Heroes Of The Week! (Thanksgiving Edition)

Trust your heart if the seas catch fire, live by love though the stars walk backward
-E.E. Cummings

Nope, your calendar ain’t broken. Imma change things up by posting my Heroes on a Tuesday for this holiday week. I’ll be back and better than Ezra in December with the heroes and the zeroes tucked back into their regularly scheduled Friday edition.

And now, the heroes . . .

Serenity Now- A stray German Shepherd was collected from the side of the road in Chatham-Kent Ontario recently, after passersby contacted a nearby shelter. When an animal control officer responded to the report, he found the pretty lady keeping five little kittens safe and warm. The kittens are in the express lane to adoption ready while Serenity’s phone has been blowing up ever since. She’s estimated to be about two years old, and she’ll be ready for her forever home next week.

 

 

Lord knows I love to make fun of Kristen “My life is soooo perfect” Bell, but I gotta give props this week. Bell took her Instagram page- 12 million followers strong- and turned it into a way to help teachers with school supplies. Her project is called #FeatureTeacherFriday. Girl got game.

Yes He Cam- Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is muddling through a pretty forgettable year on the field. But he’s being his usual All-Pro self off of it as he readies himself for the eighth annual “Cam’s Thanksgiving Jam”, where he’s gonna help feed more than 1,000 underprivileged kids. When it comes to the Charlotte community, Newton is a rock star. He also heads up celebrity kickball and 7 on 7 youth football tournaments as well as healthy day of service events. The dude is the antidote to TMZ.

Bagels 101 manager Vinnie Proscia is proof that not all crazy bagel shop guys are created equal. A customer dialed him up recently to ask if she’d left her electronic key fob there. Diana Chong was that customer, and she was in a bind since she’d arrived at her destination and was unable to turn the car back on without it. So Vinnie delivered them, from his bagel shop in Long Island to where Chong was staying . . in Pennsylvania. Funny how his crazy didn’t have a chance of going viral.

Tyler Stallings in 2046!- Tyler Stallings was four years old when he first learned about homeless veterans. So for the last four years (One term in the oval office . . oh by the way) the kid has been doing his small part, with big results. He makes “Hero Bags” which are essentially grooming kits with all the essentials. For the winter, the bags will also include a blanket, hat, gloves and lip balm. He’s handed out over 3,000 bags while bringing in more than $50,000 dollars and raising awareness. And I did mention he was eight years old . . right?

The Bay Village Police department in Ohio is asking for canned food donations in lieu of parking ticket fines. They aren’t the first department to do so, but it’s an idea that is catching on across the country. Partnering up with Bay Food Ministry, the police department collected 47,392 pounds of food last year alone.

The Real Santa Clause- When Mike Howard lost his battle with cancer last year, the folks in Harlan County Kentucky lost their real life Santa. For forty two years, Howard had dressed up as Santa, delivering thousands of gifts to the community’s poorest families. But there must have been some magic in that old silk hat Mike wore, because his son will be taking up the reins this season. Jordan Howard will don the red suit and carry on the tradition of “Mountain Santa”. He’s been busy in his workshop for over a month now and will have about about 4,000 presents to deliver by mid December. Peeps like these are why I will always believe in Santa Claus.

This last story is the best case scenario to an epidemic that’s had this country in a choke hold for more than two decades. It’s yet another story about a kid living on the fringe, until his feelings of isolation become too much. It’s yet another story about guns. But this story, which happened all the way back in May, has a much different ending than so many others.

Keanon Lowe was busy living the life he had imagined in January of 2017. The Gresham Oregon native was working as an offensive analyst for the San Francisco 49ers when he got a phone call that would change his life forever. Taylor Martinek, his best friend since their days at Jesuit High School, had died of an overdose after taking a lethal dose of fentanyl.

Shattered by the news, Lowe picked up the pieces by moving forward. He returned home and took a job at Parkrose High School coaching football and track and field. Last year, he became the school’s security guard as well. He was a living legend in his home state, having played wide receiver for the Oregon Ducks, but that’s not what brought him home.

Lowe saw a community in need, and this mattered more than a peach NFL gig ever could. To him. Because with some people, status is all about living right.

And so it was that Lowe was preparing his team for a district track meet when Angel Granados-Diaz walked into a fourth period government class; wearing a trench coat and carrying a shotgun. Lowe never missed a beat as he brought the student into a clench while wrestling the shot gun away from him. And then he hugged the kid, who is getting the help he needs now, instead of being immortalized as a monster.

“I told him I was there to save him . . I was there for a reason . . and that this is a life worth living . .”

It’s easy to lose our better angels to the hopeless depths of indifference and division. And then the fates bring us someone like Keanon Lowe, who turned a tragic ending into a lifetime of new beginnings. The right person in the right place so that the wrong time would never have a chance. And for one blessed day, flowers were given to the living instead of to the dead.

When faced with the prospect of just another day happening all over again, that hug was busy speaking a different language altogether. It spoke kindly to the wicked fates, two simple words uttered in the silence of a heroic embrace.

Not today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

55 thoughts on “Heroes Of The Week! (Thanksgiving Edition)

  1. Thank you for this all-around, good list of people doing small things that make a difference — that provide examples of the types of things regular folk can do if they just put themselves out there. That eight-year-old kid … sheesh. If he can do it…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. B,

    First off… perfect quote for what is a whopper of a Thanksgiving Heroes Post! Perfectly timed.

    That German Shepherd story… proof that race is not important, eh? Must have been a sight to see…

    Nice to see celebrities use their celebrity for good. Kudos to both Kristen and Cam.

    Holy Delivery Boy! His crazy is here, thanks to you. That was quite a trip…Go Vinnie!

    Where do kids like Tyler Stallings come from? To have that type of compassion at such an early age is something else. I can’t even comment properly.

    Almost worth parking in the wrong place, isn’t it? What a great idea!

    The Howards are what Christmas is all about. So wonderful that the son took over the fathers mantle.

    As for that Keanon Lowe video… I’ll be sharing that one far and wide, I promise you. If this can start the revolution we so badly need to control this horrible school shooting epidemic then I am all in. It’s bad enough Lowe lost his best friend to that other killer – fentanyl – that has been spreading fast and furiously. To have picked up the pieces and ended up back home at the right time doing the right job at the right moment…

    Angel had his personal guardian angel come in to save him. Period. For Lowe to choose to see, actually SEE Angel and give him what he needed rather than just throw him to the ground like any other guard would have done is the difference that needs to be made. Even if the powers that be ever actually do change the gun laws (and we know that is not gonna happen any time soon, but let’s pretend anyway) there will still be a huge need for the Lowes of this world.

    Beautifully done, B.

    Thank YOU,

    Q

    Liked by 1 person

    • Q,

      Thank you dearest pal ‘o mine. You are cherished in more ways than you know.

      That was the best rescue situation, like . . ever?

      I ain’t a particularly big fan of either Kristen or Cam in their chosen endeavors. But really, so the hell what? Because these two are champions where it matters most.

      Vinnie! That crazy bagel shop guy that beats the shit out of the OTHER crazy bagel shop guy. Without ever touching him.

      Tyler Stallings . . . he’s got a speechwriter right here when it comes time.

      I wish the 5-0 was doing this back when I was behaving in all manner of reckless and collecting fines right and left.

      Harlan County . . . I wonder if they dug coal together too?

      Keanon Lowe speaks to that magic we still consider to be an anomaly. That’s because of all the minor league voices- from Congress to the news cabal- that tell us it ain’t worth believing in for more than a day or two.

      And you’re right. It’s worth paying forward. Every day. So that kids like Angel become something more than an Andy Warhol headline. So that kids like Angel become adults. And not monsters.

      I want to believe in that kind of place. I need to believe in it.

      Muchas gracias, lovely. And then some.

      B

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dearest pal o’ mine goes both ways, as you know. As does the cherishing.

        Fantabulous! Plus German Shepherd… I do have a little bit of a favour for them 😉

        Neither am I but if they do the good they are doing, then they deserve a spot in this here fabulous post.

        Crazy and beyond sweet to go all the way out of his way (I guess using a delivery service would have been out of the question).

        Tyler has special DNA – that cannot be marketed. That is a gift.

        Were ya now? Why am I not surprised? Actually, I AM surprised…

        I can’t believe I missed the Harlan reference. Honestly! That’s what happens when we chat and write at the same time 😉

        May the anomalies replicate faster than a super virus.

        It definitely is. We need to keep paying forward the good stuff. Because the good stuff will save the Angels of this world.

        I do too.

        Always. More and then some more.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Cherish is the word ‘o the night. Officially speaking.

          I’ve heard. And he’s a rather handsome lad at that.

          And they scored it. And I’m glad they did.

          Yeah, this is the sort of thing Grub Hub ain’t so well known for.

          He’s the Lamar Jackson/Juan Soto of his age. Mighty swing, big steps.

          Oh come on now. Really?;)

          It was the bourbon, wasn’t t? In keeping, and all that.

          Amen. Sister!

          That they will. In trinity speak.

          To the better angels and to the better days that do not rhyme with just another.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. This may be the best Hero edition of all time .. honestly! … plus no negatives. Most of these I didn’t know, so I stand in awe of these stories. From the dog opener to the teacher, impressive collection that is perfect for a Thanksgiving edition.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am right there with aFrankAngle….this is my favorite hero edition thus far!

    Serenity: Ahhh…warm and fuzzies. Proof that a mother’s love can extend outside the family. It was Arliss, my own non-mom, that tucked me under her protective arm and saved me.

    Tyler Stallings: Do we have to wait until 2046? It seems this young man has more human compassion than most of us. He has my vote.

    Keanon Lowe for president? I love this story the mostest! He did what was needed by wrestling the gun away. But, OMG, tucking that young man into a hug. Yep, that’s a solid hero move!

    Thanks for giving me hope!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ella . . thank you.

      To Serenity and to all those non-moms out there who make a difference every day.

      I’m afraid little Tyler is far too noble to score a gig on the Oval Office. But if politics does become his gig, it would be interesting.

      Yes to that hug. My God, I watched this video several times because I pulled up several different stories about it. And the hug, it gets me every single time.

      Thank YOU for the lovely comment

      Liked by 1 person

    • Eilene,

      Amen to that! Keanon Lowe is the kind of individual that makes you step back and rethink everything. His story makes you believe there is something greater at work. But his actions when faced with a nightmarish scenario . . . just wow. And then to bring the kid in for a hug. Letting him know he wasn’t alone.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Here’s keeping my fingers crossed for Serenity Now and her feline posse’s pursuit of a ‘fur-ever pawfect’ home.

    And Tyler Stallings…my man! WHAT A FREAKIN’ GIANT! It’s stories like that which need to be resoundingly promoted-not those about a certain pol who uses foundation donations to buy huge portraits of his bad self. 😳

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Did you see my shoulders relax as I read this post full of warm, happy and inspiring stories? Hear my sigh of relief as I read something other than the bad-to-awful news that seems to never gives us a break? Thank you for thought-provoking piece as we roll into a long holiday weekend, a reminder to look for the good, to be the good.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Tyler Stallings in 2046!- Tyler Stallings was four years old when he first learned about homeless veterans. So for the last four years (One term in the oval office . . oh by the way) the kid has been doing his small part, with big results. He makes “Hero Bags” which are essentially grooming kits with all the essentials. For the winter, the bags will also include a blanket, hat, gloves and lip balm. He’s handed out over 3,000 bags while bringing in more than $50,000 dollars and raising awareness. And I did mention he was eight years old . . right?

    I know it was first up, but it stopped me in my tracks. Love the Oval Office crack…hear hear…the fact homeless vets roam the earth lost and forgotten after what they went through to preserve what is now at stake..freedom and respect among other things, makes me cry.

    Reminds me of a West Wing episode which you can Google, when a homeless man is found in the park with Toby’s card in his pocket. Turns out it was a coat he gave to the Good Will so when they call him, he finds out the guy fought in Korea and decides to give him a state funeral at Arlington. It’s so poignant, I can’t even do it justice. It’s a Xmas episode called In Excelis Deo.

    Anyway…this was a great one. I’m glad I waited for Thanksgiving to red it again.

    Susannah

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You know, I’m really digging these heroes if the week posts and so grateful that you put them out here because it’s rare to find good deeds in world where A LOT of greed, hypocrisy, and enabling is going on. I LOVE the fact that this kid, the 8-YEAR OLD kid just impacted lives. Just amazing. And that NFL guy who just stepped away and found his moment in time. That was unbelievable. How does that happen? So glad that people were saved and that kindness and good hearts are still out there and in effect! Well done bud, thanks for spreading the word.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cali,

      It seems that the real deal heroes episode was a total hit with my peeps. I might have to change things up and just include the positive from here on out.

      Maybe I’ll include little blurbs with the zeroes from time to time, just so’s I don’t lose my snark. 😉

      Glad you dig.

      Sunshine and waves to you

      Like

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