» It's odd how fiction sometimes presages real life. This week I picked up Omaha author Alex Kava's 2010 novel, “Damaged,” in which the Gulf Coast braces for a storm — named Hurricane Isaac.
Alex, now finishing her 11th novel in Omaha, has a second home on the Gulf Coast, in Pensacola, Fla. Before the real Isaac shifted west this week, its eye appeared headed toward that Florida Panhandle city.
Known as Sharon Kava before taking her pen name, Alex said the Isaac in her novel was inspired by Hurricanes Ivan and Dennis in 2004 and 2005. She lived through Dennis.
“I had never seen horizontal rain or trees bent over like that,” she said. “It rained for hours on end.”
The plot of “Damaged,” set in Pensacola, involves the discovery of a fishing cooler filled with human body parts, part of an underground cadaver business. Alex writes with great imagination, but she herself was stunned this week by a real-life story out of Pensacola.
Authorities (cue the spooky music) discovered a storage unit filled with body parts — brains, hearts and lungs in soda cups and plastic containers. The unit allegedly belonged to a former medical examiner before it was auctioned last week.
» “Tumultuous Reception Surprises Mrs. Romney,” said the headline in The World-Herald.
It wasn't about the loud reception at the Republican National Convention this week in Tampa for Ann Romney, wife of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Rather, the headline was from 1967 and referred to his mother.
Lenore Romney, wife of then-presidential hopeful George Romney, pinch-hit for her husband in Omaha at a meeting of the Young Republican National Federation.
She was pictured in the newspaper with the governor of California, Ronald Reagan. They spoke at the old Fontenelle Hotel downtown.
In accepting the GOP nomination for president Thursday, Mitt Romney mentioned his late mother, who died in 1998. She had lost a bid for a U.S. Senate seat from Michigan in 1970.
» Eight months ago, I wrote about a Republican caucus in Carter Lake, part of the quadrennial statewide effort that gains national attention.
It was just one caucus of many. But for fun, I re-checked the final vote Friday: Newt Gingrich, 27; Rick Santorum, 23; Ron Paul, 19; Mitt Romney, 14; Michelle Bachmann, 4; Jon Huntsman, 0.
Presidential elections are long hauls — for the candidates and for the rest of us.
» Tom Osborne, Nebraska athletic director and former football coach, was featured Wednesday in a national publication. But not one of the usuals.
Instead, it was Investor's Business Daily. The article recounted his career and philosophy, but it opened with his decision to go for a 2-point conversion near the end of the 1984 Orange Bowl while trailing by a point.
He won three national championships in the 1990s, but that failed 2-point try instead of a safer 1-point kick for a tie still is argued three decades later. Even though the loss cost NU a national title, T.O. says he stands by his decision.
“I think our players' mind-set was that we would score and they would have been very disappointed in a tie,” he said. “Also, I didn't think a tie would have made us national champions. I probably wouldn't have voted for a team that didn't go for a win.”
» A Nebraskan more often appearing in Investor's Business Daily was quoted Friday in the Daily Telegraph of London:
“Legendary investor Warren Buffett has hinted at the secret of his success with some advice on his 82nd birthday: move to Omaha, Nebraska.”
The British paper quoted from an interview by Associated Press writer Josh Funk in Omaha.
“In some places it's easy to lose perspective,” Buffett said. “But I think it's very easy to keep perspective in a place like Omaha. If you can't think clearly in Omaha, you're not going to think clearly any place.”
He added: “There's plenty of other places I like, but the one I love is Omaha.”
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