Heroes Of The Week!

How HBO's 'Watchmen' Captures the Spirit of the Graphic Novel | The Mary Sue

Welcome to the intersection of Friday and good times, as we get ready to raise the roof with yet another roster full of mostly good, with just a touch of grumble. The former allows us the inspiration that is oftentimes found in the most hard to reach places. The latter provides us the necessary perspective by letting us know that the journey has obstacles, but that they won’t alter our destination. Not one bit.

And now to the lineup . . .

Chick-Fil-A manager speeds up drive-thru vaccine line in South Carolina

First up is yet another front line worker who was called upon to serve, and rose so far above the occasion, the FAA should’ve been called in. A vaccination program being conducted at Seacoast Church in Mount Pleasant, S.C. ran into computer issues, resulting in massive delays to their line. So Mayor Will Haynie called in a guy who knows how to work lines like nobody’s business. His name is Jerry Walkowiak and he’s the manager at the local Chick-fil-A. He was able to cut the wait time from one hour to fifteen minutes.

“He actually got there before I did,” Haynie says. “He was standing there. He was moving people along.”

That’s what’s called thinking outside the Styrofoam box.

Hockey game breaks out after 40-car pileup outside Montreal

Dale from A Dalectable Life has solved the riddle with this next story. You know why Canadians are renowned for their world famous ‘nice’ gene? Because you can’t spell nice without the ice. And so what do a bunch of motorists do when they’re stuck in traffic on Highway 40 outside of Montreal? They start a pickup hockey game, of course!

A 75 car pile-up closed the road for several hours, so rather than sit on their hands and listen to Welcome to the Jungle twenty seven times, they took to the ice and dropped puck. With nowhere to go and all day to get there, these peeps made a stretch of frozen road their own personal Montreal Forum (Sorry, but it’s always going to be the Forum to this American).

Let this be a lesson to you, kids. When life hands you lemons, grab your hockey sticks and play.

Juliana Carlos aka Courtside Karen Calls LeBron a P*ssy, Says She's 25 and Not a Gold Digger Even Though Her Husband is 60+ | BlackSportsOnline

We head back to the Association for this classic, and nope, it’s not Kyrie again. This next story involves Juliana Carlos. You might be asking who? And you’re not alone. I’m STILL wondering who in the hell this woman is and I READ the article. She’s a pseudo-curiosity who appears on Real Housewives of Atlanta, and really, can someone please explain to me what purpose these shows have? I mean, other than keeping P.F. Chang’s in business?

So Ms. Carlos and her husband started hurling obscenities at Lebron James when the Lakers were in town this week and that right there is her claim to fame; being included in the same sentence with Lebron James. To her credit, Carlos has since apologized. Like, a real deal apology where she owned her shit. But since I wasted thirty seconds of my life reading this article, I figure you guys can too.

Stacy Milrany and her Little Free Art Gallery.

Thank God for art, and artists. Without which, the world would be a monochromatic wasteland befitting Orwell’s worst nightmares. Stacy Milrany is proof of God’s existence, in loving color. The Seattle artist has taken to gifting her neighborhood of Queen Anne with a miniature art gallery. Her first “show” was in December, with a painting she titled “Cat Hair”.

The idea was inspired by the Little Free Library, which offers book-sharing boxes. Milrany’s gallery is also an interactive sharing space where people from the neighborhood can connect. She says the idea was born out of a need to fill the void left by a pandemic. Neighbors are encouraged to take art if it speaks to them, which they have done. Others have left art, even though it is not a requirement to do so. In a month’s time, more than 100 works of art have gone on display.

One of Milrany's own pieces, titled "MLK," featured in her mini art gallery on MLK Day.

“It makes me feel like I’m helping in some kind of way, especially at a time when loneliness multiplied in the past year because of the pandemic,” Milrany says. “It’s getting people to go out to see what their neighbors are contributing, and people who put their own artwork that gets claimed know somebody has enjoyed their little masterpiece.”

Van Gogh believed that great things are accomplished when small things are brought together. There’s a neighborhood in Seattle that’s proving him right.

Image result for kariko

I’m icing the top of this too cool for school cake with Katalin Karikó. And if you don’t recognize the name- I didn’t- it might be time to read up. Because it’s in thanks to the dogged persistence of this biochemist that there is a COVID-19 vaccine.

When Karikó arrived in this country, she had $1,200 to her name. As with so many immigrants, she also had a dream. It was the kind of dream that only gets to stepping once you roll up your sleeves and put in the time to achieve it. Brilliance is nothing without persistence, and when you add compassion to that mix, well, that’s where people like Karikó come from.

She spent decades developing mRNA and RNA technologies that have become the foundation for countless life saving treatments. As a result she’s received more than 12,000 academic citations.  But this senior vice-president of  the German pharmaceutical giant BioNTech didn’t get to regale in a cupcake party procession to get to this day.

In the mid-eighties, she transferred to Penn University to continue her research. It should have been the next big step in her journey but instead it became a period fraught with so many obstacles that she began to doubt herself. The research she had made her life’s work was considered too risky, resulting in one failed grant application after another. She spent ten years trying to break through that wall and her reward? She was demoted. Shortly after the demotion she was diagnosed with cancer.

Things began to take a turn when she found a kindred soul in Drew Weissman and she was finally able to receive a patent for her mRNA technology in 2012. After butting heads some more with the suits at Penn, she took a job with BioNTech, For all her brilliance, persistence and compassion, she might have a Nobel Prize waiting for her at the end of all this but she’s not content to celebrate until the pandemic goes rearview. And so this is the part of the story where yours truly is going to editorialize just a tad bit by pointing out that the vaccine for COVID-19 was brought to market by immigrants. Immigrants whose allegiance is not to any one country, but to the world.

What a concept.






63 thoughts on “Heroes Of The Week!

  1. Another super and eclectic collection. Tough to select my fav – Jerry, the artist, the hockey players … and yes, long live the Forum! My vaccine story. I had to call to make a reservation. 1 hour 50 minutes later, I got through on the 380th phone call attempt … only to discover I was now in a phone queue …. 70 minutes later, done! Scheduled …. then I canceled it 24 hours because I found a different location a day earlier and online registration & time selection took less than 5 minutes.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. My mom is 85. Due to some health issues she has had for the last year, I’ve spent a lot more time than usual visiting her. Driving through the neighborhood to get to her house, I drive past a house where the residents put out a different painting every day. Mostly watercolors, the paintings are on an easel near the sidewalk. Even with her health issues, my mom tries to take her dog for a walk once or twice a day. Her destination? The house with the painting.

    These little things really can make a difference for people whose ability to get out and about during this horribly weird and isolating time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s so beautiful and true, Mark.

      The idea makes sense. Connect people to something when they can’t connect in the traditional ways. And art is such a wonderful way to bring people together.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s heartwarming to read about the heroes out there. I’m still blown away by Mr. Goodman with the Capitol police! Such a courageous and smart man.
    The hockey playing in the backed up traffic in Canada reminded me of the camaraderie here in our traffic jams in Florida…well not exactly. Thank you Marc! Enjoyed!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. All great stories, Pilgrim. ( except that mess from Atlanta.) I love the dead of breaking out the hockey sticks. Seem like a dignified way to spend a traffic jam. In reading the story about Katalin Karikó.I was struck by how difficult the scientific and technological breakthroughs are to complete. You have to wonder why the great stuff is so difficult. Good post. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the little free art gallery! Great concept. A nurse practitioner here that I know called the health center to see what their plan was for vaccines and was told there wasn’t one, so she stepped up and volunteered and called on a hundred volunteers she knows and set the whole thing up and running.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. B,

    This intersection is always a worthy visit. and yes, one appreciates the good when one has a not-so-good to compare to.

    I love that the mayor thought to call in a friend with the proper experience to help move the lines.

    Don’t ya just love how many people had a hockey stick in the trunk of their car? I mean c’mon!

    Juliana who?

    Now Stacy Milrany is a name worth remembering. And to think they keep trying to take art out of schools. If this is not proof that it needs to stay, I don’t know what is. Such a lovely idea!

    Katalin Karikó – how cruel that she has been gifted with cancer after all that she has done. Hopefully not an invasive type. It does make one wonder just how many scientists are behind the scenes, not being recognized for what they do. Thank goodness for peeps like you who add in bringing their stories front and centre.

    Wonderful choice of music, as well.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Q

      Now more than ever, we can’t ignore dark clouds. Not any longer. We need to address them from the get, or risk extended periods of rain.

      It’s rare that I give Chick-fil-A the time of day on this blog, but in this instance, it was much deserved recognition. It’s my small way of olive branching.

      That’s Canadians for you.

      Eggsactly. If you asked me to pick her out of a lineup that included a toaster, a pair of sneakers and a bologna sandwich . . well, it’d be tough.

      Art is necessary. Everywhere in the world. Kids of all ages need it.

      I’m assuming she’s been in remission for decades now, thank goodness. As for getting the recognition she deserves, she probably doesn’t even care about that as much as she cares about the vaccine.

      Ari is learning to play it on the guitar right now, so it really was an easy get this week.

      Gracias lovely.


      Liked by 2 people

  7. That’s one of the best descriptions of a Canadian psyche I’ve ever heard! And most of us grow up around a lot of ice and playing hockey. The one thing I always love on your blogs are the insights into neighbourhoods and neighbors. That’s really what we should all be about: Being neighbourly.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. An enjoyable end-of week read, as always. Thank you!

    Seattle (my home town) has always had a fun and quirky arts vibe. Like the troll under an I-5 bridge (google it), or “Late for the Interurban,” a statute paying homage to J.P. Patches and Gertrude (a man in drag), popular Seattle children’s TV stars in the ’50s and ’60s. Stacy’s Little Free Art Galleries fits right in. That arts scene is one of the things about Seattle I miss, a lot.

    And I so appreciate the bright light you’ve focused on Ms. Kariko. She deserves it, and is more proof (not that we really need it) that immigration can and should be a win/win for this country. She’s in good company, with Albert Einstein and so many others.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for that, RW.

      Are you talking about the graffiti under the I-5 bridge in Seattle? I found that one.

      I had never heard of J.P. Patches and Gertrude before. Just watched the statue dedication.

      Yes, imagine the contributions that would never have happened if certain people who shall remain nameless had their way.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for another great episode of “People Don’t Suck Nearly as Much as The News Says It Does.” Makes me wonder if I could suck a little less, and how. While you didn’t make up those stories, you get them in front of a few more eyeballs, with a good heart, and that’s a gift in more ways than one.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your heros this week brought smiles to my face and to my heart and can I just say…gawd bless immigrants!

    As for the ‘Courtside Karen’…{head shaking} WTH is wrong with people?? Me thinks she’s using too much Botox for those lips and it’s affecting her ability to remain sane with alcohol is added.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I could use a Jerry to call with my many new cyber work related issues. I mean, NASA couldn’t figure them out.

    Stacy M. is awfully pretty. And those mini installations remind me of dollhouses, a chronic love of mine regardless of how old I get.

    Cap it off with that Van Gogh quote and it feels like I’ve just had a creative meal.

    Nice you and Dale dance on the page so well together. As for me, I’m just content to be one of your many fans. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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