Heroes Of The Week! (Casual Friday Edition)

Macy's Thanskgiving Day Parade 2012: Helium is wasted in floating parade balloons.

Welp . . . I couldn’t go with Black Friday Edition on account of the fact the retailers have gone and screwed that up in the recent past by opening on Thanksgiving night. Of course, this year they got religion . . on account of COVID. So Imma go with a more casual flow to this week’s episode. And with twenty eight shopping days until Christmas, methinks it’s a good idea to take a chill day before our shopping boots really get to stepping.

Big thank you to Frank “Beaches” Angle for riding shotgun with me last week. Of course, going solo means I have some zeroes to go along with the good stuff. But that’s alright because, just like in the movies, the good guys win in the end.

Now to our heroes . . .

I’m starting things off with Green Shirt Guy. And if you don’t know who that is, then do yourself a favor and watch this video. His name is Alex Kack and he’s a twenty eight year old field organizer from Tucson, Arizona. He went viral after video footage caught him having a good laugh during a city council on immigration. He was reacting to the mindless rant of an anti-immigration protester when his fifteen minutes of fame came calling.

“There’s a side to it that’s not funny, especially in light of El Paso,” he said. “But when you’re sitting there and your confronted with a level of absurdity and insanity, what else are you gonna do?”

Kack says he plans on keeping his green shirt. And hopefully he keeps that sense of humor as well. We need it right about now.

Big props to a recent hero, Alex Smith. The Washington quarterback not only made it back to the field after almost losing his leg a couple years ago, but he’s kicking some butt. He threw for almost four hundred yards last week, and he helped lead Washington to a victory against the Cowboys yesterday that lifted his team into first place. Just . . . wow.

Not for nothing (because that’s what it’s worth) but what in the hell happened to “America’s Mayor” Rudy Giuliani? Dude should have remained in the private sector, because once he went high profile again, he quickly turned into the Penguin. Seriously . . . DC Comics is suing him for identity theft. But I guess that’s what happens when you join forces with the Joker.

And what’s the deal with Rudy’s boss taking credit for the Dow hitting 30 K for the first time? Does he not remember predicting the market would crash if Biden was elected? Huh? Hmm? Huh?

Ryan Shazier walks out to announce Steelers' draft pick

Ryan Shazier was busy living his dream until a spinal cord injury in a December 2017 game against the Cincinnati Bengals changed everything. The former linebacker was given only a twenty percent chance of ever walking again. He pushed back on that daunting outlook and less than six months later was walking up to the podium to announce the Pittsburgh Steelers pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

“My injury has helped me see firsthand what the SCI community goes through every day and the inequities people face when it comes to getting the care they need,” Shazier said. “I want to be there for people who are going through similar struggles, including their caregivers and families.”

Over the last three years, this former member of the “Steel Curtain” has shown plenty of steel off the field. This week he announced that he is starting a non-profit organization: The Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation. In his words, it’s one step at a time to a better tomorrow. His courageous example will help to lead the way.

Dogs are man’s best friend, so it was only right this guy returned the favor. He went in the water and extricated his puppy from the jaws of an alligator. The part of this video that’s most impressive is how he opens the gator’s jaws while it’s between his legs. I mean . . courage AND concentration.

Seriously! The gator is BETWEEN his legs . . . thisclose to his business! Okay I’ll stop . . .

Michael J. Fox Details Crisis Of Optimism In New Memoir, 'No Time Like The Future' | Here & Now

And now for a double tapestry of righteous brought to us from the lovely Dale over at A Dalectable Life.

First up is that much loved Canadian(?) Michael J. Fox. He’s penned a new memoir titled No Time Like The Future, in which he goes deep on his darkest moments. Specific to this was 2018 when doctors found a tumor on his spinal cord. Though benign, doctors believed it was too risky to operate, and that it would eventually lead to him not being able to walk. He was able to find a doctor who removed it successfully, after which he spent much of the year learning to walk again.

Things did not go well.

“I squandered it by going too fast down a hallway and turning into the kitchen, slipping on a tile and crushing my arm,” says Fox, who couldn’t reach the phone to call for help. “I had to get my arm rebuilt.”

It was in that moment where Fox thought to himself “I’m out of the freaking lemonade business,”. And yet he found his way from there to here. With a new book, a new outlook and a perspective that will serve to help others. In spite of all the valleys he’s been made to journey through, he says he is still so thankful for everything he’s got.

Is it any wonder me and Frank try and steal this guy every chance we get?

And a belated congratulations to Kim Ng, the first female general manager of a men’s team in the history of major North American sports. From the White Sox to the Yankees to the Dodgers, Ng has paid her dues over a thirty year career. Next up? I want to see Becky Hammon score a head coaching gig in the NBA.

Dolly Parton, who in April donated $1 million to Covid-19 research, is listed among sponsors who funded research for the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.

As for the B side of Dale’s two-fer, we have Dolly Parton. She wasn’t just tapping her toes, hoping the pandemic would miraculously disappear by spring, nope. In April she donated $1 million to coronavirus research. Money that helped to fund Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. Her name appears in the preliminary report for the vaccine, but she was never looking to draw attention to herself. All she wanted was to help, and she called on others to send what they could to the research team at Vanderbilt University.

She believed it was the time to “open my heart” in order to help others. But you know what really helps that process along?

When your heart was right there all along.

And the following video is why I am going to miss Conan. One of the many reasons . . .

Pat Sajak told a Wheel of Fortune contestant that he was “ungrateful” and Twitter went nuclear. And in other news, I just cut my toenails . . . .

Imma send y’all into the weekend with the story of Grover Wilhelmsen. He’s a retired music teacher who was stricken with COVID-19 this fall. The virus moved into his lungs and impeded his ability to talk. So Grover took to passing notes to the nurses tending to him before coming up with a better idea. He got his wife Diana to bring his violin to the hospital so he could play them a song, as his way of saying thank you.

And in the music shined a light for the people who have had to work through so much darkness. His gift of love and thanks, in keeping with the season. The gesture shows us that gratitude is more than appreciation or a reciprocal kindness.

It’s a gift.

81 thoughts on “Heroes Of The Week! (Casual Friday Edition)

  1. What an edition Mr. Imma. Where does one start?

    Rudy Giuliani needs a consultation about his hair color he’s obviously buying over the counter rather than grace a salon. Is my ex Mayor cheap, or just shy not wanting us to know he dyes his hair? Well, the cat’s sure outta the bag now, isn’t it?

    The man who saved the dog. I’d sure like to have a word with that alligator who is a bit of an opportunist if you ask me. I mean, really. Show a little integrity before somebody makes a shoe out of you. Of course, all that matters is, Fido is safe, making you wonder if dogs too, have 9 lives. What a hero that man is since, he could of lost his arm.

    Michael J. Fox…sigh…His first book, Lucky Man, tells you the whole story how his Parkinson began after a night of hard drinking, waking up in a hotel room while on location with one of his fingers shaking uncontrollably, like it belonged to someone else.

    I remember working on the show Spin City, waiting and waiting for him to come out of his dressing room, thinking along with everyone else, he was simply playing the star. Turns out, he was waiting too…for his meds to kick in that sometimes took a long time.

    I also recall him speaking before Congress, lobbying for more Parkinson research since, back then there was so little, not taking his medication, so they’d see how truly horrible it is to suffer from it.

    HERO? I’D SAY….HUMBLED BY HIM DOWN TO MY SOCKS…SIGH

    Liked by 1 person

    • To think there was a time when Rudy could have run for President and people would have swept him into office. Alas, that time did not last very long.

      The alligator should consider himself lucky that he’s not a handbag right about now. And as for the fella who saved his puppy, he could have lost an arm . . he could have lost another appendage that most dudes do not want to be living without. I still wince.

      Michael J has overcome so much. And that’s not even to mention the people such as Rush Limbaugh who’ve accused him of using his disease for political purpose. And he’s never thrown a pity party. When I talk about perspective, I could very well be referring to Michael J.

      Me too, SB. Me too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Love your response on all three. Didn’t know Rush was such an asshole. I mean I did, but not to that degree. Did he think he was just acting being the great actor that he is, even now? Schmuck city.
        Yeah, the alligator guy was lucky, but I guess, any act of bravery is spontaneous, like when that man jumped onto the subway tracks to save the kid. They both were okay, but could very well have been pancakes. I need more coffee Mr. Imma. Pancakes Susannah? Sigh At least I spelled it right.

        Liked by 1 person

      • PS Rudy was so well liked here especially after 9/11. I remember weeping during some event when he took the stage flanked by two rescue dogs. Of course, those dogs were what made me cry since, they were heroes too given medical attention same as all the other essential workers. You’re always popping a file for me Mr. Imma. sigh

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Marco,

    You took me from tears to laughter and back to tears again. I saw the violin playing COVID patient on the news and didn’t mind seeing it again…and again. Michael J. Fox is simply an inspiration and what it means to never give in or up. The Conan clip…I couldn’t breathe…particularly after the last “contribution.” Thank you for the sniffles and smiles, my friend.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rochelle,

      I’m not sure what happened to the episode that was, but I swear it just had a mind of its own and the next thing I knew . . here we were.

      Violin Man is the music we need inside these dark times. A story of thanks and gratitude. Amen to that.

      Michael J doesn’t bemoan his situation. He stands up to it, every single day. Even on those days when his lemonade stand is closed for business.

      Conan! And the people . . what a sense of humor they had about the whole thing.

      Shalom,

      Marco

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I must be hormonally out of whack because each of these stories brought tears to my eyes. I can’t decide which one I liked more. It was like with each and every story the emotional punch ratcheted up. Well done, sir. And well done to your contributors. The violin guy was the cherry on top. That Dale, man she knows how to tug the heartstrings with finding the good story, doesn’t she? Anyway we can distill a bit of her to put it in an atomizer for spritzing when we need a boost (or a laugh)?

    Liked by 1 person

    • They were special places, Monika. I often wonder what brings me to them. I don’t wonder for long, because it really doesn’t matter. Just so long as they show up.

      To Dale! Who brought us two keepers in the Michael J Fox and Dolly Parton stories. Two people with big hearts and plenty of soul.

      Violin Man . . love. Imagine taking the worst of times and turning it on its head with music. He did that.

      Booyah!

      Thanks Monika.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. B,

    You know me… gotta do the rundown. As for Black Friday, you know how I feel about that. It’s an insane proposition that brings out the caveman in the mildest of peeps. You call this casual? This was a fantabulous edition!

    Frank and you were definitely the dynamic duo last week!

    GreenShirtGuy. He’s got a bit of the Jason Sudeikis thing going on, don’t you think? And how in the blessed hell did I miss this whole thing? He’s great.

    Way to go Alex Smith! What an inspiration!

    Giuliani.. I don’t know man. Where did the 9/11 guy go? I can’t see him here. At all. And FFS, man, if you’re gonna dye your hair yourself, make sure you do it the day BEFORE you’re gonna schvitz all over the place. Good gawd, man.

    You’re The clown took credit?

    20% apparently is not a number Ryan Shazier concerned himself with. What an inspiration. I love how certain peeps suffer an injury and turn it into a cause. Bravo!

    Holy moly! That puppy is beyond lucky! Not to mention his owner coz yanno… things coulda gone a whole ‘nother way…

    There should be no question mark between parentheses when it comes to Michael J. Fox. He’s a proud Canadian through and through (as he says at the end of his interview πŸ˜‰ ) However, he is also a proud American and I’m more than willing t share. I read his first two memoirs and am definitely getting this third one – even if he says he’s cranky! He is an inspiration of a man and I don’t blame you and Frank one bit. But no. You can’t have him. You can borrow him.

    Woot to Kim Ng!

    Doily. We couldn’t help but love her before. We surely can’t now.

    For those Canadians who could not watch the Conan video… here’s a Canada-friendly one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgZI5ZY3dmU What a hoot!

    Oh my goodness…Grover Wilhelmsen… what to say? Here’s the video for the Canadian peeps https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AMB0BpsVtg

    You are a gift, B-Lovely. You are. And a perfect song to cap off this wonderful supposedly casual edition.

    Q

    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      It started out casual and became this. I didn’t have the heart to change it even though I might have been better served going to “Double Issue Edition”.

      As for Black Friday? Pfffftt! With most people doing their online shopping, what’s the use of opening on Thanksgiving anymore?

      Cincy knows how to rock ’em.

      Didn’t have to say a word. He just let those fools scream and shout and cry and make absolute fools of themselves. And he did what any common sense, right minded individual would have done given the situation. He laughed his ass off. And yes! Sudekis . . .

      Alex Smith is going to be playing, and maybe even starting, somewhere next year. Unbelievable.

      Rudy G . . . America’s Mayor . . once. A long, long time ago now. He’s become a caricature and how sad it is because he really did have a chance to go down in the history books much differently than this.

      He insists it was all him. Never mind it was an eventuality no matter who was President. And never mind it was flagging over the last few weeks after peaking. Flagging because Trump would not concede.

      Shazier follows in line with another former Steeler, Rocky Bleier. Two men who were never supposed to walk again. And did.

      A WHOLE nother way. I am still wincing.

      Borrowing is fine with us. He’s worth anything and any time he spends with those of us who are inspired. Those of us who learn about perspective all over again, thanks to him.

      She deserves it.

      Of course. She is a rock star.

      A PSA from your friends north of the border, LOL.

      And another!

      Woot! And thank you wootly! And much. And lots.

      B

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, Double Issue it was! Fantabulous, at that.

        Honestly, I don’t get the whole thing.

        He does!

        I love it. Right? He made me think of him in We’re the Millers πŸ˜‰

        Unbelievable. Hats off to him.

        It’s gonna be 20 years next year since. He has slipped way further than I could have imagined.

        Of course he does. And tell me… has he conceded yet? I kinda lost interest.

        Yes. Kudo to both of them.

        No kidding. That’s a thought I would not want to have and I’m not a man.

        Yes. He does have a way of giving people perspective. And I love how he has never, ever been a woe is me guy. And that it’s okay to be cranky when you don’t feel like being Mr. Sunshine – which is still not whining.

        She does!

        I try πŸ˜‰

        And I try some more.

        Much deserved.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Now that Rolling Stone is off limits to your truly forever after, I needs to take it from them. NOT copying it . . yanno. πŸ˜‰

          Me either.

          He does!

          Haha! You love that movie, dontcha?

          No kidding. Hats and boots and a salute just for the hell of it.

          I remember when we spoke of him while up in NYC a month after the attacks. It was with such reverence and respect. What the hell happened?

          No he has not. He has said that he is going ahead with the transition, in spite of the fraud he insists was perpetrated.

          Both. For sure.

          It’s just impossible to not think about it.

          It’s funny because I know a few peeps who need to blame everything under the sun for their woes. From exes to sunshine to sudoku . . and really, they have no clue.

          She does!

          And succeed.

          Again.

          MUAH!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Rolling Stone ain’t got nothing on ya.

            Some peeps live for those supposed sales.

            And you didn’t ? πŸ˜‰

            Yeah. The whole kit and kaboodle.

            We, up here, thought wow… now this guy is happening. Ummm.

            I swear. I’ve been outta da loop so I kinda lost track on where he stood. Though I shouldn’t be surprised he hasn’t.

            Uh huh.

            I have no patience for the woe-is -me peeps. They have none, whatsoever.

            You’re the sweetest.

            MWAH!

            Liked by 1 person

          • You’re just biased.

            It’s lazy. They never should have gone to Thursday. Keep it Friday, especially with all the online sales going on. Make Friday special.

            Of course I did.

            Yee HAW!

            It was a small window but during that time they even thought about keeping him on for a while longer.

            He never will admit he lost. It goes against his brand.

            Mmm Hmm.

            Me either. There are too many of them to count, and they all sound the same.

            No U are.

            MUAH!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Maybe a li’l bit.

            It is.

            I know you did.

            That window didn’t feel that small till now.

            You have a point. He’s not big on admitting he fucked up. On anything.

            They do all sound the same. We should just send them MJF’s way and be done with them.

            Fine. But what goes with sweet? Salty – and you are that, too.

            MWAH!

            Liked by 1 person

          • A ‘lil.

            The retailers could have done right by their employees and stayed close on Thanksgiving. Early opening Friday? Fine.

            Yup.

            I know right?

            Now comes the next phase of Trump. Rallies, book deals. A cable network? Control of the GOP . . .

            That we should!

            Booyah!

            MUAH!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Wee bit.

            Yes. I agree wholeheartedly. And a day off for a holiday does not mean giving up your usual day off, either.

            Uh huh!

            Tiny!

            Do not get me started on that because, yes. He’s gonna make a killing with his shite.

            We should. But really, that wouldn’t be fair to MJF.

            Yum!

            MWAH!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oui.

            We’ve talked about this. The concept of treating your employees fairly does not have to take away from the bottom line. Plenty of companies out there that do so and prosper.

            Mm Hmm!

            Bit!

            He really is. The brand will remain strong.

            Nope, it wouldn’t.

            Right?

            MUAH!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Si, oui, wee li’l.

            And yes, we have. It’s frustrating that so many companies do treat their employees as the integral parts of the success of their business.

            I fear you are correct. That brand will remain strong for a long time. Ugh. I ain’t buying into it, though.

            So we won’t.

            Absolutely!

            MWAH!

            Liked by 1 person

  5. I always save your post to read when I’m in bed. The day is over, things I want to accomplish may or may not have been done and I can relax with some wonderful stories. You make me laugh, you make me cry and you make me feel glad I am following you. Oh, and for the record: Michael J Fox has dual citizenship. He was born in Canada but he chooses to live in the US. He needed American citizenship so he could fight the political fight for Parkinson Research. He has made a difference. I think he’s worth sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pam,

      You’re making me tear up. What a beautiful thing to say. And I’m so grateful to be your blow neighbor.

      LOL. I know. Can’t blame me and Frank for trying. But what counts most of all is what Michael J means to so many people. Canadian, American . . people from anywhere and everywhere around the world.

      Thank you again. So much.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That Conan clip is new for me. Oh my … gotta love it! Laughing at the stupid crap helps – guess that’s why we’ve watched Colbert so much the past 4 years. Cheers to Green Shirt Guy!!!! On to the heroes.

    Thumbs up to Dolly – but then again, Dolly is just being Dolly. Shazier is a great story, too. How can anyone not like him and his recovery, which is quite the life lesson!

    I recently saw an interview with Michael J Fox. Such a great story. Interestingly, he gave the biggest credit to his wife, Tracy Pollan, for the why she has handled his illness. However, much to my surprise and disappointment, he didn’t mention anything about being born in Ohio.

    It’s co-winners this week – one that causes the heart to race – the race causes the heart to just be the heart. Thanks to gator man and the violin player.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Love Conan. Wish he would’ve been able to remain host of the Late Show, but I get it. Leno was more commercially accepted.

      Green Shirt Guy rocks. All he had to do was what he was doing. And it was perfect.

      Dolly has such a big heart. She is such a philanthropist and you never hear about it.

      Shazier was determined to walk again, and well, if that doesn’t provide inspiration for anything going through hard times, I don’t know what will.

      MIchael J is just trying to be diplomatic here. You know how Canadians are, they fly off the handle at the slightest thing . . .

      Woot! Thought you’d like Violin Man.

      Liked by 1 person

    • He’s such an inspiration. When you consider where his career was back in the mid eighties. And then Parkinson’s. And he continued working in spite of it all. And he continues to advocate for those in need. And even when he doesn’t feel like making lemonade . . he’s doing it.

      Conan is priceless. And I loved the sense of humor the people had about this.

      Thanks Eilene

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Green shirt guy is new to me, but his laugh is not. I’ve seen and felt that laugh before. Thank you for sharing that vid.
    Lots of cool heroes here today. Hey, that guy who saved his puppy did it all, seemingly while enjoying a cigar. Love it!
    No, I don’t think that Rudy is dripping Grecian Formula. I think he cracked his skull, and is bleeding the black blood of an anti hero.
    Thunder came up with 2 goodies this week. MJ Fox is an interesting case. He’s like that old Timex watch ad… ‘Takes a licking, but keeps on ticking”.
    Thank you, Dolly!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love Marty McFly. He’s my favorite the fact that he said I’m outbid the lemonade business ha! I was like yeah, totally, nobody would blame you but then there he is making things happen with grace and humor. Plus Dolly … come on! I remember watching an interview with her about Steel Magnolias and she was so humble and talented, what a class act. How awesome is she? This was a good Casual Friday, thanks for the post πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. hey guys – great post – Conan and green shirt guy are my top pics of this post – and then of course the dog rescue – dang – he was so calm doing that – really amazing his “concentration”

    also – Ryan Shazier – how sad to have such a terrible injury but really does seem like he is making a lot of good come from it

    Liked by 1 person

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