Last weekend was the Custer County Foundation's yearly Christmas Gala. This is Broken Bow at its finest. The event is the Foundation's biggest fundraiser of the year. All the hoity toities of the town get gussied up in their best duds and come enjoy a lovely supper. There is an auction with a real live auctioneer. It is loud, exciting and almost musical. You want to tap your foot to the ninety-ninety-ninetity nine...And you want to buy things. Art, vacation packages, truck loads of gravel, tractor time. There is something for everyone at the Custer County Gala.
At the periphery of the dining hall there are other items to bid on in a silent auction. This allows the well to dos to rub elbows and visit with one another as they peruse the lovelies. And there is meat. Oh is there meat! Every year we have had the pleasure of going to the Gala we have been graced with a large cut of prime rib. This year they did us one better. They brought an appetizer of, you guessed it, meat! Big ol' chunks of steak marinated and skewered and grilled to well doneness. For a moment I wondered: "will they serve something other than prime rib this year? Surely they won't follow meat chunks with a gigantic meat chunk?" I thought. But then I thought again. Of course there would be double meat. This is Nebraska! This is cattle country. And so it was: after the little meat chunks, out came huge, succulent, bloody slabs of meat!
Oh, but how could I mention the Gala without mentioning the football? Gala night is also Husker night. The Big Red on the big screen. Eating and auctioning and elbow rubbing all takes a back seat the the football. Even the decor is Husker red and black. Ladies in sparkly black dresses and red faux leather jackets wave their red napkins above their heads and woot woot for the home team. The movie theater sized screen flashes red and white. A good play is made, and the crowd goes wild. A bad play and heart felt mourns resonate through the hall. Auctioneers hush for playtime, and the cadence commences again only during commercial breaks. Popcorn is served. All of Broken Bow sits back and watches, cheering on the Huskers with all their might. A community at its best.