Kelly: NU bandmates will be 'Huskers for life' - Omaha.com
Published Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 1:36 am
FROM THE NOTEBOOK
Kelly: NU bandmates will be 'Huskers for life'

As the Nebraska Cornhuskers prepare for the final game on New Year's Day, another hardworking group is gearing up, too — the Cornhusker Marching Band.

Among those playing their final game in a Nebraska band uniform are fifth-year seniors Derek Hupp of Lincoln and Dylan Heng of Nebraska City. Football players can play only four years out of five, but there is no limit for the band.

Alto-sax players Derek and Dylan are two of a dozen fifth- or sixth-year band members bowing out after Wednesday's game in Jacksonville, Fla.

They fly out of Lincoln at 6 a.m. Monday, but band members are used to rising early. Each school day during the season, they practice from 7 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. at Memorial Stadium.

Derek, a global studies major who will enter the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha next year, said being a band member is a privilege. He and buddy Dylan figured that the bowl game will be their 50th game performance.

“Our entire goal is to support the football team,” Derek said. “Our band director (Tony Falcone) always says we support the team no matter the opponent, no matter the score.

“The team has it a lot tougher than we do because they are in a fish bowl. There's nothing riding on it if I miss a note in a halftime show, other than being mad at myself.”

The team also endures injuries. The band might have someone with a stress fracture in a foot, or a couple of musicians passing out in summer camp.

The 297-member band will march Tuesday in the Gator Bowl parade. Derek said playing “Hail, Varsity” for the final time Wednesday will be poignant.

He says that the Huskers have a good chance to win against Georgia but noted that Nebraska is 0-6 in postseason games where he and Dylan have played in the band — three conference title games and three bowls. (A snowstorm kept the band in Lincoln for the Holiday Bowl that NU won in San Diego their freshman year.)

No matter the opponent, no matter the score: As the fight song says, fans stick together in all kinds of weather.

Said Dylan: “This might be our last game in uniform, but we will be Huskers for life.”

» Helen Robinson was excited, her family said, that a World-Herald photographer had taken her picture as a patient being escorted at Methodist Hospital.

Her smiling visage appeared on the front page Thursday with a column about Bob Dearing and the hospital's patient escort service. The photo by Rebecca Gratz was shot earlier this month.

“Mom had joked that the photographer took so many pictures, it might break the camera,” said daughter Desiree Juelfs of Ithaca, Neb.

Unfortunately, Helen didn't get to see her photo. Unknown to the newspaper, she died on Wednesday.

Desiree said the family was glad to see the picture, partly because it doesn't have many of her.

“Mom was not a picture person,” she said. “She was always thinking of other people and put everyone else in front of herself. She never asked for anything and always made do with everything she had.”

Helen grew up in the Ozarks of Missouri and married at 15. She and husband Jerald would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Feb. 3.

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

They moved to Omaha in 1966 and to Fremont in 1991.

She recently went to Methodist Hospital for chemotherapy treatments for Stage 3 uterine cancer. She also took thinners for blood clots.

“We thought she was doing great,” Jerald said. But on Christmas Day at home, she said she needed to rest. She broke into a sweat, and an ambulance took her to the Fremont Area Medical Center, where she died. She was 65.

Besides her husband and daughter, she is survived by her son, Jerald Robinson Jr. of Fremont, as well as six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A memorial service is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Ludvigsen Mortuary Chapel in Fremont.

» Carla Shearon of Bloomfield, Neb., received a special gift for Christmas — a first-time trip to Hawaii to visit her daughter.

Carla was diagnosed with ALS, often called Lou Gehrig's disease, four years ago at age 54. Her trip is courtesy of the Gleason Foundation, founded by former New Orleans Saints football player Steve Gleason, who also has ALS.

Carla and husband Rick are visiting daughter Rita and her husband.

In a message provided by Omaha-based ALS of the Heartland, Carla said: “Steve Gleason inspires me with his determination not to allow a disease like ALS to limit what he can and can't do. ... I'm just overwhelmed by the generosity and compassion of others.”

» Arnie Kimmel, an Omaha Central High and University of Michigan graduate, was hired this month as CEO of Franciscan St. James Health in the Chicago area.

The SouthtownStar newspaper said Kimmel, 67, has experience returning underperforming hospitals to profitability.

After the announcement of his hiring for the health care network with Catholic roots, Kimmel said: “I just told a bunch of physicians that for a Jewish kid from Nebraska, I've done a lot of work for Catholic hospitals.”

Contact the writer: Michael Kelly

mike.kelly@owh.com    |   402-444-1000

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

OPPD board holding public forum, open house May 7
Intoxicated man with pellet gun climbs billboard's scaffold; is arrested
Church is pressing its case for old Temple Israel site
Crack ring's leaders join others in prison as part of Operation Purple Haze convictions
Saturday forecast opens window for gardening; Easter egg hunts look iffy on Sunday
Last day of 2014 Legislature: Praise, passage of a last few bills and more on mountain lions
A voice of experience: Ex-gang member has helped lead fight against Omaha violence
The thrill of the skill: Omaha hosts statewide contest for students of the trades
'The war is not over,' Chambers says, but legislative session about is
A recap of what got done — and what didn't — in the 2014 legislative session
PAC funded by Senate candidate Ben Sasse's great-uncle releases Shane Osborn attack ad
Teen killed at Gallagher Park was shot in head as he sat in SUV, friend who was wounded says
When judge asks, Nikko Jenkins says ‘I killed them’
New UNO center strengthens ties between campus, community
Threat found in Millard West bathroom deemed 'not credible'
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
Nebrasks health officials to advertise jobs via drive-thru
Coral Walker named Omaha police officer of the year
Sarah Palin, Mike Lee coming to Nebraska for Ben Sasse rally
Prescription drug drop-off is April 26
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Rather than doing $250K in repairs, owner who lives in lot behind 94-year-old house in Dundee razes it
NB 30th Street lane closed
State Patrol, Omaha police conduct vehicle inspections
Bernie Kanger formally promoted to Omaha fire chief
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Breaking Brad: At least my kid never got stuck inside a claw machine
We need a new rule in Lincoln. If your kid is discovered inside the claw machine at a bowling alley, you are forever barred from being nominated for "Mother of the Year."
Breaking Brad: How many MECA board members can we put in a luxury suite?
As a stunt at the Blue Man Group show, MECA board members are going to see how many people they can stuff into one luxury suite.
Kelly: Creighton's McDermotts put good faces on an Omaha tradition
A comical roast Wednesday night in Omaha brought fans of Creighton basketball laughter by the bucketful. This time it was McJokes, not McBuckets, that entertained the Bluejay crowd.
Kelly: New $24M UNO center embodies spirit of newlywed crash victim
Jessica Lutton Bedient was killed by a drunken driver at age 26 in 2010. Thursday, the widowed husband and other family members will gather with others at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to dedicate a permanent memorial to Jessica.
Breaking Brad: How much would you pay for a corn dog?
The Arizona Diamondbacks have a new concession item: a $25 corn dog. For that kind of money, it should be stuffed with Bitcoin.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
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.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »