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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 2, 1999)
F Street Recreation Center
to rebuild for the future
More space, services expected from new facility
By Diane Broderick
A 4.5 million renovation and expansion project
aims to transform the F Street Recreation Center
into something more all-encompassing - a com
munity center. The center, 1225 F St., will undergo
a $3.5 million renovation project that would make
it capable of handling more people of different age
groups and offering more services.
Another million will be put toward property
acquisition, so the center will be able to expand its
In its history, the Rec Center already has gone
through several major transformations.
It started as a fire station, which was then re
tooled to serve as a senior center. In the late ’70s, it
expanded to include another major segment of the
population - children - and assumed the title it still
holds today: The F Street Rec Center.
“We are probably the most culturally, genera
tionally, financially diverse center in the city,”
Karla Decker, the center’s director said.
Morning programs for seniors and afternoon
activities for children are the center’s two main ser
Inside the center, pink walls surround two pool
tables, long tables on wheels, a foosball table and
several folding chairs.
Its walls are adorned with chalkboards, signs
announcing such upcoming events as the Senior’s
Valentine Potluck, and photo collages bringing to
memory past occurrences, such as Faces of
Regular programs for seniors include a weekly
choir group that visits various nursing homes and a
walking group that meets twice a week. It also pro
vides seniors a dose of healthy competition.
“They shoot pool, and they play cards - and
some of them can do it seven days a week,” Decker
Children’s activities include touch football,
pool, basketball, a yo-yo club and tutoring
Various special cultural holidays also are cele
brated, including Kwanzaa and the Lunar New
Year, the largest celebration of Asian culture, she
One of the center’s more ambitious programs is
its PLAY camp - Positive Learning Activities for
Youth - which takes place in the summer.
It originally was offered five years ago exclu
sively to children with behavioral problems,
“Those children especially need structure, or
else they’ll just lose everything,” she said.
But its scope was
widened, and now is open to
children in kindergarten
through sixth grade who
live or go to school in cen
sus districts specific to the
In the past, the summer
camp has been located in
Lincoln exclusively, but for
next summer a new
approach has been planned.
A University of
member at the center had
worked with children in
Scottsbluff, which Decker says has a 50 percent
Hispanic population. Camp planners were dis
cussing the cultural
the two groups of
children, and it
sparked an idea.
“We said, ‘We
ought to pop our kids
on a bus and take
them to Scottsbluff
Decker said, “and a
lot of people found
the idea intriguing.”
A series of trips
to western Nebraska
are planned for the
camp. The children will learn about a specific sub
ject each week, then visit places that will give their
learning a context
We are probably the most
center in the city”
F Street Rec Center director
“By the time that
they get to these
places, they will
know what they’re
looking at,” she said.
And though the
variety of programs
available from the
center is consider
able, renovation pro
ject planners hope
that with some work,
the center will be able
to do much more.
the recreation center
and its surrounding areas will begin in the fall, said
Lynn Johnson, the project’s manager at the Park
THE CURRENT F STREET Recreation Center, located at 1225 F St., will
undergo construction and a major expansion this fall.
and Recreation Department
It will become a community center - its name
not yet determined - within about two years, with
involvement in four neighborhoods all within
about two miles of the center, he said.
The existing center will mainly be built
around and touched up because of its solid struc
ture, Johnson said. But surrounding buildings will
be demolished or partially demolished, and
Johnson said that in its place will stand a new cen
ter, almost eight times larger than the current facil
A gym, a game room, an aerobics room,
indoor and outdoor tracks, offices and meeting
rooms are just a few of the new sen ices that the
center will be able to offer, once completed.
The project arose out of a desire to make that
area of Lincoln a more appealing place to live,
Johnson said. “If you look at the demographics of
that area, it’s the lowest income-pcr-cupita area of
The level of living is lower in this area of town
because of a widely distributed mixture of college
students and low-income families. Johnson said.
Decker echoed Johnson’s observations. Right
now, she said, there are vast populations not being
served very well, including the unemployed, a
large immigrant population and people with dis
And the renovations will help tl ic center reach
'more people more of the time, Johnson said. No
longer will the day have to be divided between age
A greater breadth of social services w ill be
offered, which could include job training, public
health checks and teaching English as a second
“This is the end of almost seven years of plan
ning,” Johnson said of the project, funded through
a program that returns state tax dollars to the city.
But when construction begins this fall, the
center will have to relocate - temporarily.
“We will have to move to another location -
we’re not sure where it is,” Decker said. “But we
will stay in the neighborhood.” ,
Monkey Boy searches for the fruits of roots-rock labor
By Christopher Heine
Television and movie producers of
the 1970s discovered the monkey was
an easy tool to help post-Nixon
America laugh again.
“Ha-ha-ha. They look just like
humans!” the country chirped.
The phenomenon seemed innocent
enough at the time. But what happened
to our youth in “Star Wars” pajamas gig
gling at every ape or chimpanzee strut
ting across the screen?
The adorable primates of “BJ and
the Bear,” “Every Which Way But
Loose” and “Beneath the Planet of the
Apes” left indelible marks on a young
Generation X long before they discussed
evolution over bottles of Rolling Rock
and pot brownies.
The band Monkey Boy might just
be the primate pathway needed to
appropriately assess the lasting effects
these playful apes had so many years
The group, with its roots-rock
What: Monkey Boy
Where: Knickerbockers, 901 0 St.
The Skinny: Missouri band wants to
give you the business - monkey
sounds, will appear at Knickerbockers,
901 O St., Friday night. Some
Lincolnites may recognize Monkey
Boy’s singer, Jimi Hathaway, from his
forma band, Keely Zoo.
The monkey business continues.
In the case of this Warrensburg,
Mo., group, it has seemed to cause a
unique form of devolution.
Monkey Boy’s debut CD, “H20,”
seems to highlight the band’s discovery
of water, and more importantly,
women. The album encompasses exam
pies of male-chases-female in an almost
Hathaway croons about his lusting
with a voice that sounds like “Weird Al”
Yankovich. And similarly, this man
wreaks savage, unintellectual havoc.
The opening track, “Paranoid
Schizo,” crudely vocalizes his timeless
yearning. “Whenever I say goodbye, I
just want to kiss you,” he sings.
“Whenever I say goodnight I just want
to do you. You lying there doing what
you always do to me. Lying there... tits
in the air... I just want to screw you.”
Guitarist Chris Meek said this set of
lyrics demonstrates that Hathaway is a
“very multidimensional writer.”
“He’s one of those writers who can
realty put a twist on words,” Meek said.
“He has this childlike innocence in one
phrase. And in the next line he’s real sar
castic and witty.”
Members of Monkey Boy are based
out of an old sharecropper’s lot near
Warrensburg called The Freedom Farm.
The band’s lyrics suggest women, when
at the farm, don’t feel the need to cover
their breasts. One envisions this acreage
to be a free-wheeling, throwback soci
ety based on the prelapsarian garden of
“We party a lot there after the bars
close,” Meek said.
The alcohol and the ladies evidently
are driving the males just plain homy
However, beer and the female form
of our species is not the only thing the
Monkey Boys tend to be deeply affected
by. They also seem to like ducks quite a
On their album’s sixth track, “The
Pond,” Hathaway pins down the fun to
be had with these feathery friends.
“Let’s go down to the pond and mess
with the ducks,” Hathaway poeticizes.
“Let’s go down to the pond... I want to
get messed up.”
Three tracks later, “It’s All About
Dudes,” digs deeper into this theme.
Hathaway appears to believe that
these dudes are bom leaders.
“Wherever you go, Pm sure to fol
low,” he sings. “If you ever fly ... Pm
fight behind you.”
Meek said the songs are indeed
inspired by real, live ducks.
“It’s a real pastime in Warrensbuig
for slacker-types to go down to Lion’s
Lake and get high,” he said. “Water is a
theme throughout the album, and I think
Jimi uses the ducks as a metaphor.”
Monkey Boy’s performance at
Knickerbocker’s this weekend will
mark the band’s first appearance in
Meek said the band “wants to be as
entertaining as possible.”
If nothing else, Monkey Boy will
serve as a barometer for the effects of
the ’70s chimp-entertainment explo
Unfortunately, it sounds like the era
of surreal interaction between animals
ami humans may have taken its toll on
Hie homeless singer 1 ikes to wander
from place to place much like a duck or
mating monkey. ~ 4 >
“Jimi’s one of those people who
doesn’t have a home,” Meek said.
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