Kelly: Son's hidden 'time capsule' spared in flooding -
Published Monday, August 26, 2013 at 12:30 am / Updated at 8:54 pm
From the notebook
Kelly: Son's hidden 'time capsule' spared in flooding

» A water emergency at home flooded two floors, but Harriet Mullin of Omaha found something that stayed dry: a “time capsule” note from her son, written 40 years ago.

“Amid all the chaos and damage,” she said, “this was a silver lining.”

One morning last week, Harriet awoke at her home in the Dundee neighborhood, where she and her late husband, Pat, raised seven children.

A second-floor toilet had overflowed.

She called for help, got in touch with an insurance adjuster and began airing out the house, which required 16 fans. It was a mess.

But in a plastic bag that had fallen from above into a breakfast nook, she found a note that, unknown to her, had been written by her oldest child when he was 8. He had placed it behind a bathroom wall when it was re-tiled.

“This is Wally Mullin,” the note began, adding that “whoever finds this” should note the date, Feb. 17, 1973.

“Our president is Mr. Nixon,” he wrote. “This year on Friday nights, they have 'The Partridge Family' and 'The Brady Bunch.' Here is a TV guide for you.” He included a World-Herald TV listing.

Wally P. Mullin is an economist at George Washington University in the nation's capital. He graduated from Creighton Prep and Boston College, earned his Ph.D. at MIT and is researching the deterrence of corporate crime.

When I reached him, he said he vaguely remembered writing the note and sealing it in plastic. He was pleased that his “whoever finds this” turned out to be his mother and that the note buoyed her spirits.

Said Harriet: “It was very heartwarming.”

» The widely recognized Council for Community and Economic Research ranks Omaha seventh out of America's 100 largest cities for low cost of living.

The Omaha area typically ranks 10 percent or more below the national average on cost of living, and it was rated at 87.7 percent of the average for the first quarter of 2013.

A lesser-known entity, ­, ranks Omaha second in the nation (behind Houston) on a similar measure — the greatest spread between average salaries and low cost of living.

» Janet Raddish of Omaha was baby-sitting her 3-year-old grandson, Bennett, and was asked to deliver him to the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium to meet his mother and sisters.

When he awoke from his nap and found out where they were going, he got excited about seeing “the monkeys.”

As Janet exited Interstate 80 and turned onto 13th Street, an excited Bennett shouted, “There they are, Grandma! I told you we would see the monkeys.”

What he remembered weren't actual monkeys at the zoo but advertising figures at the King Kong restaurant, including a large gorilla.

Bennett, son of Brandon and Staci Raddish, might be like other kids in seeing that as the unofficial entrance to the zoo.

» One more ranking: The real estate website ranked the 50 funniest cities, and Omaha came in — 50th.

Huh? THAT is not funny.

The site ranked cities on their number of comedy clubs or festivals, where comedians were born and currently live, and where they died.

Yes, where they died. Is that a joke?

(When comics succeed on stage, they say they “killed.” I know some who have died onstage.)

Atlanta ranked first, followed by Chicago and Los Angeles. Omaha, whose very name ends with a “ha,” is supposedly not so funny?

Hmmmpf. That's a laugh.

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

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

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