Kelly: Omaha teen's turn on the field with Tar Heels 'so cool' -
Published Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 7:15 am
Kelly: Omaha teen's turn on the field with Tar Heels 'so cool'

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.

If it has to do with the College World Series, we're on it. Check out our CWS historical database, historical photos and our complete event coverage.

The cows were let out briefly for exercise each day, and one person involved in the two-week test said it was “pretty boring.” The event, though, resulted in more than 600 news stories.

The farm was later sold and subdivided, and the shelter for a time was used as a VFW clubhouse. Roberts died in 1996.

In Omaha, Roberts Dairy signs at 2901 Cuming St. are being changed to Hiland Dairy.

David Karnes, father of six — all daughters — likes to joke that when the youngest two girls go for kindergarten roundup, “I'll be in the cordoned-off area for the elderly.”

A former U.S. senator from Nebraska, Dave, 64, became a father again May 6 when his wife, Kris, 40, gave birth to Alexandra Marion Karnes. The couple's daughter Kate is 2.

His four other daughters, from his marriage to the late Liz Karnes, are adults. Yes, he is a grandpa, too.

OWH Columnists
Columnists Michael Kelly, Erin Grace and Matthew Hansen write about people, places and events around Omaha. Read more of their work here.

Dave, an Omaha attorney who spends a lot of time in Washington, D.C., remains fit and healthy and plans to be around for a long time.

The opening of a time capsule on the campus of the University of Nebraska Medical Center wasn't exactly dramatic — but it sure was a mess.

The capsule had been placed at Swanson Hall Plaza on June 3, 1993, just after the nearby Durham Outpatient Center opened. Swanson Hall will be razed to make room for a new cancer center.

When workers opened the time capsule, water drained out. Not a good sign.

As Kalani Simpson described the inside in a UNMC publication: “Mud. Water. Muck. Junk. UNMC shoelaces. College of Nursing playing cards. VHS videotapes, ruined and soaked. It was as if someone's old basement had been flooded — for 20 years.”

Contact the writer:


Contact the writer: Michael Kelly    |   402-444-1000

Mike writes three columns a week on a variety of topics.

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