» David Brown of Omaha got a thrill Friday during practice before the College World Series: He shagged fly balls for his favorite team, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.
He had shown up at TD Ameritrade Park simply to watch, but coach Mike Fox surprised him by inviting him to take the field. Said 16-year-old David: “It took my breath away.”
One player lent him his glove, and others were friendly and welcoming, especially freshman infielder Matt Campbell. The team gave David a cap.
David, who played shortstop this spring on the Creighton Prep junior varsity team, was the subject of last Saturday's column. His father, Fred, died a year ago at age 57, and his mother, Sara, died at 52 on May 27.
He and brother Matt, 27, plan to visit the Carolinas for a family reunion this summer.
The invitation to enjoy batting practice in the outfield with the Tar Heels came about through Leroy Swedlund of the Downtown Rotary Club. Omaha service clubs long have worked with CWS teams, and Leroy found out that David was a UNC fan.
As for being on the field at the stadium, David said: “It is so cool. I love that grass.”
» David was honored at Prep with the Bill Brodd Memorial Scholarship, named for a former Prep student who was killed by a drunken driver in 1997.
Bill's mother, Charlene Morris, said the scholarship, an annual $1,000 stipend, “is how we keep his memory alive.”
» News that the Roberts Dairy name is going away after a century in Omaha reminded some folks of owner J. Gordon Roberts and his “cow fallout shelter.”
The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis had brought the world close to nuclear war. The next year, Roberts built a large fallout shelter at his company's Elkhorn dairy farm, just west of Omaha.
As a test, 30 dairy cows and one bull were herded into the ventilated, reinforced-concrete shelter. Human keepers stayed in a separate, small room.
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The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
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