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Royals Radio Affiliate Profile: Nebraska City, NE [KNCY-AM]

The Royals Radio Network is comprised of 86 affiliates and stretches across eight states. At first glance this might seem less impressive than the numbers suggest, as the typical view of small-town Nebraska differs little from the typical view of small-town Kansas or small-town Iowa for that matter. We know better. In this recurring series Royals Review attempts to give each affiliate its proper airing, celebrating the regional heritage of Royals baseball. In a sporting era corrupted by the endless quest for the big money, baseball on the radio is a decidedly low-stakes, low-tech venture. Let it always lay hidden like a strength in the backyards of the mind.

Previous Affiliate Profiles:

York, Nebraska
Conway, Arkansas
Waynesville, Missouri
Topeka, Kansas
Storm Lake, Iowa
Vinita, Oklahoma
California, Missouri
Garden City, Kansas
Belle Fourche, South Dakota
Ulysses, Kansas
Trenton, Missouri
Fairbury, Nebraska


Nebraska City, Nebraska
Miles from Kansas City: 143

Truckers of Nebraska City, the world is yours.

Proudly labeling itself as "The Home of Arbor Day", Nebraska City, Nebraska, is a proud outpost of Royaldom in the crucial region of southeastern Nebraska. With a population of 7,100, Nebraska City is the 23rd largest city in the state, and one of the larger affiliates of the Royals Radio Network in the Cornhusker state. Nebraska City is one of the more diverse cities in Nebraska, with only 75.1% of the population listed as white; about 12.5% of the population is African-American and Hispanic. Just across the Missouri River and the wilds of Iowa, Nebraska City is also the largest city in Otoe County, which, with a population of 15,000+, is the nineteenth largest of Nebraska's 93 proud counties.

As the official Arbor Day Website points out, the first celebration of the holiday was in Nebraska City in 1885. After planting trees, just as fun then as it was in 1885, things got real:

When the plantings were completed, 1000 students formed a line to begin the parade from the various schools to Nebraska City's opera house. In the parade, each class carried colorful banners made of satin with silk lining and trimmed with gold fringe. The letters on the banners were painted in oil colors. By the time the parade reached the opera house the throng numbered well over the 1000 as townspeople joined the march. Every available foot of space in the opera house was occupied, the students having the front seats and gallery while the older persons stood. At 11:00, the throng of celebrants was addressed by the founder of Arbor Day, J. Sterling Morton.

Mr. Morton was listened to with much attention, and loudly applauded at the close of his address. At the conclusion of the ceremonies, the students sang "America," and the large audience was dismissed.

I love that the account ends with "the large audience was dismissed", which sounds oddly ominous, while also being unnecessary. You mean they eventually stopped the ceremonies? I thought they were still going on!

Morton of course, had settled in Nebraska City in 1854. Morton moved fast, after being elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1855, he was appointed as governor of the Territory in 1858. He was 25. Morton's interest in tree-promotion began in the 1860s, after he'd been defeated by David Butler in the election of 1867. Back in Nebraska City, Morton published a newspaper called "The Conservative" and represented all things arborial in his mansion, known as The Arbor Lodge.

Ain't no party like an Arbor Lodge party...

Nebraska City is also home to three museums, The Old Freighters Museum, The Nebraska City Museum of Firefighting and a Civil War Museum inside the Republic Hall. Outside town lies the Arbor Trails Winery, and the Kimmel Orchard & Vineyard. Sadly, Kimmel Orchard is not hiring at this time. Thankfully, American Meter Company, one of the largest employers in town, is. When you head into town for the museums and the jobs, make it a point to stay at the Lied Lodge, the pride and joy of Otoe County. The Lied Lodge features just about everything, including the Arbor Links Golf Course.

Nebraska City High School is home to the Pioneers, who are celebrated and glorified on one of the better high school athletics sites I've seen. Neb City Sports features streaming audio of Pioneers games, as well as archived audio and video. You do not go into Pioneer Palace on a winter night and expect to snag a win.

The lunch menu for the remaining week at Nebraska City High is Wed- Soft Shell Taco, Thur- Salisbury Steak, Fri- Pizza. In addition to Pizza (!) the Friday menu also features Jo-Jos! Is that only a midwestern name for potato wedges? Hmm. Maybe not. I was at debate camp in Oregon once, and in the dining hall they proudly offered jo-jos. The plot thickens...

The 2005 N.C.H.S. Violets listened to the Royals non-stop on 1600 AM. (Violets? No idea.)

The Royals play on KNCY-1600 AM in Nebraska City, which is the sister station of 103.1 KNCY FM, a country station.

No one born in Nebraska City has ever reached the Major Leagues, and no Major Leaguers have ever died there... yet.