» In college baseball towns across the United States, newspapers regularly quote players and coaches speaking almost mystically about Omaha — home of the College World Series.
But it's not often expressed as stirringly as in Thursday's Palo Alto (Calif.) Daily News by preseason All-American Tony Renda of the University of California, which played in Omaha last year.
"Once you go there and you experience it — you can ask anyone who's been to Omaha — it's unbelievable," Renda said. "You feel at home. You're playing in front of 25,000 fans, but you feel the love from every single one."
Because Cal came in as an underdog, he said, the Golden Bears became a fan favorite. Cal hats and shirts flew off store shelves.
"Our games were sold out, our gear was sold out," he said. "And being so far from home, you never felt like you were closer to home. It's just the place to be."
It's good that construction of the beautiful TD Ameritrade Park got us a 25-year contract to keep the CWS in Omaha, its home since 1950. The event is stirring for players, sure, but it provides goose bumps for us fans, too.
» The spread in Tuesday's Living section of The World-Herald on former Saturday Evening Post cover artist John Falter hit home for Myrt Hall of Omaha.
Falter was from Falls City, Neb., and Myrt was the junior-high principal there long ago. During that time, Falter asked if the school could find an old desk that he had carved his name into.
Myrt and a custodian found it. And because they had extra desks and Falter was a big deal, they removed the desktop and sent it to him — or so they thought.
"It never got to him," lamented Myrt, who retired as assistant superintendent of the Omaha Public Schools. "It just disappeared."
» The publication of two new books about Groucho Marx led Nebraska native Dick Cavett to write in a New York Times blog about Groucho's great skill as a writer.
Cavett, a comedian and former TV talk-show host, was a Yale grad. But he admired the self-education of Groucho, who read widely though he had dropped out of school after ninth grade.
At Groucho's house, famous guests were treated to cabarets by their piano-playing host, who sang ditties he wrote, including "Omaha, Nebraska (In the Foothills of Tennessee)."
To wit: "There's a place called Omaha, Nebraska / In the foothills of Tennessee. / My sweetie told me that someday she'll meet me at / The corner of Delancey Street and Avenue B. / From the shores of California to the rockbound cost of Maine / We'll settle down in Washington, D.C. / In the heart of Omaha, Nebraska / Where the best things in life are free / In the foothills of Tennessee."
Well, maybe Groucho didn't read so widely about geography.
» The video of Warren Buffett singing while dressed as a 1940s newsboy in last Saturday's Omaha Press Club Show has received thousands of views on the Internet, but there was another big song of local interest.
In a showy Las Vegas-style number, Glenn Prettyman of Omaha impersonated Trev Alberts, athletic director at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The parody, to the tune of "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You," was about UNO's switch to NCAA Division I and the Summit League.
"D-One's too good to be true / Can't take my eyes off of you. /The Summit's like heaven to touch. / I wanna hold you so much. / At long last UNO has arrived. / You'll thank God I'm your guy. / D-One's too good to be true. / Can't take my eyes off of you."
» Also in the Press Club Show, emcee Gary Sadlemyer implied that the pensions of certain public servants put them into the financial stratosphere of local billionaires.
He quipped that the front tables at the show were for "the big-money folks — the Buffetts, the Scotts, the last three Omaha police chiefs."
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