A Landing a Day

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Norman, NE

Posted by graywacke on November 29, 2008

This landing occurred on 11/26/08.  To learn what this blog is all about, see “About Landing.”

Dan –  Still in the doldrums, with yet another WBer . . . NE; 49/43; 3/10; 8; 166.8.  For the fourth time, I landed in the Little Blue R watershed; on to the Big Blue (12th hit); on to the Kansas (49th hit, putting the Kansas in a solid 9th place).


Typical for NE, I landed in an area dominated by little agricultural/railroad towns, all struggling for their very existence.  Today, it was Norman. Norman has 49 people; 48 white folks and one “other.”


I like the street names in the town.  Here’s a complete list:  Norman Ave, Christen Ave, Ellen Ave, Main Ave, Jessie St, May St and Pine St.  The avenues run E-W and the streets N-S. So what do you think?  The Norman family founded the town, and family members Jessie, Christen, Ellen and May were honored by having streets named after them.  And then, what the heck, Pine and Main were thrown in for good measure.


I couldn’t find much about the town per se, but I did find a couple items of some interest.  First, a nasty tornado struck Norman in 1903.


Norman, NE Tornado, May 1903






Hastings, Neb., May 26. — A series of heavy storms, two of which developed into the worst tornadoes that have visited Southern Nebraska for years, passed over portions of Clay, Franklyn and Kearney counties in the night. Fifteen persons lost their lives, twenty odd were more or less seriously injured and a number of others received minor injuries. Every dwelling and outbuilding in the path of the tornado was blown to pieces and the financial loss thus far accounted for will reach about $60,000.


The dead are: Daniel McCurdy, Robert McCurdy, Mrs. John Wehlever, Mrs. Earl Bacon, Mrs. C. A. Tipple, near Norman; Lutheran minister, name unknown; Mrs. John Peters; Mrs. Chris. Lamers and mother, near Upland; Mr. and Mrs. James Muman and child, Frank Quigg, Flaro Palmer and John Palmer of Pauline.


Near Norman, at the home of Daniel McCurdy, a number of relatives and friends were spending the day and not an inmate escaped death or serious injury. Two miles south of Upland, German Lutheran services were being held in a schoolhouse when the storm struck and demolished it, killing four of the occupants, including the minister, and injuring a number of others. . . .


The Iowa Recorder, Greene, Iowa, 27 May 1903


I love the “more or less seriously injured” and buildings were “blown to pieces” and financial loss will reach the staggering figure of about $60,000 and there was a dead Lutheran minister, name unknown, and folks at the home of Dan McCurdy are called “inmates.”


Moving right along, to an EOSS landing that occurred just outside of Norman!!!!  Hmmm, what the heck is an EOSS landing?  Well, read on . . .


What is EOSS

Edge of Space Sciences (EOSS) is a Denver, Colorado based non-profit organization that promotes science and education by exploring frontiers in amateur radio and high altitude balloons.

What We Do

Our members utilize amateur radio and balloons to advance scientific study of the upper atmosphere. We regularly work with educators, offering valuable opportunities to enhance their students’ studies of science, mathematics and technology through real, hands-on experience.

EOSS has conducted as many as thirteen balloon projects in a year, sending radio-equipped payloads deep into the stratosphere over eastern Colorado. Our typical apogee of 95,000 feet is above 99% of the Earth’s atmospheric mass, where the sky is black and the highest clouds remain far below. VHF and UHF radio signals transmitted from this height are received as far as 400 miles away!

Sometimes called the “Edge of Space”, this largely unexplored territory offers a wealth of opportunities for scientific observation and has even served as a reasonable approximation to outer space for testing prototype spacecraft. Gas balloons are the most practical means to get there, since rockets can visit it only briefly, and it is unattainable by ground-based aircraft. Because of the low cost of balloon flight expendables and recovery of payloads, one local high school teacher characterized EOSS as the “Poor Man’s Space Program”.

Below is the projected and actual flight paths for EOSS-119.  Norman is between the Actual Landing Site and the Predicted Landing Site.  How about that, they had a landing site and so did I!  (My landing was a little SSE of Norman, actually closer to the Predicted Landing Site than to the Actual Landing Site.  Oh, well.


Below is a picture of the launch, up near Doniphan NE:

EOSS-119 Balloon Launch

FYI, Doniphan is about 30 miles NE of Norman.  It seems strange that the wind was blowing towards the SW. 

Anyway, here’s a picture of a happy fellow at the site of the balloon recovery:

EOSS-119 Landing Site

Below are many excited people who have congregated at the EOSS-119 landing site (if only they knew how close they were to my landing site, they’d have twice the reason to congregate!!!)

Near Landing Site(s)






2 Responses to “Norman, NE”

  1. Jim LeVieux said

    Greg, I know this is about five years late, but thought I would call it to your attention
    anyway. Your landing is titled Norman, OK, and of course, the location should be
    Norman, NE. Having attended The University of Oklahoma, years ago, which is in
    Norman, OK, I felt obligated to note the correction, so as not to confuse any of
    your many Cornhusker Fans, who may read it in the future.

    Really enjoy your blog, and keep up the good work…

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