Thoughts from the Archives – Howdy Mister

The following account was written by the Home’s historian, John E. Carter.

We are in the Home’s 98th year now and you will no doubt be interested in the century celebration we have in store. It is being planned even as you read this.

In order to promote the Home and to build the friendship base to keep it going, many public relations efforts have been undertaken throughout the years.

The first big effort was a 1922 brochure called “Howdy, Mister.” Only one copy remains and it is heavily edited in penciled handwriting by, no doubt, a 1920s board member who wanted to improve the next effort.

From 1940 to 1956 Boys at Home became our first periodic newsletter. It featured general news of the Home, pictures of 8th grade and high school graduating classes, and always told of the news of the Maintenance Campaign, an annual campaign among the Masonic lodges of Douglas County which began in 1926. This yearly campaign, still going after 92 years, starts every August and continues to the next summer.

Appeal letters have always been a major source of support. The first Christmas appeal letter appeared in 1940 and an annual Easter appeal started in 1948.

In 1980, after 24 years without a newsletter, the decision was made to start The Twig, published three times a year. It started as a four-page effort printed in black and white, soon incorporated full-color pictures, and grew to six pages and now eight pages.

Various film efforts have been undertaken to take our story into the homes of our friends. Tad, a 27-minute movie, was filmed on campus in 1948 and A Time to Care and A Time for Pride were the major video presentations of the 1980s.

In recent years special events have developed to add their support to the financial base. Each effort does its share to ensure the growth and stability of the Omaha Home for Boys.

John E. Carter