Mike Heavrin, our local librarian, is an excellent citizen and a valuable part of our small community. Mike was born in Osmond Nebraska, on November 19, 1949. He grew up in Bloomfield, the youngest of seven boys on his family farm. When he was young, he was incredibly adventurous. He was in a “gang” called the Boomataks, rivals with the evil Hillbilly Killers, when he was a child. Their rivalry got as serious as throwing deathly manure and rotten egg bombs at each other.
Mike went to school in Bloomfield and then transferred to Ralston High School. Mike progressed on to college and got his Bachelor’s degree at UNO, and taught business in Omaha while he got his Master’s degree. He lived in Omaha for 34 years. He did not like teaching that much, so he decided to get another job at an insurance company. This was his most interesting job, having to decide which clients received death claims. He said, “This came with a lot of human interest stories.” He found out that many people would kill their relatives just for the insurance money, something that most people only think happens in movies.
However, Mike soon got tired of the big city and was getting very frustrated with the traffic and construction. He didn’t like how his life slowed down due to the tedious travel. “I am definitely a type A person,” he commented. “I always want to be doing something with my life.”
He heard about Lyons because his cousin worked as an art teacher. When the Center for Rural Affairs moved to Lyons, he knew that this was the best chance he would get to move to a small town. He bought a small acreage close to Lyons, and got a job working at the Center for Rural Affairs. He had always wanted to move back to a farm. Now that he was living on the farm, he truly appreciated small town life. “Neighbors look out for each other, something you will not often find in big cities,” he proudly exclaimed. Mike worked at the Center for Rural Affairs for 10 years before being hired at the Lyons Library. He also helps at the Northeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership in Pender.
Mike doesn’t have many hobbies. “Simple tastes” is how he described what he likes to do. These include watching documentaries, listening to talk radio, and reading novels. He really enjoys working at the library where he is surrounded by books. One of his more interesting hobbies is playing paintball. His family comes once a year to play and camp out at his farm.
Mike’s advice to young people is that they should find good jobs that they enjoy doing – work shouldn’t feel like work. “Don’t be surprised or overwhelmed if things do not go your way. Don’t be ashamed to fail,” he said. This advice reflects who Mike is as a person. He is hardworking, helpful, and very humble. I am proud to say that he is apart of my community.