» After nearly 11 months in Omaha — nine of them while he was on a liver transplant waiting list — David and Patti Aresty flew home this week to the East Coast.
From their home Friday in Far Hills, N.J., David, 55, expressed thanks for Dr. Michael Sorrell and his family and all the other physicians and medical professionals at the Nebraska Medical Center, as well as for Omahans who befriended the couple.
“We are not natives of Nebraska, and they took us in like we were their own,” David said. “I'm in awe. We are inspired by the love and level of care that Omaha, Neb., gives to mankind — and themselves.”
This was the second time his life was saved in Omaha. The first came 23 years ago after he was diagnosed with lymphoma, and he underwent a bone marrow transplant.
The couple became donors to the University of Nebraska Medical Center and say they have referred more than 200 patients to Omaha. But their prominence didn't move David up on the waiting list. They arrived last Nov. 1, thinking it would be only a few months. They will return in October for a checkup.
David, vice president of a women's apparel company in New York City, said he and Patti want to campaign nationally for the need for organ donations so others don't have to wait so long for a transplant — or die before receiving one.
» On the eve of autumn, Lauritzen Gardens got its antique show on the road. The show is indoors, but patrons also can walk the grounds, which are in their glory.
“The next two or three weeks are the best of the year — before the frost,” said Spencer Crews, executive director of Omaha's botanical center. “The colors are beautiful, the weather is perfect and the garden looks gorgeous.”
Among those attending the ninth annual antique show Friday was Anne Thorne Weaver, who discovered a couple of small shadow boxes on display that were made by her grandmother, Narcissa Thorne — famous for her miniature Thorne rooms at the Chicago Art Institute and the Phoenix Art Museum.
The pieces at the Omaha show, which runs through Sunday, are smaller and less elaborate than the famed rooms, which are crafted on the scale of an inch to a foot. But Anne was pleased to see the signature of her grandmother, who helped raise her.
“She was an amazing woman,” said Anne, long active on a variety of Omaha boards. “This was her passion.”
Anne's great-great-grandfather was George Robinson Thorne, the 1872 co-founder of Montgomery Ward Co. The mail-order business and department store chain closed its stores in 2001.
Anne laments that when she moved to Omaha with her own young family she turned down Narcissa's offer of one of the mini-rooms. She said with a smile: “We didn't have room.”
» The Chabad House of Omaha calls itself a home for every Jew, regardless of which synagogue he or she attends, but adds a tag line — “where tradition and fun come together.”
So there was humor attached to the Thursday completion of a hand-lettered Torah, the first to be started and completed in Omaha. Three middle-age guys sang “Let's Go to Chabad,” a parody to the tune of “Let's Go to the Hop.”
In January 2011, Rabbi Mendel Katzman inscribed the first of the 304,805 letters in the Torah, the first five books of the Jewish Bible. The process was completed Thursday at the Jewish Community Center, in the midst of the High Holy Days.
The sacred scroll was covered in cloth, topped with a crown and carried in a rush-hour procession of vehicles to the Chabad House more than a mile away. That was followed by prayers in Hebrew, joyous dancing and an outdoor buffet dinner.
» When the University of Nebraska at Omaha dropped football a year and a half ago, quarterback recruit Jon Hays of Paradise, Calif., was among the Mavericks who dispersed to other colleges.
Fast forward to last Saturday: Hays completed 18 of 27 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns in leading Utah to a 24-21 home victory over rival Brigham Young.
» Teresa Scanlan, 19, the Miss Nebraska who became Miss America 2011, is now a freshman at Patrick Henry College in north Virginia — and promising an eventual run for president.
The Washington Post reported this week that Teresa, who plans a career in politics or law, mentions the future run for the White House on her Facebook page, though she is also interested in becoming a member of the Supreme Court.
The Post said her mother has moved from Nebraska to live with her, bringing along three home-schooled younger siblings.
» A website called livability.com sought to find the top 10 music scenes in the U.S. outside of New York, Los Angeles and Nashville.
Did Omaha make the list? You know it — No. 6.
Tops was Concord, Calif., then Tulsa, Okla.; Madison, Wis.; Fort Worth, Texas, and Cambridge, Mass. After Omaha were Chapel Hill, N.C.; Portland, Ore.; Minneapolis; and Athens, Ga.
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