Jeff said, although he doesn’t enjoy music as much as his wife, “I enjoyed it today. It was exceptional.

Bolstered by heavy walk-in ticket purchases, a crowd of 106 attended the evening’s theatrical performance.

North Platte resident Grace Llewellyn attended the night with her friend and retired Union Pacific employee John Sherman of Denver.

“He’s a railroad enthusiast and I work for (Union Pacific) and I was like, ‘How interesting to come and see what really happened,” Llewellyn said.

She said her knowledge of the history of the canteen was limited to the “here and there” aspects and felt that Saturday evening offered an opportunity not only to be entertained, but also to dig deeper into the subject.

Shepherd said the crowd size was remarkable considering it was a first-time event that not only fell the weekend before the holidays, but was also the same night as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was playing for a national championship.

“To have that kind of audience on a Christmas weekend when people are shopping – and then playing tonight (a Huskers volleyball game) – is something,” he said.

“If you know North Platte and love this community, you can’t help but be touched by the history of the canteen,” Shepherd said. “It’s just the amazing work that people in this community have done for other people who are going through this. I think that spirit still lives in our hearts today and that is what we are here in west central Nebraska.