» This hasn't been previously reported: Al Gore once got into a car accident with Ronald Reagan.
“It's the funniest story,” Al told me. “One day I was headed into work and got on a ramp from one highway to another; there was construction, and it went from two lanes down to one. I slammed on the brake and barely nicked the van in front of me.”
Al exchanged insurance information with the other driver. Only the next day did Gore notice that the name of the man he had bumped into was Ronald Reagan, who was in his 40s. (They never had occasion to speak again.)
Al, 22, works at the Radio Shack at 30th and Dodge Streets in Omaha. The slight mishap, he said, occurred about three years ago near Buffalo, N.Y., where he lived.
Allen Gore of Omaha is no relation to Albert Gore of Tennessee, the environmentalist and former vice president, whom the electronics salesman calls “the real Al Gore.”
Our Al is real, too. People see his name tag and can't resist commenting.
“They'll say anything from ‘Are you a politician?' to ‘How is global warming going?' I'm used to it. I keep saying, ‘That's MY Nobel Peace Prize — but where's my million bucks?' ”
» The Grand Island School District of New York received angry and threatening calls and emails because of a flap involving the Grand Island Public Schools of Nebraska.
“What was striking to us was the almost total lack of civility contained in the emails,” Superintendent Robert Christmann of the Grand Island (N.Y.) schools told the Buffalo News. “They were best described as nasty. Most were not printable.”
Is it a sign of our times that when people disagree on an issue, many do so not with dignified opinion but with bitterness and vitriol?
The father of a deaf 3-year-old in Nebraska said the Grand Island schools had tried to force his son, Hunter, to change the sign language wording for his name because the sign looks like a gun. The school district denied it.
No matter — it got out on the Internet, and people had to vent their wrath somewhere. The superintendent in New York said he was surprised at the level of anger, adding that none of the calls or emails “reflected what would be considered a mature response.”
» Of the four American tennis players who advanced to the second round of the U.S. Open in New York, two were natives of the Cornhusker State: Andy Roddick, born in Omaha; and Jack Sock, Lincoln.
Wrote a surprised Don Norcross, columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune: “The center of the United States tennis universe is ... Nebraska?”
» The Omaha Westside High class of 1957 will get a chance to do the “Bernie dance” Friday at its 55-year reunion.
Actor and classmate Terry Kiser played a dead guy in two “Weekend With Bernie” movies, and his “dance” is now re-enacted by players and fans at Oakland A's home baseball games. Last Saturday night in Oakland, Terry threw out the first ball, performed his dead-guy dance to the cheers of fans and then was interviewed on the game broadcast.
Westside classmate Gregg Millett said he will bring a Bernie dance video to the Omaha reunion. “I'll lead the dance myself unless the real Bernie shows up — Terry Kiser.”
» KMET radio in Redlands, Calif., is home to broadcasts of the Los Angeles Angels in baseball, the L.A. Kings in hockey, the Lakers and Clippers in basketball — and the Nebraska Cornhuskers in football.
“There are a lot of Nebraska fans out there, and we're happy to continue to bring them all the games,” spokesman Mitch McClellan told the Redlands Daily Facts newspaper in announcing that the station (1490 AM) would be part of the Husker Sports Network. “We're the only station in the area that carries them.”
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