Wisconsin. So Pasewalk Avenue salutes the legacy of one of our town’s pioneers.
Then there is 13th Street. It is a portion of U.S. Highway 81–a major highway that reaches from the Canadian border down to northeastern Texas. Highway 81 is one of the original numbered federal highways established in 1926. Part of the highway parallels the old “Chishom Trail” in Oklahoma–from the cattle drives from Texas to railroad points in Kansas back in the 1800s.
In addition to this history, 13th Street is also known as “Johnny Carson Boulevard”. Mr. Carson generously supported his old hometown, and we appreciate his efforts. His childhood home is near the Pasewalk and 13th intersection. His legacy includes major financial support of our medical center and the public school system.
The wait behind the Subaru Legacy also seemed significant because a traffic cop had halted traffic in order to allow three very over-sized trucks to drive past. Each one carried one wind turbine blade. Industrial electricity generating wind turbine blades are quite long. The blades traveling through Norfolk this week were well over 100-feet long. Once the blades arrive at their destination site they will be attached to a generator that is perched on top of a 200+ feet tall tower.
Nebraska officials boast that our state is a “leader” in wind power electrical generation. This makes perfect sense, because Nebraska is a very windy place. Why not put this resource to practical use? The utilization of wind turbines effectively builds an energy legacy for the future.
There is a camping rule I remember from my Boy Scout years. That is to clean up the camp site by taking out what we bring in. More importantly, leave the site in better condition than it was before we used it.
That old rule contains a lot of wisdom that applies to other aspects of life besides campouts. We can employ the rule to interpersonal relationships, our cities, our nations, and the environment as a whole. That old Boy Scout reminder is one way to build a positive legacy for the future.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes professor of literature, Dara Horn. “Every person has a legacy. You may not know what your impact is, and it may not be something that you can write on your tombstone, but every person has an impact on this world.”