Charlene l. brown


Emily started 2013 in Orlando, Florida at the Citrus Bowl with the UNL Marching Cornhusker band.  Here’s their halftime show....

It rained for the whole parade!

Leanne and I went to see Les Mis.  My!  What an epic story with WONDERFUL music, although I must admit ~ I walked out of the theater saying “Russell Crow doesn’t belong in that cast!”

This is what elementary music teachers do on a Saturday morning :)  We sang it through and I said “Let’s sing it again so I can film it and let my students hear how it’s supposed to sound!”

Our Music Club is getting some background knowledge for The Adventures of Lewis and Clark our musical we’ll present in February.  Park Ranger Ryan came and presented to our students and the students can fill out paperwork to become an official Jr Park Ranger!

Emily and Drew came to Omaha and we went to see Memphis!  Pumped up singing and driving music really made this story come to life.  We ate at Stokes.

Our Ecology Club traveled to MidWest Labs to have a royal tour of the facility that will test 30,000 samples of dirt, water, dung, chicken name it, on a busy day!

Then we went to South Public Library and made collages from recycled magazines on the topic of water.

Our Music Club went to the Flower Festival at St. Cecilia Cathedral.

Three Chandler View choristers are in the OPS MiniSingers honor choir that performed at the flower festival.

Twenty-one Cougars participated in the All-City Music Festival on Saturday, February 9th at the Civic Auditorium.  This group of 6th graders were fun to work with and very appreciative of their musical achievements.

Our music club put on The Adventures of Lewis & Clark.  This is the cast!

The students


The Corps of Discovery

The narrators

The Soldiers

Native Americans

Betty May Brown was born to Joseph Novak and Marie Kabes Novak on June 20th, 1927 on the family farm east of Geneva, Nebraska. She was the youngest of five children in the Novak family. On February 19th, 2013 at the Exeter Care Center in Exeter, Nebraska Betty Brown passed away at the age of 85 years, seven months and 29 days.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents and siblings: Joe H. Novak of Fairmont, Mae Schmidt of Fairmont, Charles J. Novak of Crete, and William B. Novak of Geneva. She is survived by husband Rex Brown of Fairmont and daughters Charlene Brown of Lincoln and Leanne Manning of Crete, with son-in-law Mark Manning and granddaughter Emily Mae Manning of Crete, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Betty spent her childhood on the family farm. She attended country school at Alpine District 65 and high school at Geneva High School District 75. She continued her studies at UNL. After high school graduation she worked in Crete, NE as an egg breaker at the Fairmont Foods Company. During her teaching career, she taught for a total of twelve years. She began her first teaching job in the fall of 1944 at Chelsea District 32 where she had four pupils in four different grades. She also taught at District 3 and District 65 and finished her teaching career in Fairmont Public Schools District 19.

In May of 1945 Betty attended the Electronic Radio Television Institute in Omaha to be trained as a teletype operator. The Government placed her at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Headquarters near Dayton, Ohio. Upon her return to Nebraska, she served as a clerk in Picard Modern Appliance Store and in Elder’s Jewelry Store.

Betty married Rex Wilmer Brown on July 31, 1956 in the 1st Congregational United Church of Christ of Geneva. To them two children were born; Charlene Loree Brown and Leanne Marie Brown Manning.

Betty loved nature and all the pleasures of being a farm wife with gardens to tend and animals to care for along with being an active member of the Fairmont Community Church, the Happy Hour Extension Club, United Methodist Women, and Bluebirds Across Nebraska. She recently received her 75-year pin from the Western Fraternal Life Association. She was proud of her Czech heritage and was able to visit her parents’ birthplaces in the Czech Republic. She took delight in sending birthday cards to her dearly loved relatives and friends. She was an avid reader, bird watcher and enjoyed the Top 40 Hits as well as classical music.

Graveside committal of ashes will take place on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Fairmont Public Cemetery. No Visitation - Cremation. Memorials are directed to the Nebraska Heart Institute or the Fairmont Community Church in lieu of flowers.

Attended two PDK events...

One was an evening of sharing apps.  There are so many great things out there - it’s a shame every student doesn’t have an iPad to learn with.

Another is our PDK book club...

Again, there are so many cool ideas about how to learn with technology, that it seems our classrooms are ancient tombs instead of bubbling, dazzling areas of learning!

Rene Clausen can make those college singers sound like a million dollars!  I got to hear them perform at First Plymouth Church here in Lincoln and they were simply amazing!

And speaking of amazing...

was the group Danu from Ireland.  Their fingers were flying so fast I was afraid they would fall off!  And playing in unisons without a missed note - Wow!  The female vocalist was exceptional and the bourdon player was jaw-dropping! 

My two mentees talked me into taking them to the Family Fun Center in Omaha after school one evening.  I’m sure you can’t tell Andrew and Jeremiah were having fun!! :)

March 15, I had a septoplasty, bilateral total ethmoidectomies, right frontal sinusotomy and a stealth CT done at St. Elizabeth.  Good ol’ Leanne was there to help me through it and my nurse in the recovery room was named Betty!  :)

And much more importantly, Emily Mae was crowned as the Wilber Czech Queen!  She borrowed this outfit and will be making her own from family heirlooms.   More to come...

Emily is quite the shopper...she was able to snag this beautiful new prom dress for pennies!...ha, ha, even from Penney’s! :)

With the help of Isabella of CV Ecology Club fame, we put up two bird houses.  One has a bluebird beginning a nest!! And then a stupid flying goat (a.k.a. sparrow) chased the bluebird out and brought in a whole bunch of trash. :(

Leanne and I met at Camela’s and enjoyed a delicious meal, as you can see :)

Children’s Classics had a fantastic trip to Springfield, NE where we got to do archery, went to the Weiss Art Gardens and then to an ol’ fashioned ice cream parlor at the local drug store!  There were even roasted turkey legs waiting for us at the public park. 

Emily was awarded lifetime membership into two honor societies at UNL.  Alpha Lamba Delta and Phi Eta Sigma welcomed this 4.0 scholar for her 1st semester work.  Notice the proud aunt :)

Ecology Club students were very eager to shell strawberry popcorn!

And not to be confused with popcorn, but this spring has been very cool and wet - this is some hail on my deck!

Sunday, April 14th, Emily was performing her duties in Omaha!

Emily was again honored as a high scholar at the UNL Honor Convocation that very same afternoon!  Notice proud mommy! :)  Shaking hands with Harvey Perlman and performing queen duties - we are so proud of her!!

April 15th, UNO music education majors and Dr. Berke came to Chandler View and we rehearsed several songs from Get America Singing Again and then went to share our music with Walnut Creek retirement center just across the street from our school.  A great time for intergenerational music making!  Even had the OPS music supervisor involved:)

When we returned to school, we had fried chicken from the gas station and a few cookies to make sure we ended the event on a sweet note!  The college students wanted to come again and the residents did too.  I’d say it was a hit!

Even though these make look like baby chicks, this is the music club cutting seed potatoes!  What?  Well with this crazy weather we have to “make hay when the sun shines Nellie!”

Our Ecology Club was scheduled to go to Fontenelle Forest to make garden stepping stones, but the weather was too cold - so we didn’t let that bother us.  Instead we had our own party learning about the lives of bluebirds, where our food comes from, how popcorn pops, what our footprint looks like on earth from what we use and some good ol’ fun in a little red wagon.

The next week we handed out 42 redbud trees to Ecology Club members to take home and plant.  We still have purple cone flower seeds to plant at the school.  All this was given to us by the NRD :)

Emily, while still making her own kroj, bought a beautiful outfit in Wilber and Aunt Charlie thought she better look the part too if she’ll be playing her accordion on Emily’s float.

On Saturday, April 27th I walked the Tuxedo Park Trail to help Emily’s Youth Governance Team raise funds for their trails.

Friday, May 3rd the Ecology Club finally got to Fontenelle Forest to make those garden stepping stones!  Beautiful!  Thanks to Kate Murphy for working with our students and including them in various projects at the forest.

I found an owl!

Our students plant purple cone flowers and marigolds in the garden.

Mother’s Day at the Farimont Cemetery.

iClub went to the Apple Store to learn about GarageBand.

Emily, Drew, Leanne and I went to the Henry Doorly Zoo.  This lion  was wondering which human would taste best!

This year for Camp Cougar my assignment is to take groups to the National Park Service building to learn about Lewis & Clark!

Clarkson Annual Czech Festival

Emily’s oratoryEmilys_Oratory.html
Emily’s krojEmilys_kroj.html
Emily’s talentEmilys_Talent.html

Click on one of Emily’s acts  during the Nebraska Czech Queen Pageant.

Here’s the crew for the Seward parade.  It takes a lot of people to get flyers handed out along the parade route.  Other parades include:  DeWitt, Saline County Fair Parade in Crete, Butler County Fair Parade in David City, Dwight, and then Czech Days in Wilber.

Let the Good Times Roll Party ~ on July 15th Harriet and I had a few friends over for brunch and a game of Chronology.

Saline County Fair

$5 dress, million dollar kid!

Emily modeled the Czech Kroje she made, and had many other entries as well.  Several going to the state fair!

In a week I had an Upper GI test, stress test, and sinus surgery.

Emily in David City.

Mother Nature was busy making me smile...

During my medical week, the school secretary said she would tend to the Chandler View garden.

When Emily Manning was crowned as the 2013-14 Nebraska Czechs of Wilber Queen in March, she knew she was making a commitment, not only to the sponsoring group, but also to the traditions of her Czech heritage.  Manning was crowned during the annual Wilber Czech Days kickoff March 15 at Sokol Hall in Wilber.  Since then, she has been busy promoting the 2013 event.  Manning said she initially decided to enter the queen contest because she wanted to learn more about her heritage.  “I also think it’s important to help keep the traditions going and teach the next generations,” Manning said. “Otherwise we will lose that neat part of who we are. It brings us together.”

The second part of Manning’s motivation for seeking the Czech queen title was the death of her grandmother, Betty (Novak) Brown of Fairmont.  Brown was Manning’s mother’s mother.  Brown died on Feb. 19, just less than a month before Manning was crowned as the Wilber queen.  “My grandmother promoted her Czech heritage and was very proud of her Czech heritage,” Manning said. “I did it to remember her and as a memorial to her.”

Manning said both sides of her family have Czech roots.  Both her mother and father are 50 percent Czech, she said.  It was her Grandma Brown, however, who taught her the most about her heritage.  “When I was younger and went over to her house, she would bring out a Czech book and try to teach me Czech words,” Manning said. “She also taught me some songs in Czech.”  Manning said her grandmother also was a good cook and often had Czech food on her table.

In order to be selected as the Wilber Czech Queen, Manning had to fill out an application in January. She was then notified she was in the running for the title and had been selected to take part in a private interview.  Manning said she was notified she’s been selected to represent the Nebraska Czechs of Wilber shortly after the interviews.  “I was so excited,” Manning said. “I was actually at work and I kind of freaked out.”  After being crowned in Wilber, Manning started on a schedule, promoting the Wilber Czech Days, which has taken her to a number of communities this summer for festivals and other celebrations.  Manning said she has participated in Czech festivals in Lincoln, Omaha, south central Nebraska and Dwight.  Manning’s royal court includes Princess Sage Thelen, daughter of Scott and Joanie Thelen of rural Wilber, and Prince Brenden Waltke, son of Michael and Tammy Waltke of Clatonia.  Thelen will be a sixth grader at Wilber-Clatonia Schools this fall, while Waltke will be a fifth grader.  The trio have ridden on the Wilber Czech Days float in a number of parades this summer including Clarkson, Seward, DeWitt, Crete and David City.

This summer, there’s been something going on nearly every weekend for Manning and sometimes more than one event.  “I knew it was going to be a big commitment,” Manning said. “They asked me about that when I had my interview. They asked me about my plans for the summer and said it would be a big commitment.”  During the interview, Manning said organizers told her about the expectations of the Wilber Czech Queen.  “It wasn’t a shock, but sometimes it’s like, ‘Wow, I really did all that,’” Manning said.

Among Manning’s activities this summer was competing in the Miss Nebraska Czech-Slovak Queen contest in Clarkson during that community’s Czech festival June 15. The contest is sponsored annually by the Nebraska Czechs Inc.  Eight local queens competed for the state title, which was won by Stacy Pospisil of Hallam, representing the Nebraska Czechs of Prague.  The candidates were judged in four categories — private interview, public interview, kroj (Czech costume) and talent presentation.  In preparing for the state contest, Manning said she had to prepare her costume. She said she went to the Wilber library to research the Czech costumes and find patterns she needed.  Then, she worked on her talent and prepared for the private interview.  Getting ready for the pageant was hard work, Manning said, but the biggest challenge was just getting to Clarkson in time for the event.  “I was on vacation the week of the pageant,” Manning said. “We were suppose to get back two days before the pageant, but our flight go canceled the first night and the next night we got stuck in New York City.  “I ended up getting back into Omaha the day of the pageant and was rushing to get to the pageant itself.”  Once in Clarkson, Manning said her favorite part of the state pageant was performing her talent, a vocal solo.

Manning is the daughter of Mark and Leanne Manning of rural Crete and is a 2012 graduate of Crete High School. She will be a sophomore at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this fall.  Having been in college for a year has helped her maturity level when it comes to serving as the Wilber Czech Queen.  Playing in the Cornhusker Marching Band as a freshman helped Manning become used to performing in front of large crowds.  “You get used to being in front of people and not be nervous,” Manning said.

At Crete High School, Manning said she was in both vocal and instrumental music and took part in the school’s musicals and one-act plays.  All of those things helped her when it came on competing on stage in the state pageant.  So far during her reign, Manning said her favorite part of serving as queen has been meeting new people.  “I like talking to the Czech people and hearing all the different stories they have,” Manning said.  Manning said she’s always liked getting to tell people about the Wilber Czech Festival.  “It’s exciting to tell them about it,” Manning said.

During Czech Days, Manning will have a busy schedule.  “They want me to announce some community awards Friday and then I’ll be in the children’s parade,” Manning said. “They have queen introductions on Saturday and Sunday and I’ll be in the parades.  “I’m planning on just being at the whole Czech Days and being wherever they need me.”  Manning said she will also participate in an event, which she has been involved in for several years during Czech Days, and is one of her favorite parts of the festival.  The queen plans to compete in the Duck and Dumplings Run, which will be held Saturday at 7 a.m., starting at the downtown bandstand.  “My dad and I have been doing it for several years now since I’ve been in middle school, I think,” Manning said. “You see a totally different side of the festival. Most of the town is still sleeping, but you have all these people out there running.”

Once the 2013 Czech Days are over, Manning said her schedule will slow down some, but she still has some commitments.  “There are still some festivals to go to,” Manning said. “I’m also going to the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island and I’ll be in a parade there.”  Next March, Manning will crown the 2014-15 Wilber Czech Queen.  By the time her year’s reign is over, Manning said she hopes to have represented the Nebraska Czechs of Wilber as well as she can.  “Hopefully, I will have made more people aware of the Wilber Czech Days and the Czech heritage,” Manning said.

Emily Mae our 2013 Wilber Czech Queen

Emily is among the ranks of the UNL Marching Band again this year!  It’s great to watch and hear the band’s game day rehearsals, plus I get to see my sister!

The Ecology Club swung into action with a mulching party and we now have a bird sanctuary in front of the school house that the Ecology Club members take care of (with a little help from their sponsor!!)

Emily modeled her kroj that she made at the state fair.  What a talented niece!!  And the Czech queens and royalty rode around the state fair grounds, promoting Czech culture.

Ecology Club at Fontenelle Forest

Last spring Ecology Club members made stepping stones at Fontenelle Forest and this fall we put them in!  They treated us to pizza and we got to look at the Green Revolution exhibit and the traveling piano display as well. 

Leanne and I attended the 40th anniversary of Lincoln’s Audubon and I got to have my picture taken with president David Yarnold.  What a visionary he is!  Audubon is in good hands!

Fun at School?  You bet!  The 5th graders are doing Ti Yi Yi to help them feel 3/4 time.  And the assistant principal made a sign for a cart so I could put all Dad’s garden produce on it!

Open House was a time for the CV garden produce to be harvested and sold!  Those snake gourds must be part weed!  Below a parent painted one ~ cool :) 

Music Club was able to learn about opera and then go to Mid Town Crossing to take in Omaha Opera’s Outdoor event.  The kids really liked the music!

Can you guess what opera this is??

Ecology Club held their first ever Pet Show after planting some asters in the flower beds and doing some gardening work as well.

One of the sponsors had a horse trailer with horses and calves inside for the children to look at and pet!  A splendid finish to our show!

I got to hear Barry Lopez and Mary Pipher speak at UNL.  They are both concerned about our planet earth!  Barry was wonderful to listen to as he has so many world travel stories.  I read his Crow and Weasel novelette the other day and was delighted by all the good things that are taught in the story.  It would be a great read with some students!  I also have his Winter Count and can’t wait to read it!

Emily and her roommate/trombone playing friend Andrea.

If you want to hear them play go here and scroll down to Billy Joel.

I took a class at the Henry Doorly Zoo called Ocean Soup.  In 2000 the ratio of plankton to plastic in the ocean was 1 pound to 6 pounds, today it’s 1 to 45!  Maddening story about plastics!  On a better note, we got to go behind the scenes and see turtles being fed and how they are growing jelly fish.  They are so successful in growing these, that they are sending them to other zoos.  We also looked at bolus from a albatross.  Poor thing had eaten LOTS of plastic.  Most of the black in the center is squid beaks!  I didn’t even know squids had beaks!

What do you do with 50 gallons of green tomatoes?  Well we called in two Omaha restaurants and gave them away!  And Leanne found this wonderful green tomato cake recipe!

Not that the language was very good, but the music saved The Book of Mormon musical!  Emily and I were ready to leave if it got too bad, but we stayed for the whole show and I enjoyed the 8 part harmony from the singers!

October found the Ecology Club at Wenninghoff Farms enjoying their corn maze, their field gardens and of course hot dogs and s’mores on the campfire!

Digging in the dirt and playing on the hay bales was much fun for these city kids!

I won free seats to Opera Omaha’s season.  Leanne and I attended and of course started the night at Lot 2 for some great food!

Two PDK book club books for this fall.

I attended the NACEE and Nebraska Master Naturalist conference at the Lied Lodge.  I was able to make a couple contacts to come help our students at Chandler View!

The last rehearsal of the Cornhusker Marching Band was a cold, dark one at 6:30 a.m.  Yes, that’s the moon.  And then I was going to pull your leg and say that’s comet ISON in the next picture, but that morning ISON met its fate with the sun!

Dad wanted to go see the new arena and watch the Huskers play basketball for his 87th birthday.  So the whole family went to watch since Leanne could get tickets throught the University.  If the Huskers would have scored just one more basket we could have taken our ticket stubs and gotten a free Runza!

Our Christmas program was based on various holidays in December, and there are many!  These boys acted out the character traits celebrated in Kwanzaa and 2nd graders got to play Dreidel for Hanukkah.  It was interesting to learn that when the pot has an uneven number and the dreidel says take half the pot, you take the larger number! :)  You can view the program at this link:

The Chandler View Music Club was asked to perform at Christmas at Union Station.  We had been working on the music of Mary Poppins since we’ll probably attend the new Saving Mr. Banks movie, so we threw in some Christmas carols for a sing-a-long and sang for 20 minutes at the Durham.  Our technology teacher said she might post that performance too, so look for it  on our school web page.

After I picked this jpeg to end my year in review I laughed, because it’s kind of how things look out of my right eye now.  Sure would like to hear from you.


6545 Cascade Drive

Lincoln, NE  68504

In between the Christmas program and the music club performance, I had a tear in my retina zapped with a laser.  I have lots of pancake floaters in my eye that make it hard to see, but hopefully the worst is over now!

Ecology Club had their holiday craft party and we made seed pictures, no bake cookies and cleaned up a huge box of discarded CDs.  All had fun.

Hailey and Joe performed seasonal songs for North Gate Garden Estates retirement center.  Hailey is in 5th grade and Joe’s a Junior.

Here’s a little music to lend awe to the season...

Click here to watch