#11 In Roads-Steve
Meet Steve Budke: a very friendly, chatty and gracious man who owns the H-D dealership in North Platte, Nebraska. I met Steve because I was looking for a bike while I was in North Platte for a week and he offered to lend me one. Not rent, lend. He took me around his showroom floor and asked what model I might be interested in and we discussed local road conditions and what I might find in the Sandhill region. Motorcycle weight became my main concern. We settled on a Heritage with 6-miles on the odometer. I wasn’t asked to sign any liability waivers or provide proof of insurance. It was simply an arrangement made between two people who mutually respected each other and honored the exchange. By week’s end I’d return the bike with 550-miles and a full tank.
I’d been hearing about the freakish weather in this area so before I left I felt compelled to ask the business man what made him want to live in a place where it snows, that suffers floods from the Rockies melt off, has suffered drought related fires, reaches triple digit summers and gets hit with tornadoes. His answer was genuine and heartfelt:
“You know, I’ve lived in a whole lot of other places, even did TDY, and I’d just have to say I live here because of the people. It’s just different here. People are honest and there’s a real community feeling in this town. Everyone’s so nice and they have a sense of family. I think it’s about those old fashioned values. Perfect example: I was out of town recently and there were some issues with the house so my wife called a repairman out, he did the work, took care of it all, and he left. My mother-in-law gets all concerned that my wife didn’t ask for an estimate up front or get anything in writing but my wife just told her she wasn’t worried about it because she was sure the contractor would charge a fair price and that was it. That’s just the way people are here: honorable. It’s a great place to live. Besides, let’s face it, nobody ever moves here for the wind, you know?” Seems to me he’s a shining example of the very individual he described.