“Do y’all pluck your chickens? Do you even have running water? How about electricity?”
I couldn’t believe the words coming out of his ignorant mouth. This 7th grade southern boy was getting on my last nerve, and I wasn’t about to take it anymore.
“Just because I live on a farm in Nebraska doesn’t mean I can’t function with the rest of the world,” I stammered. “You don’t know what you’re missing.”
I learned a lot during that class trip to Washington, DC. At 13 years old, I realized people held a stereotype on small town life – one that I didn’t find very attractive. I set out to prove him and the rest of the country wrong.
Somewhere during my teenage years, I lost that “spunk” and started to believe his statement. I joked with others during my collegiate days at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln about how little there was to do in small town Nebraska. I set my sights on bigger cities, and knew one day I would make it in New York City.
I majored in broadcast journalism and began finding internships to hone my speaking and writing skills. While in college I worked full-time for HuskerVision, the video production department at UNL. This is also where I met my “city boy” husband and we were married the winter after our college graduation.
His job took us to Houston, Texas, where I began my first reporting job an hour and a half away in Beaumont. Somewhere between the scary traffic and tall buildings, I became home sick. I missed everything about my home state and wasn’t sure if the television world was where I wanted to be. Fortunatley, my husband was very gracious and agreed we should move back home.
In 2006, I decided to give TV another shot and moved to Kearney, Nebraska to be weekend anchor at our local television station. I quickly moved to morning anchor and eventually became co-host/producer for a local talk-show. I was thrilled to highlight the best of Nebraska, people and places! It didn’t take long for my love of Nebraska to shine once again.
After the birth of my two daughters, Ella (3) and Gracie (1), I decided to leave the television world and focus my time on my true passions; family and writing. I am a published children’s book author, columnist and freelance writer. I also work part-time as program director at the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce.
My country girl upbringing helped build me into a strong, hardworking, confident woman. I am so blessed to have an opportunity to share my love of Nebraska with you all! It’s true – that southern boy doesn’t know what he’s missing!
Contact Leslie: [email protected]
*Want to know more about Leslie’s children’s books? Click here for a link to find her Ella B. Bella series!