CLATONIA NEB. - Gene Steinmeyer has many titles and talents - from being an assistant women’s basketball coach at Doane University, to contributing for a local southeast Nebraska newspaper.

His latest venture has taken him on new journeys and introduced him to new people. Steinmeyer recently released his book “Everyone Has A Story”, a 114 page read, filled with 11 unique short stories of southeast Nebraska. It includes stories of local legendary athletes, to the last surviving World War II veteran in Clatonia.

“I just there were stories that needed to be told,” Steinmeyer said.

Steinmeyer grew up in Clatonia, NE., about 15 miles north of Beatrice. He held a book signing in Clatonia on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate its release. A Southeast Nebraskan himself, he heard unique stories throughout his life about the area and the people and places within it.

“It was kind of like, you have your memory banks, they fill up, and you write a book about it,” Steinmeyer said. “The more stories I heard, it just kind of collected… I don’t think any one in and of itself is worth a book, but you put them all together, you might have a book.”

A unique story is that of 100-year-old Myron Roker, the last World War II vet to call Clatonia home. Nearly 80 years after the conclusion of combat, he still shares intimate details about his time in service.

“The fact he still can tell the story, he was there, he can tell the story,” Steinmeyer said. “Several years ago, the city of Alma, Germany through a parade for him because he was one of the veterans who liberated the city.”

Roker’s company recorded a record 204 days of straight combat during his time in France, but even after his time in the service, his work as an innovator continued, working in TV.

“It was the first cable system” Steinmeyer said. “He’d run cables for three dollars per month to people in town, but it only lasted a couple years because Clatonia put in a new sewer system, he had a contract with the city not to cut his cables.. They cut his cables. When he went to sue them, they went out of business. Just such an innovator.”

Steinmeyer says the books goal is to tell deeper stories of historical events in the area such as Wilber Czech Days, while also shining a light on the areas important figures.

As Nebraskans begin the new read, he hopes they learn, remember, and spread the history of southeast Nebraska.

“I hope someday, someone’s son says ‘Hey, aren’t I related to Myron Roker?’ Or ‘Hey, isn’t Horky Park down there by the Blue River?’” Steinmeyer said. “Just relive it and don’t forget.”

Steinmeyer's plans to write his next book about the Hallam Tornado of 2004.