Cather fans explore prairie, native plants during conference

John Campbell and Nikki Zimmerman, from Omaha, inspect
wildflowers on the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie during the
Inaugural Willa Cather Wildflower Walk Friday in Red Cloud.

"We come and go, but the land is always here. And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it for a little while." — O Pioneers

RED CLOUD — Growing up here no doubt had a major impact on author Willa Cather's writing for many years after she left her hometown.

As dozens of Cather fans flocked to the small town for the annual Willa Cather Conference on Friday, many looked to those prairies that inspired the scenes in "O Pioneers," the 100-year-old book featured at this year's conference.

This year's conference marked the first time an organized tour of the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie south of Red Cloud was incorporated into the two-day festival, Friday and today.

"The thing with our prairie is it's always here for you to see it and touch it, maybe not taste it, but it's always here for you to explore," said Tracy Tucker, education director for the Willa Cather Foundation.

To read more, see Saturday's Hastings Tribune or the Tribune e-edition.>>>

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