One does not have to watch very many decorating shows before watching an item be repurposed into something else.  Whether the term used is upcycling or recycling, turning an item into something else is a popular trend.  In all of the segments found on Nebraska Stories Episode 907, I think there is a repurposed element.  Read on, watch the links, then let me know if you agree with me.  As always, the italicized words are from the NET show notes, while the remaining words reflect my thoughts and opinions.  If you cannot watch the show live, all of the segments are available to watch online.

“USS Omaha”

A brand new warship is joining the United States Naval fleet and it’s carrying the name of Nebraska’s largest city.  The USS Omaha employs space age design with cutting edge technology to defend freedom across the globe.  Nebraska Stories was given special permission by the Navy to visit the Omaha.  Learn about this state-of-the-art ship and meet her crew.  You may guess that the ship is repurposed.  No, but the name was repurposed.  This is the third ship that has been called Omaha.  But this one has a unique benefactor who is connected to Omaha.  Watch to learn more.

“A Turning Point for Osborne”

When he returned to Nebraska after his brief career in pro football, Tom Osborne couldn’t decide whether he should teach or coach.  Then one day he decided football was in his blood and he asked Coach Bob Devaney for a job.

If you spend any length of time in Nebraska, chances are that someone will mention Coach Osborne.  He is definitely a legend.  But he did not always intend to be a coach.  In fact, his wife might have thought that she was marrying a professor.  But things change when you are willing to let your life be repurposed.

w.t. Antique Pump Organ                

Retired minister Norm Porath has a weakness for old pump organs.  He began restoring them a few years ago.  It seems when he gets one done, another shows up on his doorstep.  Finding homes for a newly restored piece isn’t quite as easy as you might think.  But Porath plans to gift an organ to each one of his 13 grandchildren.

I thought about learning the organ once.  I am proficient at piano, and my Grandma played the organ beautifully.  These days, many people are junking old instruments or repurposing them.  I am glad that Porath is helping organs to be repurposed as organs again.

“Bright Eyes” 

“Bright Eyes”    While working on NET’s new documentary “Standing Bears Footsteps,” Associate Producer Princella Parker discovered the story of Susette La Flesche, also known as Bright Eyes.  The daughter of Omaha Indian Chief Iron Eye, La Flesche was a highly educated woman who championed the rights of native people at the time when northern tribes were forcibly removed to reservations.  Susette’s story resonated with Parker, who is also Omaha.

Our daughter did a “Notable Nebraskan” wax museum person report on Susette LaFlesche Tibbles.  That woman did much to be admired.  At the time, women’s rights were few.  Especially for Native Americans.  But her father saw to it that Susette had a higher purpose.  She lived out a grand calling.  You can learn more about Susette and Chief Standing Bear at the museum found at former Fort Omaha.


The feature image is from a room in the former General Crook House.  That house, formerly a part of Fort Omaha, has been repurposed as a museum.  Since this room featured chairs that were repurposed from antlers, I decided it was a fitting feature image.

What other Nebraska stories can you think of where someone’s life found a new purpose?

Author: neodyssey

My name is Gretchen Garrison. I started this blog about Nebraska in 2013. So far, I have written three books about Nebraska and Lincoln.