Kelly: Another in Clinton clan — Chelsea — will give Omaha talk - Omaha.com
Published Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 3:08 pm
Kelly: Another in Clinton clan — Chelsea — will give Omaha talk

The social service agency Girls Inc. always brings in a widely known speaker for its fundraising luncheon, but how do you follow two Clintons and two Obamas?

Well, with another Clinton — Chelsea.

Chelsea Clinton will be the featured speaker at the May 10 luncheon at the CenturyLink Center Omaha, talking about youth engagement and service.

Roberta Wilhelm, Girls Inc. executive director, said Chelsea is known for encouraging young people to participate and volunteer in their communities. “She wants young people to speak out and be heard.”

Clinton, 33, graduated from Stanford University, earned master's degrees from Oxford University in England and Columbia University in New York, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in international relations through Oxford. She and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, live in New York City.

Her parents, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have spoken at the Girls Inc. luncheon. So have then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama and, last year, first lady Michelle Obama.

This year's 11:30 a.m. event is the 13th Lunch for Girls. Tickets are $100, of which $65 is tax deductible. Patron tickets are $200. Call 402-457-4676 or go to girlsincomaha.org.

Another local institution is making a big change: The Omaha Press Club Show is moving back across the river and is going cabaret-style.

The spoof of public figures, which raises money for journalism scholarships, will be staged Thursday evening at the Scott Recital Hall of the Holland Performing Arts Center in downtown Omaha.

The 1960s-themed lampoon is titled “Nebraska's Rat Pack: Legends, Lovers and Liars.”

Much of the monologue was written by a guy who once wrote “Tonight Show” jokes for Jay Leno — Brad Dickson, The World-Herald's “Breaking Brad” humor columnist. Candidates for Omaha mayor are scheduled to appear in a skit.

The Press Club Show has been held since 1957, but executive producer Chris Christen said journalists in Omaha staged shows as early as 1938. For the past six years the event was at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs.

Chris, editorial manager for The World-Herald's custom publications, said rising costs dictated a need to downsize to a smaller venue to ensure raising $32,000 annually for scholarships at Creighton, Nebraska and UNO.

Tickets are $150, of which $120 is tax deductible. Call 402-384-9316.

The local but well-traveled rock band Skuddur will celebrate its 40th anniversary tonight at the Recovery Room Bar and Grill, 40th and Leavenworth Streets.

The name of the venue is easy to understand — it's near the University of Nebraska Medical Center. But the band name?

Jeff Morris, the 62-year-old leader, said Skuddur is a nickname that characters on TV's “Gunsmoke” called each other. The group started out playing country music but by the mid-1970s was into rock.

The group recorded some of Jeff's original songs and did well, serving as the opening act for the Ramones, Ricky Nelson and other big names. At one stretch, Skuddur spent about 18 months touring, but never quite became a main act.

“We had been on the road quite a bit,” Jeff said. “Everybody collectively thought maybe it was better to go back to Omaha to raise our children and be regular guys.”

The band continued to play, though, billing itself as “Nebraska's No. 1 party band.”

Jeff spent a couple of decades in the roofing business, with customers such as investor Warren Buffett and musician Conor Oberst, but music remains his love.

Tonight's gig, from 8 to midnight, will feature Jeff and fellow band members Mike Lamontia, Bob Halverson, Clark Ewalt, Tom Larkin and Mark Miller.

Journalist and author Steve Marantz was saddened at the death of friend and Omaha native Steve Sokolof, who grew up the son of a multimillionaire businessman but became a leader in the Hare Krishna movement in Miami.

Marantz, an Omaha Central grad, was covering the Tommy Hearns-Marvin Hagler fight for the Boston Globe in 1985 in Miami Beach when he ran into Sokolof, whose Krishna name was Siddha Vidya Prabhu.

“Tommy trained at the Fountainebleau,” the writer said. “I'm walking up Collins Avenue to get there, and who do I bump into on the sidewalk? None other than. We hugged and hugged, a marvelous reunion — he looked a thousand percent better than the last I had seen of him.”

Sokolof, the subject of Sunday's column, had fallen into drug abuse in the late '60s and early '70s until joining the Krishnas. He also had been a friend of Marantz's late brother, Denny.

A decade later, Steve Marantz covered the Nebraska-Miami game in the Orange Bowl for the Sporting News and watched the parade on Biscayne Boulevard with his wife and two children.

“Here comes a bevy of Krishnas,” he recalled, “dancing and chanting, led by none other than. I run into the street and hug him — my wife and kids are amazed — and pull him aside to meet them. He looked radiant.”

The writer and the chanter saw each other twice more — for lunch in Miami and again in 2011 in Omaha, when Sokolof wanted to talk with old friends about 1960s Metro Conference sports.

“Despite the Parkinson's, his memory put us all to shame,” Marantz wrote me. “He had us laughing, same as ever. I am heartbroken at his passing — he was a living link to my brother. Your story brought a tear to my eye.”

Contact the writer: 402-444-1132, michael.kelly@owh.com

Correction: World-Herald humor columnist Brad Dickson wrote much of the opening monologue for the Omaha Press Club Show. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated his involvement.

Contact the writer: Michael Kelly

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

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

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