Growing up in “carefree” Omaha


April 28th, 2011

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Omaha, NE – Childhood is often full of bumps and bruises, and for one Omaha woman, those bumps and bruises were only the beginning of what would become an intriguing tale put to paper. The setting for that tale? The 1940s and 50s. It was an interesting time, and according to author Linda Jensen, Omaha provided a carefree childhood for herself and others within the community.

Author Linda Jensen and her "rough and tumble" brother Gary (Photo courtesy Linda Jensen)

“My life in Omaha as a child in the 40s and 50s was a very, very nice and carefree time,” Jensen said, “perhaps even more so than today. Things are quite different. We seemed to have a little more freedom to go out and have adventures.”

Author Linda Jensen posing outside her childhood home in Omaha (Photo courtesy Linda Jensen)

Jensen, who graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha and served as Editor-in-Chief of the UNO Gateway newspaper, said there were also difficult times in Omaha, and Nebraska as a whole. She remembers some quite vividly, including Charles Starkweather’s murderous rampage across the state.

“I was about 17,” she said, “but I remember that my brother Bob was only seven, and when we were following it on the news, on television, he was scared. It was very frightening and very disconcerting to us.”

The book is titled, The Bow Wow Chronicles: Growing Up in a Wild and Wonderful Family, and it also includes other subjects like Johnny Carson’s local television show, the escape of bank robber Kenneth Kitts, and summer days spent at Peony Park.

Listen to author Linda Jensen read an excerpt from her book:

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