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Born near the end of The Great Depression
on the Kearney side of the Platte River, Larry Holland
enjoyed, endured or was afflicted with a mainly happy
childhood, with relapses.
His parents were married nearly 63 years before his mother
died; his older brother was
killed by a gun at age 14 when Holland was seven. He figures
life evens itself out.
His family was large seven siblings, two grandmothers, a
mother and a father under
one roof one time or another. His parents passed down to him
a legacy of rivers, his
mom born and reared in the Big Blue Basin, his dad on the
south bank of the Elkhorn
at the east edge of the Sandhills. His mother gave him the
utmost respect for
single-minded, tough women; his father taught him to live
with, appreciate and respect the
natural world. And to stay on the good side of Mom.
He has college degrees but considers his real education to
be from a wide range of
reading and being outdoors most of his life. He has been one time
or another and
sometimes several at once woodsman, lumberman, teacher,
father, husband, horsebacker,
canoeist, hunter, fisherman, backpacker, photographer,
writer and moderate liar.
He amassed and squandered a moderate fortune teaching
thirty-five years, the last
twenty-six-before-moving-on at Northeast Community College in Norfolk.
He considers his claim
to fame the fine and wonderful students he's had over the
years, in three high schools
and one college. One of those students became his wife,
several others have become
fine and valued friends.
Holland's most recent publication is a chapbook-essay
My Link to the Plains, Hurãkan
Press. He has had essays, stories and poetry published
in a variety of magazines,
including NEBRASKAland, Montana Outdoors, Yarrow,
West Branch, Nebraska Territory,
The Nebraska Review, the Platte Valley Review,
Hurãkan, Calapooya Collage, Cream
City Review, and others. His newest poetry collection,
Disciples of an Uncertain Season, is forthcoming.
During most of the eighties Holland was editor of
both the Nebraska English Counselor
and Elkhorn Review, the latter a tabloid that
published over one hundred writers from
over forty states, Canada and United Kingdom.
He, along with Red Shuttleworth, hosted
the First Nebraska Literary Festival in October
1986, and for several years the Elkhorn
He thinks North America's "last best place" is the Nebraska
Sandhills, considers it
not an entirely good development that inroads into them are
being made by moneyed
interests from the East and West coasts. He has said, both
publicly and privately,
the Sandhills are no place to try out golf courses of PGA
caliber, nor for corporate
types with more money than interest in the future of that fragile
land. He knows,
however, that the best of this territory has never lasted--Lakota,
Commanche, Sandhills ranchers.
There are a lot of good places to be from. Nebraska's not
such a bad place to be.
Holland, having been a Nebraskan all but two years of his
life, figures to live out
his days as one.
Editor's Note: Larry Holland wrote the profile above, and I couldn't
bear to change it to a more objective profile. Sadly, he died in a
car accident in March of 1999, on his way to see the Sandhill Cranes.
At least he got his wish, living out his days as a Nebraskan. Sandhills
Press is bringing out a tribute, The Plains Sense of Things,
3: A Tribute to Larry Holland.