SCOTTSDALE — Caryl Peters is a University of Nebraska football fan. Like most who cheer for the Cornhuskers, she is rabid, intense, avid and even diehard. She makes the trip from Scottsdale to Lincoln, Nebraska, for every home game, has a parrot that wakes her up every morning by singing the school fight song and, most notable, she owns Big Red in the Desert, a store that sells only University of Nebraska stuff.
Some of the stuff includes Cornhusker T-shirts and sweatshirts, footballs autographed by famous Cornhusker players and coaches, Cornhusker license plate holders, and Cornhusker watches, shorts, nightgowns, soap dishes and clocks. And Cornhusker golf balls and toilet seats. All in Nebraska colors (mostly red) and emblazoned with school insignias. Peters earned degrees from the university in 1967 and 1972, then opened her shop at 7066 E. Indian School Road in 1997. The store is only about 400 square feet, but it contains an estimated 300 different Cornhusker items.
The store is usually open during regular business hours, but if Peters is not there (she’s also a real estate agent), she leaves a handwritten note on the front door urging potential customers to call back, and concludes it with “Go Huskers!”