Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sweeps month for Dick Cory


Dick Cory is a Nebraskan through-and-through, even after calling Chico home for four decades. He begins his third volume of memoirs, "Sweepings From Under the Rug" (paperback; for ordering details contact the author at, by describing his dad's office. "In the center of Cory's Store in Alexandria, Nebraska was a roll top desk elevated by a one step high platform. My dad . . . would sit at this throne doing ledgers and ordering, when he wasn't waiting on customers, stocking shelves, or sweeping the front step. . . . As a youth, I loved that desk with its mysterious creaks, pigeonholes, and tiny drawers."

And now Cory has metaphorically cleaned out all the little drawers of his own and has gone through all the sweepings, and the result is an eclectic collection of reminiscences, political commentary, letters to the editor, short stories, poems, songs, and self-reflection.

He'll be signing copies "Sweepings" at ABC Books on East Avenue in Chico this Saturday from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Never one to pass up a practical joke or harebrained scheme, in 1956, during the formal "Military Ball" on the University of Nebraska campus, he and some buddies (lacking dates) replaced all the bulbs on the sorority porches with red ones. "You get the connotation to those fraternity boys returning their dates to a red light district?"

In 1975 he and a friend tried to obtain a donkey for the annual Paradise Gold Nugget Days' Donkey Derby, but Betsy had other ideas.

These days he and his cronies meet every week at a restaurant as part of club "R.O.D.E.O." ("Retired Old Duffers Eating Out"). "We most all have wives to share trivial pursuits (that one will get me in trouble!), but not the camaraderie offered by the lunch bunch."

Cory writes that "I'm emotional. I get fired-up about causes such as winning Nebraska football games, environmental issues, injustices of humankind, nostalgic memories, and sad movies. . . . I can tolerate chaos and self-inflicted delays. These characteristics drive my wife, Jan, insane. . . . Old rusty vehicles, farm implements, windmills, and weathered paint on barns and farmhouses hold special fascination for me."

Cory, too, has weathered much, but he's not about to rust away. He's writing a murder mystery.

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