Heroes Of The Week!

(The above capture is Harry Kane and his England mates celebrating their 2-1 win in extra time against Denmark. With the victory, England reaches its first major final since 1966. It will face Italy on Sunday in Euro 2020 at Wembley Stadium.)

I figured since I’ve been on summer hiatus, I’d summon up a special sum-sum for this mid-summer morning’s thrill ride through Hero-Land USA upon my return. No zeros . . which means I can’t talk about that dope whose sign wrecked all those cyclists at the Tour De France or those warring ESPN’ers or Trump’s latest lawsuit. And yet somehow . . I’ll think we’ll survive.

Welp, let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming . . . .

Canadiens lose Stanley Cup Final, playing from behind among reasons

We begin with a hat tip to a classic lover letter that played out on ice this summer in Ville-Marie, more commonly known as Montreal. The Habs awakened the echoes of Richard and Beliveau, LaFleur, Plante and Dryden by making it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals. In a season where they were supposed to be happy just to be there, the Canadiens of Price, Caufield and Suzuki did much better than that. And while they fell short of the dream scenario, they reminded us as to why we root so passionately. Because it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you love the game.

Anonymous kindness: Customer leaves $16,000 tip for restaurant employees :: WRAL.com

If ever there was a year that made us eager to turn the page, it was 2020. It was the year that kept on taking, stealing our lives, our occupations . . stealing our everyday. Bars and restaurants across the country can attest to this fact all too well. More than 100,000 of these establishments were forced to close as a result of the pandemic while others are barely holding on. Now multiply that with all the workers whose lives have been turned upside down and you’ll see why this feel good moment made my roster.

It happened at the Stumble Inn in Londonderry, New Hampshire when an anonymous customer left a generous tip on his $38 bill. How generous you ask? Try $16,000 worth of the stuff. Which is going to be split between eight servers now, allowing for bills to be paid and summer vacations to be had.

That’s how you turn the page.

One of the (few) things I learned in my short time as a Boy Scout, was that textbook knowledge doesn’t prepare you for real world scenarios. Acing a test is all well and good, but it’s a controlled environment that presents little challenge to your true mettle. So it is that 15-year-old Dominic Viet and 16-year-old Joseph Diener of Columbia, Missouri can honestly say they’ve passed not only the written test, but the driving test too. Or in this case, the swimming test.

They were passing by a basketball court that had basically been transformed into a water polo swimming pool when they heard the screams of a young woman who was drowning in the flood waters. So, they jumped in. Never mind all the wrong answers that flood waters provide- such as the threat of sunken power lines, sewage runoff and the sheer force of mother nature wreaking havoc. In spite of all that, they were able to pull the woman to solid ground. After which Dom sent a text to his mother that read “Coming home soon, just saved a woman’s life,”.

I think that’s called extra credit.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: Love story of the longest married presidential couple

Politics and love don’t usually end up in a story together. Unless you’re Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, who just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. The pair have known each other since they were old enough to walk and talk. And they fell in love inside the last days of WW2, when he was 20 and she was 17. Jimmy was home from the Naval Academy and Rosalynn had just completed her first year of college. And while the former President cannot remember the movie they saw, he remembers the only thing that the truly mattered was the girl sitting next to him. In his 1995 memoir, he wrote this.

“I’d pay to sit behind her, blind to

what was on the screen, and watch the image flicker

upon her hair.”

What more can I add? Other than Happy Anniversary, you crazy kids.

Shohei Ohtani pitching and hitting plans for 2021

Okay, how do you know when a player just might be working his way into the pantheon of the all-time greats? Well, when you can say something like “Not even Babe Ruth did that . . “. It’s where the California Angels Mr. Everything, Shohei Ohtani, finds himself these days after being named to the All-Star Game, as a pitcherΒ andΒ a hitter. On the mound, he’s 4-1 with a 3.49 ERA while also hitting .279 with . . are you ready? 32Β home runs. He’s staring 10 plus wins and 50 long balls right in the kisser.

Hey Babe, there’s a new Sultan in town and he works on the left coast.

Crews work in the rubble Champlain Towers South condo, Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Many people were still unaccounted for after Thursday's fatal collapse. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

By now you’ve all seen the sobering images of that collapsed condominium tower in Surfside, Florida. The heart wrenching stories that have followed in the two weeks since this tragic event offer a haunting reminder of just how fragile this thing called life really is.

It is damn near impossible to believe in a higher power at a time like this. And then you start reading about how a community of first responders and volunteers are finding those places in the heart where forever spreads its lonesome wings. These are people who come from every walk of life: From first responders who have shown up at the site every day to volunteers who have taken to renting food trucks to feed them, to sports teams doing whatever it takes to make a difference, to neighbors who have opened their doors to those in need.

Robert Martinez talks with a law enforcement officer after handing him a hot meal from his food truck in Surfside, Fla., Tuesday, June 29, 2021. A small army of volunteers mobilized to deliver bottled water and energy drinks, chicken tenders and pizzas to law enforcement and emergency crews working long shifts after the deadly collapse of a condominium tower in the city, near Miami. (AP Photo/Russ Bynum)

The end result of all this time and energy might seem a hopeless cause, excepting to those people who find themselves there day after day. They remain fixed in the spot where nothing good will come in the way of news, because that is no longer the point of this expedition. Now, they seek something much more significant than any idea they ever might have mustered before the end came in the middle of the night, taking countless souls with it.

Death toll in Surfside building collapse rises to 64 after searc - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

This place they keep to, it’s sacred ground now. The labor is of love and its advent is a dedicated will, consumed with breathing life into that which possesses none at all. They forge ahead with rolled up sleeves and a belief that life is not defined by the beginning or the end, but by the middle we pen into being.

Their efforts are testimony to a religion that is not contained inside a leather bound book or houses with steeples or solemn hymns. Their actions are living proof that deities exist in the real time of every single day. And they spell the love and the purpose we devote to the most important things.

The Surfside community gathers for a memorial as search efforts turn from rescue to recovery

Where so much has been lost, these people provide what they have so that families can have closure. Their work is the indefatigable light of the human soul that refuses to go gently into that dark night. And when it looks as if God just isn’t going to show up, they provide us with the truest of necessary truths.

He’s already there.








20 thoughts on “Heroes Of The Week!

  1. You never fail to stir my heart and cause my tears to weep. The news only ever shows us the horrors that are all around us but you show us the true worth of individuals, the love we have for strangers and the reason there is hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pam,

      Thank you for the love and appreciation. It’s why Fridays are a good place to find myself on WP, because of the connection I have made with people such as yourself as a result.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. B,

    It’s a tough thing when I choose to chat with you and accidentally close the window where my mile-long comment was… Now I gots to start all over!! But will. Coz this is just too damn good to leave commentless.

    Congrats to England – they deserve to be there after all these years! Let’s see what they can do against Italy. I might even tune in for some of it!

    Good on you to diss those losers.

    Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. For including the Canadiens in your Heroes. The Habs were considered the worst in the season. The Underdogs who had no chance in hell of making it to the quarter finals, never mind the finals. I am so proud of my Habs. Price, Caufield, Suzuki, Gallagher (gotta include him) were stellar. And so was Anderson and our captain, Weber, and.. well. They made us so damn proud.

    I absolutely LOVE that the tipper remains anonymous. This is true generosity. Done for the good of the people with no return requested. No need to selfie himself doing it. No need to post how wonderful he is. Wow. What a difference that will make to those eight people.

    I can’t help but imagine the reaction of the Dominic’s and Joseph’s mothers. They probably had an internal dialogue that went something like this: Are you crazy? I’m so proud of you? You were so irresponsible! You were amazing. You could have been killed! You are heroes! et al… (guess I’m a mother, too, eh?)

    Who can resist Jimmy and Rosalynn? Seriously. They are the real deal. They are romantic, hard-working, genuine, real, humble, adorable… What a beautiful thing to write in his memoir! Big sigh from me. And did you hear? These two kids have committed to building how many more houses? Jeez…

    Guess I’m going to have to watch me some baseball to see what all the fuss is about πŸ˜‰ I’m sure you’ll help me out.

    That story in Florida is a heartbreaker. There is no point in focusing on the why this happened at this point other than to make sure any other buildings standing, built by the same people be investigated and the necessary be done to ensure this does not happen again. This last story is written as only you can. I read a sentence, sigh, go back and read it again. Beautifully done. You have added your voice to the stories of the people who are still being given honour and respect. It’s a generous and beautiful thing.

    Perfect song, of course.

    Your little week hiatus has brought out your best.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      THIS is a comment! Whoa! And yes, I hate when I’m chatting and I end up closing out a comment or an email or whatever it is I’m doing. At least with emails, they’re usually saved. WP . . no such luck with comments.

      England has waited a LONG time to be in this position. And Harry Kane . . I mean, is this not a made for TV movie waiting to happen? Or am I just too American?

      The hell with em.

      And with good reason. Because the Habs did what no one thought was possible. They made Canada come together . . for hockey! THAT is impressive in and of itself.

      How cool is that? And yes, now it will positively impact eight lives. And more than that, because their families and friends also benefit. The gift that keeps on giving.

      Yeah . . something tells me you’ve had many of those internal dialogues in your time! But yes, these two will be honored for their heroism, and deservedly so.

      Unreal. I was never a fan of Carter as President, but as with W, he’s shown how much more he truly is in the years since. And his partner in crime has been there all along.

      The Shohei Kid is just too special. You can YouTube his exploits for the 411. It’s worth the couple minutes.

      It’s heartbreaking what happened here, and made all the more so by the idea that this did not have to happen. The idea that it could have been avoided . . it makes the tragedy somehow even worse. And yet these people forge on, because it’s important to them, to give the families of the missing some closure. I simply wrote about their beauty, they did all the heavy lifting.

      Tracy is still doing her thing, she’s a great storyteller.

      I think it helps to step away sometimes. πŸ˜‰


      Liked by 1 person

      • I might have gone overboard this time πŸ˜‰ Yeah. I was like… noooooo!

        It has. And as for harry Kane… I’ll leave it at that. πŸ˜‰

        ‘Nuff said!

        It was a beautiful thing. Next year!

        So cool. $2K each is not chump change to must of us regular folk. It will make a difference.

        I might’ve had one or two πŸ˜‰ I would love to see them both be honoured.

        He was a tad too mellow to be a president. However. My goodness… the things they’ve done!

        I shall. Then maybe we’ll watch part of a game πŸ˜‰

        It is heartbreaking. Engineers have a responsibility. But, like you, I shall focus on the good that these people are doing for the families of the victims.

        Tracy is a master storyteller.

        I think you may be right. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        • Haha!

          Even the name has you thinking that someone would write the script and keep the name, because it’s perfect.

          A huge difference.

          They will be.

          Yes, his work has been prolific in the forty years since leaving office.

          If you guys get the All Star Game, you should tune in early. I think he will be the starting pitcher. Which means you would get to see him pitch AND hit.

          There is plenty of good going on down there.

          She is.


          Liked by 1 person

          • πŸ˜‰

            It’s a great name!


            Something to look forward to πŸ˜€

            It has. My goodness. They are both the definition of human beings.

            Tell me when. I’m sure I do get it. And wouldn’t you always get to see him do both in a game?

            There is.


            Liked by 1 person

          • The name and the team play this afternoon, and I’m hoping for a classic movie ending in favor of the Brits.

            They are that, and so much more.

            No, pitching and hitting are different compared to leagues. Shohei doesn’t bat in American League games when he pitches.



  3. Hi M
    welcome back
    enjoyed the heroes post – many times when I read your post I know half the stories already – a few times I know all or at least heard of them – but today – much of this was fresh news for me – so thank you – I did know about the condo collapse and you are so right about the heroes down there cleaning it up and all connecting to help those –
    and cheers to the scouts and Ohtani is quit a special athlete

    PS: that sign at the Tour de France is just a horrible thing to have happen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to be back at Heroes, Prior. And I’m glad I could deliver up a few stories you weren’t aware of, that’s always a cool thing.

      As for the condo collapse, it was so upsetting to hear about how they were warned in the time leading up to the collapse that the building’s structural integrity had been called into question. And nothing was done.

      The first responders and the volunteers down there are a special lot.

      Can you believe that sign? What was she thinking?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Shohei is the real deal, and obviously the modern-day Bambino. I can’t recall any player like that! It will be interesting to see if the Homerun Derby screws up his swing for the second half.

    Jimmy Carter may not have been much of a president, but the man is a first-class human being – so cheers to their 75th!

    A tip of the cap to those two scouts. Love the tweet. Saw a similar story of a college student who saw a mother and son caught in a rip current.

    Can’t say enough about those working at the scene of the Seaside towers. Well done, sir!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Marc, you’re summer hiatus and subsequent return was such a joy to read. I can’t stop smiling thinking about the beautiful spirit of some amazing humans in this week’s edition of heros. And I cannot stop smiling at the image or the thought of the oldest living president and his beautiful inside and out wife. Cheers to the happy former First Couple!

    And in sports…I’d be remiss without a special tip of the hat to the Habs. A remarkable run that no one anticipated ‘cept theirselves. Well done, boys. As for Mr. Ohtani…I’m blown away at this kid’s skill and confidence. Saw an interview of him on 60 Minutes…now that’s a boy of summer!

    Well done, sir on all stories, from the simple (Boy Scout rescue to the heartbreaking rescue/recovery in Florida. It’s been quite a week and thankfully, much of it on the plus side of the column. Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was an inspiring post to write, Monika, I’m not gonna lie. Some weeks are better than others, and this week was a good one. I felt every story, so much. And yes, the happiest of anniversaries to those two crazy kids.

      The Habs really gave it their all and have nothing to be ashamed of. It was great following them over the last month and a half. And as for Shohei, he’s a classic. Let’s hope the MLB features this guy more.

      Thank you so kindly, Monika.

      Happy Weekend to you

      Liked by 1 person

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