My name is Efrat and I'm finishing my BA in English language and literature at the university of Haifa (that's North Israel). I'm majoring in literature and also took a cluster in cinema and media.
I'm trying to research for a novel I want to write. The story is about a high school graduate from a small town (very small), in the midwest, receiving a full scholarship from Colombia U. and going there in an effort to become a writer. The main story is set in the sixties, and the narrator is the same girls in two periods: the 1970 college graduate and the 1990s woman who became a librarian (again in a small town) and has a family with at least one teenage kid.
Currently I'm stuck with the first chapter and asking your help in these issues:
1. Where should I set the hometown of the girl? I decided it should be somewhere in Nebraska, since it seemed a good place in the middle, with a climate ranging from very cold to very hot. It also has extensive farming, and I'm looking for a rural community. It is important for the town or the village to be established before the 1930s and to be close to a bus route. It should also be close to a regional high school that existed in the 1950s.
2. What did US buses look like in the 1960s? Did they have large luggage compartment? Were there any routes for buses that go across several countries? I'm looking to put my heroine on a bus that will take to NYC without the need to change buses at central stations.
I'm basically looking for a small town that I can look into its history and find out a little about its community.
Also, what are good sites ot albums to learn from about new york in the 60s, and the University of Columbia and the village, particularly? I suspect I'll need to know a lot about the city's inner structure.
For the specific questions at the beginning I've looked up certain definitions in Wikipedia, such as Nebraska, US buses of all sorts, and one Nebraska village named Dunning, which I also tried to Google.