Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Friends and Neighbors: Thomas Merriam


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Thomas Merriam, known simply as Tom to his friends, grew up in Banner County and attended school in Harrisburg. His family still have a ranch in the area and he fondly remembers his younger years growing up running along the rocky hilltops and chasing white tail deer down through the canyons. Of his favorite childhood memories, he shared a long kept secret that he enjoyed tricking his buddies by sitting camouflaged in the pine trees during hide and seek.

One autumn, when he was young, he was nearly shot by a neighbor. He and his friends had been playing hide and seek along a ridge, as that was their favorite past-time outside of school. It was his turn to hide and he was up in a tree as always when suddenly he heard a shot and the limb he was perched on shattered and fell out from underneath him. He landed hard, and not knowing where the shot was coming from or why he was being shot at, he ran as fast as he could, keeping his head down, all the way back to the ranch. When he got home, his friends and family were frantic but he was fine and the sheriff told them to be more careful and not to get too far from the farm during hunting season.

Tom graduated from high school two years ago and is currently attending college in Chadron on a basketball and agriculture scholarship. He is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in agriculture and rangeland management and hopes to turn that into a career with either the Game and Parks or as a Fish and Game Warden.

He said he really loves the area and feels very much at home there. He finds himself spending much of his free time at Chadron State Park because it just feels natural to him walking along the buttes and ridges.

His plans after college include finding his dream job in an area similar to where he grew up in the high desert plains of the western Nebraska panhandle, getting married and raising a brood of his own.


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