Grit Blogs > The Daily Commute

GRIT Blogger Comes To Topeka: Nebraska Dave Is The Real Deal

By Hank Will, Editor-in-Chief

Tags: bloggers, Nebraska Dave, Dave Bentz,

GRIT Editor Hank Will at the wheel of his 1964 IH pickup.GRIT blogger Dave Bentz, aka Nebraska Dave paid us a special honor this morning. It turns out he was on his way from Omaha to Syracuse, Kansas but decided to take a 100 mile detour to stop at the GRIT office in Topeka and say hello. Dave and his faithful Ford Truck Ricky (Ranger Rick) arrived in time for a tour of the Ogden Publications vegetable garden (graciously hosted by Mother Earth News Assistant Editor, Shelley Stonebrook), some great conversation in the GRIT corral and lunch at one of our favorite diners just south of town. We took the liberty of sending Nebraska Dave on his way with a GRIT cap for his head and a GRIT totebag for some of his tools.

Nebraska Dave at GRIT headquarters in Topeka.

During lunch I learned that Dave spent 40 years working for the telecom industry after realizing that farming didn't offer the future he was hoping for as a teenager. And he would be working in the industry yet today except that he discovered that travelling the country as part of a volunteer construction/handyman crew was even more fun than work. So he decided to go ahead and take that retirement package to do what he really wanted to do. Dave is now back on his way to southwest Kansas to work on the sanctuary for a new church in Syracuse -- a project that's expected to take about a week to complete.

We also learned that Dave worked out the final kinks in his backyard gravity-flow garden watering system and a few other really cool things that you will just have to wait patiently to read about in his GRIT blog, or one of his other wonderful blogs located herehere and here. You can also read about the adventures of his pickup truck here. We love you Dave!

Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on .

oz girl
8/26/2010 11:44:05 AM

How awesome... I've been wanting to take a road trip to north Kansas some day. Perhaps I'll do so this fall. And the Grit blogger meet-up would be so much fun!! I know it's hard for many to leave home when home includes many responsibilities aka ANIMALS. I've got a wonderful spouse who wouldn't mind me leaving for a few days as he does a bang-up job of taking care of everything on his own when I go to Ohio for my family visits! So do keep me in the loop if we can figure out a way to have a blogger camp of some sort! :-) (Hmmmmm, I'm going to be in Akron, Ohio to visit family from Sept 22 to 27th, so MAYBE there's a chance I could drive over to the Mother Earth News Fair on Sunday the 26th... I'll have to think about it!)

nebraska dave
8/26/2010 12:16:04 AM

Hank, Thanks for the nice write up in this blog entry. I had no idea that you were going to write up an entry about my visit. I had a great time talking with all the staff members and it was worth the extra miles to see you all. It was so good to see everyone in person and spend time just talking about Grit life at the office. I made it home just a few hours ago and have waded through all the email as the laundry chugged along in the washer. I actually stayed over a couple more days in Syracuse than I planned. Daughter and grandson were glad to see grand dad home again. The watering system worked great with tomatoes and green peppers in abundance. It will take me a while to get caught up on every thing and back to blogging. Thanks again to Hank, Jenn, Jean, and Caleb for a great welcome to the Grit headquarters work area. I hope to be able to stop by again some time.

mountain woman
8/18/2010 3:15:23 PM

Hi Hank, Mountain Man is heading that way in September. He's going to the Logging Expo in Kentucky and then headed to the Ozarks. Maybe he can stop by. Hey, Andrew, maybe you can make all of us famous on YouTube!

hank will_2
8/18/2010 12:44:07 PM

Perhaps we need to have some regional gatherings. But then, I'm not that keen to leave my farm for any significant length of time either. Funny how that works. I wonder if anyone can make it to the Mother Earth News Fair about an hour south of Pittsburgh, PA next month. I will be there on Sunday the 26th if all the flights work out right. I'll be coming from the Cub Cadet dealer meeting in Orlando, FL. I'd love to have some Andrew Odom video -- I particularly love the shakedown cruise of your outdoor shower.

8/18/2010 12:22:07 PM

Did I hear a GRIT blogger meet-up? Count me in! Heck, I'll even do a video. hahahahaha

8/18/2010 12:21:59 PM

Did I hear a GRIT blogger meet-up? Count me in! Heck, I'll even do a video. hahahahaha

mountain woman
8/17/2010 11:36:54 AM

I'm glad you got to visit with Dave. He's one amazing man. We couldn't get to a blog gathering unless you had it at our farm. Nothing more beautiful than Vermont in the Fall. Just a thought :-)

8/17/2010 10:12:58 AM

It does sound like a wonderful visit! The blog party sound fun. Far away, but fun. Have a great day. Pam(gafarmwoman) Life on a Southern Farm

hank will_2
8/17/2010 8:49:30 AM

All -- Dave is really cool and really fun to visit with. I wish he and I lived closer because I can only imagine the projects we might get into together. One topic that came up during lunch was the concept of GRIT Blogger Gatherings. I'm not completely sure how to pull it off because our bloggers are scattered pretty far and wide around the country. It would be fun to host some Camp-In at the farm or another gathering near Topeka (we are pretty close to the center of the country. Do you all have any suggestions on how such a gathering might be possible that could include the most number of folks?

s.m.r. saia
8/17/2010 6:32:59 AM

That is really cool. I really enjoyed seeing this this morning!

almost country_1
8/16/2010 11:12:43 PM

I'm so jealous! Have a GRIT blogger party in Topeka, so we can all meet Dave! And you...and Jenn...and Mountain Woman...and and would be SO fun.

chuck mallory
8/16/2010 8:34:12 PM

Nebraska Dave meets the "home office"! I enjoy his blog. I loved the entry where the vehicle "told" the story--reads like good fiction!

8/16/2010 6:55:55 PM

That is so neat -I'm glad you guys had a good visit.

cindy murphy
8/16/2010 5:33:12 PM

Oh! Very, very cool.