That fall, the only color was yellow. The corn was dry, and the rows flipped past like a deck of faded cards. Nebraska City is in the Missouri River Basin, the county seat of Otoe County. At the center of town are a regal courthouse, a Farmers Bank, a movie theater, and a small brick middle school. Behind the school sits a brick-and-glass building that used to house Nebraskan dignitaries in the 1970s. This is where I had secured myself a small fellowship. For two months I would make a hundred dollars a week and live in this house.