We took Jon, Marry and Anna down to Beaver Crossing today to visit the Hardware Store. The town is some 20 miles SW of Seward and has a population of around 400. Though there is no place in town to buy a quart of milk or a loaf of bread, they have an outstanding Hardware Store. I am pictured here visiting with Dean Pankoke who established the store and has since turned it over to his son. Dean worked for a Land Improvement Contractor back in the years when I worked for SCS here in Seward County as a Field Technician. The store carries a wide assortment of products and customers come from miles around to shop. Many come out from Lincoln and beyond. One of their many unique products is "Blackburn stakes". These are the little wire marking stakes with colorful plastic ribbons that are used to show the location of buried utility wires, identify boundaries or for a myriad of uses. Mr. Blackburn, the original producer of the stakes came to Seward in the early 50's and gave us a few of them to use in surveying field terraces. Needless to say we ordered more and today they are used throughout the world. They are still produced at Neligh, Nebraska where Dean says he orders them. He and I reminisced about many of the people that worked for SCS over the years and the many farmers for whom we surveyed conservation practices and Dean would build them with heavy construction equipment. It was a good visit. Dean is legally blind but his memory is exceptional.