Heroes of the Week – With Guest Host Dale

What makes a hero? - BBC News

Hello, hello!  So nice to be here!  No, no, don’t be checking your calendars. It’s not Wednesday.  It is Friday and Marc was feeling a tad rushed and short on time and mentioned to me that Heroes was going to post late. “Do you want more help?” I asked, sending him another story.  “Or, you could do it,” he volleyed.  “Do you want me to?” I asked.  Stupid question.  Here I am.

This Heroes thing has become rather important to all of us. A bright moment, sharing the good news, amidst all the hate and anger; never more important than now as people are getting more and more aggravated and impatient with the situation. So, shall I stop dilly-dallying and get on with it?

Here in Canada, Tim Horton’s is the top dog when it comes to coffee and doughnuts (donuts, for you folks south of the border from me).  Call it the sort of equivalent to Dunkin’ Donuts, if you will.  While Timmies is a Canadian thing, they can be found in some of the States, including Mr. Sorryless’ very own Pennsylvania so I felt this was a right appropriate story.

Residents in nursing homes are particularly cut off from society with this current situation.  Of course, they are missing their families but they were also missing their sweet treats.  So the staff from the Dr. John M. Gillis Memorial Lodge in Belfast, P.E.I., brought the experience to them, right down to the drive-thru. Check out this video here.

Ryan Reynolds is buying 385 pizzas for Kits grads from Nat's Pizzeria

Ryan Reynolds is not just a pretty Canadian (sorry folks) face. He is funny and generous.  Not only did he and his gorgeous wife, Blake Lively, donate one million dollars to food banks in Canada and the US to help low-income families and vulnerable individuals, suffering during this pandemic, he was also asked to give a commencement speech for this year’s grads from Kitsilano Secondary School, in British Columbia, where he, himself, graduated from.  You can read about it here. Not only was he funny, but he also gave some good advice, and while he was at it, he threw in a pizza for each and every grad.

 

We all know how Marc feels about the Dolphins… And not only are they gonna be a force on the field, eventually, we know it, right, Marc? but some of their players are doing overtime. It’s not only about football for some. It’s about helping because they can.

Albert Wilson, Adrian Colbert, Allen Hurns and Davon Godchaux have all taken it upon themselves to give in their own way.

Colbert, the “Pelaton Don” a safety who played at the University of Miami, is pedaling his way to raise funds for the Jackson Health System through his love of the Peloton.

Godchaux has teamed up with Papa John’s to deliver pizzas to the hospital healthcare workers at Jackson Health.

Wilson knows what life is like in the foster care system, having grown up in said system. The pandemic put a halt to all extra help these kids and caretakers need so his foundation has stepped in.

Hurns, through his 88 Blessings Foundation, is helping the high school students robbed of normal graduation ceremonies because of the coronavirus. They supply celebratory care packages on top of hope, love, motivation and encouragement. He even plans to mentor them as they move forward.

Read the full story, here.

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Nathan Fillion (shoot, another Canadian?) might be known for the shows “Castle” and “The Rookie” but I loved him in the mismanaged-by-Fox-so-cut-short-needlessly fabulous show “Firefly”… but I digress.

Can you imagine? You get to Costco, your card refuses to work, you get all frustrated and the attendant comes by, inserts his own card and pays for your gas. What?  You offer to come back and pay him back and he says no, please, just pay it forward.  Well I’ll be….

So what happens when you are the mother of a celebrity?  Yep, you guessed it, that was Nathan Fillion’s mom that Les Thompson helped and when Nathan found out, he Instagrammed his thank you and said:  “You restore my faith in humanity, sir. My dad and I are sending three iPads and headphones to a nearby senior care facility so that folks there can visit with their families. Right now, we could all stand to be a little less afraid, and a little more Les.” Read the full story and check out the video (that refuses to embed) here,

And finally, when you think of Pirate Radio, what comes to mind? The movie with Philip Seymour Hoffman about wild and illegal radio station on the high seas bringing that “filthy rock and roll” to millions? Welll…. not in this case. Radio Recliner is a pirate radio station run and hosted exclusively by elderly DJs from assisted living communities across the United States. This was supposed to be for one hour per day for thirty days. They became so popular they are up to 18 DJs and even play music on a loop when there is no programming. This is a generation that was raised on radio, how wonderful that they now have this to keep them connected and less lonely during these crazy days.  Full story is right here.

 

The things people do to help others are not always grandiose and extravagant and that’s okay.  They are doing something, anything, within their own power to alleviate the suffering, bring the joy, light a light.  If everyone did that one little thing and passed it on, asking that it be paid forward, what a wonderful world this would be. Grumbling about our current situation, experienced all over the world, is not productive. Let’s show a little patience, a little love, a little kindness. Let’s be better and do something. Anything.

 

Heroes: A Frank Reprise

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Yanno. I learned something. I must be careful sending Marc suggestions for Friday Heroes because he just may ask me to write about it. He’s one sneaky fella – but hey – because he doesn’t know what’s in his future, what the hell – so be it – here’s another edition of Friday Heroes.

First of all, you’ve got to sit back and watch this one (about a minute) because you will be smiling. Plus, it is proof that people in the UK also have too much time available.

Believe it or not, I found a story about a politician who doesn’t lie or intentionally misleading anyone. Click here to get the full story.

Imma keeping this post to a few stories because the video versions of the stories are a little longer – but they are worth your time.

This weekend is a 3-day holiday weekend in the USA – Memorial Day – the holiday commemorating soldiers who died while serving. I know other countries do something similar. For those needing a salute to fallen military fallen heroes, click here for a rousing rendition of one of my favorite military salutes.

Stephen Wall is an opera singer in Seattle. For those who solely get their news from Presidential Briefings – BREAKING NEWS – this virus thing affects opera because the people involved in the productions plus the audience is more than 10. For not being a plumber, the man has some serious pipes – and he puts them to good use for humanity during these crazy times. This report is worth 7 minutes of your time. Here’s a written story about Mr. Wall.

My peeps know I have a soft spot for genuine goodness – and this story was my top pick of the week. During the housing bubble recession 10+ years ago, 60 Minutes did a story about a man and his two kids that live in a van. I’m not a regular watcher of that show, but I saw and remembered the original story. Dad died and the 2 kids bounced around foster families – but damn – these two kids are making it. She graduated from college and on the Dean’s List – and she’s giving back! Autumn Hope Johnson – you are my Hero of the week. A special shout out to the President of Stetson University who got the ball rolling.

PS: Viewers: Don’t let the speedway beginning confuse you – but it is a cool extra. For those who want to read the story about Autumn, click here.

BREAKING NEWS: Yes kids. . . it’s me, Sundance (Marco). Interrupting this Frank approach to Heroes Friday in order to tuck in a couple stories that were gifted me by fellow bloggers.

First up is Renaissance Man Mark Paxson‘s soulful get. It involves the band Colt Clark and the Quarantines– comprised of a father and his three kids. Every morning, they go into their domestic “recording studio” and record a different song, which they later post to a social media site. As Mark noted in his email, “They aren’t saving the world, they’re just offering up wonderful, clean fun for people to enjoy during these strange, strange times,”

Thing is, when you teach your kids to face the worst of times with a constructive, positive approach, it changes the world. For the better.

And then there’s the lovely Dale who chimed in with a beauty of her own.

When a priest makes it into a meme, the results are usually regrettable . . . until now. Father Tim Pelc of Detroit Michigan figured out an ingenious way to bring Holy Week service to his flock. Pelc took a page from our drive-thru world when he decided to bless his parishioners as they drove up in their cars by using . . . a water gun. The images have become a global sensation, with hits coming from every corner of the world, including the Vatican. The Good Father says he’s happy to bring some much-needed fun to these trying times, and if he can get the job done in the process? All the better.

The man upstairs would be proud.

And now? Back to Butch Cassidy . . .

Thank you, Sundance. It’s been a pleasure working in your sarcasm-free space.

The pandemic has not only increased awareness of the goodness around us, but it has also increased opportunities for goodness. I end this post by saluting the countless many who have done the little things – like making masks to give away to those wanting one – checking on neighbors to see if they are OK or need something – contacting someone out of the blue to say hi and to check if all is well – going to the grocery for someone who isn’t as mobile – and the list can go on. A tip of the cap to those performing the little things that go a long way. May their light continue to shine and spread to others while delivering a sense of hope.

Keep smiling, have a good week, and thanks for reading. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Heroes Of The Week

Brief Synopsis for Marvel's SHE-HULK Series Teases the Involvement ...

So it seems we are getting ever closer to whatever it is we’re supposed to become on the flip side of our collective house arrest. As far as normalcy goes, I’ll know we’ve achieved it when I see Dr Fauci hosting his own talk show . . .

As for the news of the week? The NFL draft shattered all kinds of records seeing as how it was the first live ‘sporting event’ since the Oscars. Speaking of sporting events, Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari’s impending divorce will be coming to a cable show near you. Oh, and North Korea is busy going “Weekend at Bernies” on the rest of the world, because the thought of losing Kim Jong Un would just be too much for us to take right . . um, now.

Thankfully, we got heroes . . .

Jay Leno Produces 3D-Printed Masks For First Responders ...

I already knew that former Tonight Show host Jay Leno was a car freak, but I didn’t realize he had plenty of heart to go along with all that horse power. Leno has been devoting his garage to another kind of work this month: He’s got a couple 3-D printers working round the clock, producing clear plastic shields for health care workers. He delivers them to local fire departments, who then disperse them to first responders and hospital workers.

“It’s great to feel like you’re part of something and sort of helping out—not just having food delivered every five minutes.” He says.

All this time later and the dude is still killing it.

BC Boy Turns Lemons into Laughter

And while we’re on the subject of late night talk show hosts, I got some future stock you might want to invest in. The kid’s name is Callaghan McLaughlin and he’s six years old, so he’s already got the jump on a great name and plenty of years with which to hone his craft. Which he’s been doing ever since the quarantine went into effect.

In lieu of lemonade, this six year old kid has set up a joke stand at the end of his driveway in Saanich, British Columbia. He charges nada for the jokes, because he wants his friends and neighbors to save their money for the important stuff. But I mean, what’s more important than a sense of humor these days? So it’s really cool that Ryan Reynolds took notice recently, and sent some props and attention his way. Because when life hands you a lemonade stand, you might as well make sunshine.

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With traveling having taken an extended hiatus this spring, there were plenty of petal pilgrims who missed out on the legendary tulip fields in the Netherlands. So in order to give those would be travelers their flowery fix, the peeps at Dutch Daffodils (a family owned flower farm) and Tulips in Holland (a travel blog) teamed up to create something beautiful. The above image is what they came up with. So when you look up the term ‘labor of love’ in the dictionary, I’m pretty sure that’s the pic that accompanies it.

This High School Principal Turned To Art To Celebrate Her ...

The lovely Dale over at A Dalectable Life chimes in with the story of a high school principal in Graceville, Florida who came up with an ingenuous way to celebrate her senior class. Since Farica West wasn’t going to be able to deliver up a graduation for these kids, she decided to do the next best social distancing thing. Yep, she lined the driveway of the Poplar Springs High School campus with each graduating student’s photograph in order to commemorate their big day.

“I don’t think she could’ve done it any more perfect, it’s a wonderful idea and very thoughtful,” said one senior student Peyton Brannan. “Instead of remembering I didn’t get the end to the senior year I wanted, they’ll remember my picture was right there and my grandma saw it, and my dad saw it, and my mom saw it. I got my picture made by my banner and they’ll bring back a smile to their face instead of an empty spot,”

It’s a best case scenario to an unfortunate situation, made possible with some creativity and a whole lot of heart and soul.

Woman 'showing kindness still exists' after 8 family members die ...

If you’re looking for an adrenaline shot that helps chase away some of the gloom and doom we’ve been living through, Imma give you Shana Jones. Because her story is about getting knocked down, time and time and time again, and getting up each and every time. It’s about how the human spirit is the tallest edifice known to humankind, and its deepest ocean.

Because it’s easy to look at all the things you do not get to do and have and experience. That’s the easy part. But to just take a moment to be thankful for what you do have? And then, to give something back, from a well that life has bled dry? Well, that’s how memorable stories get told. And Shana . . she has one alright.

The woman’s life has been its own personal ground zero since COVID-19 began its horrible reign stateside. Jones has lost an aunt and uncle, as well as four cousins, a close family friend and a church member who was like a second mother to Jones. Eight souls, stolen away from her by this merciless thing.

Plenty of people would have locked the door and thrown away the key to the outside world, but not this woman. Instead, she began setting up shop for her friends and neighbors outside of her residence: A couple tables stocked with canned goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, cereal and toilet paper. People were free to take what they needed, at no cost. And Jones did this out of her own pocket, in spite of the fact she has Lupus, and can’t work because of the risk factor involved in doing so.

And then the angels, they began warming up in the bullpen for Shana Jones. Whispers became talk became community involvement, and before long, her tables were being stocked with goods by people from the neighborhood . . and all over St. Louis. When her spirits ebbed, these small reminders prevailed upon her to meet every morning with the best she could muster. The thank you notes she receives, they helped too.

“Every time I get a note,” Jones said, “I feel that the angel of one of my family members or friends is saying, ‘Well done.'”

Amen to that.

 

Heroes Of The Week

Nurses are understaffed and frustrated as they battle coronavirus ...

In this week’s episode, Tyler Perry shows why you shouldn’t judge him based on his movies. The Patriots owner becomes (gasp!) King of New York. And a Captain shows us all why standing up for what’s right matters now, more than ever.

Now, to the heroes . . .

Tyler Perry pays for seniors' groceries in Atlanta and New Orleans ...

Tyler Perry movies are like British humor. You either get it or you don’t. And while I definitely fall into the latter category, this dude won me over a long time ago for all the love he spreads when he’s not making movies I refuse to watch. And he was at it again recently when he covered the bill for senior hour shoppers at forty four Kroger’s markets in Atlanta and twenty nine Winn-Dixies in New Orleans. So when it comes to writing the perfect script for humanity? This guy is pure gold.

Rachael Is Donating $4 Million To Covid-19 Relief Through Her 2 ...

Rachael Ray is a brand unto herself, and again . . not a fan. But so what? I have used a few of her recipes and I do admire her tenacious ways, and hey . . she’s big into animal rights. I don’t have to be a fan of an individual to dig that kind of righteous mindset.. And so Ray has made these pages before and she makes it this week following the announcement that she will be donating $4 million bucks to COVID-19 relief efforts. Ray said she thinks it’s important to offset the decline in charitable contributions during these tough financial times, and that she hopes to make a positive difference in the lives of people and their pets. Now that is a recipe I can appreciate.

The lovely Q over at A Dalectable Life chimed in with another beauty this week. Bauer is hockey’s answer to Nike, with more than seventy five percent of the NHL suiting up with their blades. When the league shut down, the company didn’t stop moving. Instead, they turned their attention to the manufacture of face shields– designed to keep medical workers on the front lines safe. Bauer sells them at cost, with any profits made going to charity. Moving forward, making a difference and giving back . . it’s the ultimate human hat trick.

Capt. Brett E. Crozier, who was removed last week from command of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, addressing the crew in San Diego in January.

Susannah is another lovely who dishes up her New York stories on the regular over at athingirldotcom. She shared with me the story of now former Navy Capt. Brett E. Crozier, who was removed from command of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt. His crime? Pushing back on the administration’s claims that they have been doing everything they can for those on board his ship. Crozier refuted those claims and he butted heads with his superiors, and he did it because he knew his men were directly in the cross hairs of a relentless pandemic. As it turns out, the lack of urgency Crozier was concerned about has indeed landed him in quarantine after he became infected. There have been calls to reinstate Crozier once he recovers, but I kind of hope he tells the Navy thanks but no thanks. He deserves better.

Front-page news: Post thanks Patriots for delivering masks ...

This unprecedented moment in our world’s history has created some mind bending moments. Perhaps one of the strangest comes to us courtesy of Bob Kraft, owner of the Evil Empire, uh . . I mean the New England Patriots. The 78 year old Kraft was so inspired by the leadership shown by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, that he purchased 300,000 protective masks for NYC. A tractor trailer dressed in Patriots colors drove them into New York City last week. And when football comes back, we will return to that sporting blood feud of New York vs Boston. But Kraft? Well, he’s exempt.

Mario Salerno, who cancelled the rental payments in April for tenants in all 18 of his apartment buildings, at one of his properties in Brooklyn, April 2, 2020. (Victor J. Blue/The New York Times)

The world has changed, and basically everything that makes up the lives of the eight billion inhabitants on this runaway marble has become an adaptation as a result. And while it’s easy to feel as if Orwell is humming an ominous tune in the green room, I prefer Shakespeare myself. Because while the spring was getting lost in the dark, to ever more dubious numbers and questions and concerns, there lives a song deep inside this thicket of fear and loss.

Mario Salerno of Brooklyn, New York is one of those larger than life individuals who changes the day you’re walking inside of for the better. He’s a neighborhood guy whose presence juts out over the landscape of Williamsburg as if the granite chin of Lincoln over the Black Hills of South Dakota. Salerno is the owner of eighty rental units and when the lock down crept into April, he decided to cancel the rent.

His tenants say it’s just like him to go above and beyond for the people he calls neighbors inside the place he calls home. For his part, Salerno says it’s just about everybody getting through this together.

“My concern is everyone’s health,” He says. “I told them (his tenants) just to look out for your neighbor and make sure that everyone has food on their table.”

I don’t know about you, but this guy incites my inner Shakespeare and brings to mind a favorite Bard quote in which he opines on the mystical construction of life itself. And how we lose our exquisite nature as soon as we are born, only to reclaim it in the tongues of trees, the books in running brooks, the sermons in stones and the good. In everything. He settles the matter by saying that, even inside the worst case scenarios of our best laid plans, we find the stars that brought us here in the first place. And so, when you say your prayers tonight, look deep inside those stars and please, call them by their rightful name.

The great big everything.

Heroes Of The Week- You Edition

This week is yours. When all the reading and the love you give to this spot comes hurtling back at you in the form of a well deserved hug. Pick up this hug, and know that you made it possible. Gracias.

Now for the Heroes you brought to Friday . . .

Image result for La La Land Kind Cafe hires foster kids

Mark over at markpaxson.com decided that Rand Paul probably isn’t going to be worthy of any humanitarian awards in the near or distant future, and he’s probably spot on in this assessment. So when I was doing my casting call, he left a comment in which he said he would get back to me. Erudite chap that he is, he got back to me in no time flat with, as he put it, “Somebody doing something about a frequently forgotten segment of our society…”

It’s a story about the La La Land Kind Cafe in Dallas Texas. The owner, Francois Reihani, hires young people who have aged out of the foster care system. So far, he’s employed nine of these kids. Because Reihani believes it’s about kindness every bit as much as it’s about coffee.

Those are some cool beans they’re brewing.

Monika at Tails Around The Ranch contributed a beauty from her neck of the woods. It’s about some local distillers (She’s quick to point out other states are doing it as well). who have retrofitted their equipment in order to . . . get this all you hand sanitizer hoarders and price gougers . . give the stuff away to firefighters and other first responders. And since I totally plagiarized her comment, I’ll let her tell you why it matters, because she does a wonderful job of bringing it all home.

The state fast tracked approval to make the switch on the equipment. This story really touched me since a few years ago the Town of Lyons flooded and resulting in being completely cut off from in-or-out access to any surrounding areas/towns. They lost their water/sewer plant. It took months for the state to rebuild roads in to repair/replace damaged homes/buildings. To be able to come back and give to their community makes them big-time heros in my book.

Could not have said it better myself, Monika.

Image result for cuban doctors go to Italy

Dale over at A Dalectable Life ain’t just a lovely connoisseur of photography and great eats. She dresses up the written word in sunshine on the regular as well. And she is a voracious hunter and gatherer of feel good news pieces, as evidenced by her many contributions to this Friday edition over the last year and change.

She chimed in with this story about how Cuba recently sent a 52 doctor brigade to Italy in response to the devastating wake of the virus. The communist country has already done the same in a half dozen other countries, as its emergency preparedness is proving to be a model of effectiveness- at home and abroad. According to Graciliano Díaz, the Cuban contingent is committed to this ‘honorable task, based on the principle of solidarity.

It would be nice if every country put its politics aside and followed suit.

John at Fiction Favorites sent me a video to share with you for this Friday edition. It’s Matthew McConaughey dishing up some much needed love for Austin, Texas . . and for all of us. It’s only a couple minutes long, but it’s a virtual hug and “We Got This” that is much appreciated inside these trying times. The dude is quirky, and you know that? That’s plenty fine with me, because underneath all that quirkiness resides a heart the size of the place he calls home.

Alls I gotta say is Alright! Alright! Alright!

Image result for Bay View Wisconsin Dino Parade

And for my last story, I paid a virtual visit to Bay View Wisconsin. It’s a throwback neighborhood sewn into the shores of Lake Michigan. The ancestral lineage of this town speaks to laborers and the community they dreamed for their children inside lifetimes so long removed from here.

That future love paradise came calling recently when the residents of Bay View got together for a parade. But not just any parade, since we’re . .  yanno, living inside the operative social precepts of a moment in time where keeping your distance has taken on a literal form.

So this parade, it took all of these things into consideration in a most prehistoric fashion sense. Their solution was to dress up like dinosaurs and march together, at six foot intervals, through the place they call home. As a way of saying that it’s okay not to be okay with all of this. But it’s never going to be okay to lose our sense of humor, or our ability to figure a way back.

Imma finish this episode off by saying thank you to all my contributors, and to let you know that this idea will become yet another new feature going forward. Because you guys are always telling me how much you look forward to this Friday post, and I ain’t gonna lie. I never saw it coming.

You did.

 

Casting Call For Heroes Fans

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If you’re a regular to this joint, then you’ve probably happened upon the Heroes episodes we dish up every Friday for your viewing feel good. You kept things going when I thought maybe it was just a phase. And by you, I mean anyone who looks forward to this little corner of the world when the end of the week comes calling.

You made Heroes a place worth coming to. I simply captained the thing into harbor thanks to your earnest chimes, which behave very much like gold on the dollar when it comes to the keeping on. So . . I don’t do this kind of thing but I figured maybe one or two or three of you might be down with it.

Send me a story that hits you in the feel good and I’ll post it on Friday. You can simply provide the link in your comment and I’ll make sure it gets pub love. Worst case scenario is nobody contributes and Heroes still shows up in the regularly scheduled programming. Best case scenario is I get all the stories I need through you for this week, and if it’s more than five? Well . . I ain’t presumptuous like that, but a boy is allowed to dream.

As for writing, I was practicing my short game this morning. I hope you like.

He remembered back to those nights inside the dusty wings of a very forgettable March. Back into the hopeless design of bad news gone caterwaul in episodic bonfires that left Caesar’s ghost to hemorrhage in its eternal playpen.  The days painted themselves in a haphazard chaste whose vicious prongs were sinking empires across the globe. And so he peddled elixirs in the recitations of Angelou, Wilde, Cummings, Morrison and his personal favorite, Kinsella.

The spoken verses were akin to candles in a church, sacred vows left behind by masters and mistresses of the written word for the sake of prayer. Each syllable a testimonial to the peaceful resistance of words inside a chaotic world. The stories were plush to his fractured brain, and the sound of each word tasted like fruit as it trespassed his lips. And he went on like this, plucking a snippet here and a paragraph there and joining them together in a brilliant quilt whose song redeemed the shadowy fates.

It went like this from March into April and then with May came the first idea that life would begin to take its traditional place setting back. Only now, he had ashes to confer to the winds of change. The world, his world, would prove to be extraordinarily different with each step into whatever came next. Oh sure, it was easy to promise such a thing when the end of the world had seemed an abject patent. All the same, he was aligned to a different star from here on out. And he knew it was impossibly difficult to comprehend, but he had seen the beginning inside the merciless clench of the end.

So it was that a June day found him tucked into a box seat along the third base line, holding to a foot long as his beer lost its froth. The sun shone down like a promise from Jay Gatsby, full of a million different promises. The field was a stained glass portrait of emerald fusing with ivory and caramel. How could he have ever taken such a beautiful thing as an early summer day at the ballpark for granted?

He cried at the thought.

Heroes Of The Week!- Super Bowl Edition

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I was behind on my news munch this week so I had to run a hurry up offense in order to get this episode nestled onto its Friday morning doorstep. You could say I winged it, and that’s no guac. But I figured out a way to make this a Super edition by including a member of both the Niners and the Chiefs in my lineup. Yanno, in the name of fairness and world pizza.

And now your heroes . . .

Heart of Gold- Richard Sherman is going to be a first ballot Hall of Famer whenever he decides to hang up his cleats, but in the game of life he is already there.

In November, Sherman wrote out a check for almost $7,500 to the Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara, California that wiped out all lunch debt owed to the cafeteria. A month prior to that, he wrote a check for over $20,000 to the Tacoma Public Schools in Tacoma Washington to clear all lunch debt there as well. Since 2013, Sherman’s organizations- The Richard Sherman Family Foundation and Blanket Coverage Foundation- have raised more than $1.5 million dollars to provide students in low income communities with school supplies and clothing.

This dude is already super.

A real Life Saver- For all I know, this might have been Timothy Prather‘s first rodeo. But you’d never have known it from the way the nine year old sprang into action to save his little cousin. Timothy was enjoying a night out at the rodeo when his three year old cousin Connor began to choke. Welp, Timothy knew exactly what to do thanks to a first aid poster he’d taken notice of in the cafeteria at Ramer Elementary School in Tennessee. He applied the Heimlich and dislodged the candy from Connor’s throat. This story had me wondering how many adults know how to apply this life saving move.

Image result for Melvin Marlett

Take this job and shovel it- Remember kids, my heroes run the gamut. They don’t need to score the real world headlines to make mine. They just need to show me some kind of wonderful, and when they do it in the quiet? That’s butter. Fed Ex driver Melvin J. Marlett of Manistique, Michigan supplied the flavor recently when he was delivering a package to Jodi LaFreniere. The kindergarten teacher wasn’t home but the motion sensor on her security camera resulted in a notification text, and when she checked out the video footage, there was Marlett . . shoveling her front stoop. Of all the random acts perpetrated in this crazy world, kindness always works best.

 

Commander and Chief- Derrick Nnadi was a hotshot Florida State prospect a couple years back until a forgettable workout at the league Combine left his pro career in doubt. But the defensive tackle worked his ass off to overcome that blip, and now he finds himself sixty minutes away from a Super Bowl ring.

Nnadi’s hard work on the field is in keeping with the great good work he’s doing off of it. The league honored him as the Kansas City Chiefs Community MVP of the Week back in September for providing a shopping spree to the family of one of the victims of the Virginia Beach mass shooting. That’s his hometown, and it’s where his heart will always reside. He’s pretty good at dishing up these shopping sprees to school kids, having done it last summer in his adopted hometown of Kansas City as well.

“As my father says . . we don’t receive . . we give . .”

When the universe listens- Seven years ago, Georgina Laurie had just lost her husband Dennis and life no longer seemed worth living. She slipped into a depression from which it seemed she might not return.

“A year prior to that, I’d had a stroke, so my whole life completely changed and I couldn’t cope with that,” recalls Laurie. “I got really depressed, really down and I really couldn’t see there was a way forward in life for me.

It was on the night when she began thinking about the end of her life that she was able to find a new beginning. She noticed the card for a suicide prevention hotline called Samaritans by her bedside cabinet and gave them a call. She had no intention of being talked down from the ledge her life was balancing on, but that is exactly what happened. So inspired was she, that this grandmother from the UK later made the decision to become a volunteer for the organization. So it was that Georgina overheard a conversation her fellow volunteer Des McCarthy was having with someone who called into the hotline recently. Des was comforting the person on the other end of the line and the words . . well, they brought Georgina all the way back to that fateful night. And that’s when Georgina realized that Des- her mentor and fellow volunteer for the last four years- had been the voice that talked her down from that ledge once upon a time.

There are no coincidences.

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

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So this new old fashioned way of doing Heroes, it works so well that I feel as if the very idea of incorporating a buzzkill into the proceedings is anathema. Now. But I must confess it took me a while to get to here, and I trashed a ton of James Dolan stories in the process. Sooooo, it turns out that using this WP force for good rather than evil has cut down on redundancy by twenty eight percent!

And now your heroes . . .

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This kid got left in my green room for a couple weeks, but that’s alright because he’s still doing his thing and making people’s days just a little bit better. Jeremiah Murrill goes to work every day, doing the thing he was born to do; connecting with people. He is the official drive-thru greeter at a Wilmington, North Carolina Chick-fil-A, and to his way of thinking, there are no numbers . . . only people. Over the last couple years, the twenty year old has learned the names and favorite meals of the thousands of customers that roll on through. Not to mention the fact he’s been deputized and video of him making someone’s day has gone viral as well. Leaping tall buildings and out-locoing locomotives is all well and good, but sometimes heroism comes in the prosperity you gift others with a quaint little thing called human kindness.

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Charles Barkley was the ‘Round Mound of Rebound’ in his playing days, and he has been the mouth that roars as a sports commentator since then. But in his personal life, he refrains from all that high profile jazz. Charles is a philanthropist who recently made a one million dollar donation to Miles College; the largest donation in the school’s 122 year history. He has made it his mission to donate to historically black colleges and universities since his playing days came to an end. And it’s not something you hear much about, because Charles is content to put his money where his mouth usually is.

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Until recently, Latonya Young was trying to keep her dream of scoring a college degree alive- working as hairstylist by day and Uber driver by night. A high school dropout, the forty three year old was determined to not just get back, but to get ahead. But times are tough and an outstanding seven hundred dollar balance was proving even tougher. Until Kevin Esch stepped into her Uber one night and changed that. When he learned that Young wasn’t returning to school because she owed that money? Yep, he paid it. This past December, Latonya graduated with an associate degree in criminal justice. Kevin was in the audience, cheering her on.

To Molly, a two year old Labrador Retriever, life really is a beach. And since she was nine weeks old, this beautiful lady has been making certain that her beach in Scarborough, North Yorkshire is a clean one. Her dog mama, Fliss Cater, combs the beach with Molly on the daily to lose all the litter they come across.

“I taught her different commands to keep her safe, because there’ll be things on the beach that could harm her,” says Cater. “There are needles and sharp objects or just things you wouldn’t expect, so I wouldn’t let her go and pick anything up on her own.”

Except for the sense to know right from wrong, and the ability to do something about it.

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Firstly comes a hat tip to the lovely Dale over at A Dalectable Life for this capper. . . .

Linda Herring of Johnson County, Iowa is a Guiness Book of World Records superstar. Even if you’ll never read of her accomplishments in this year’s edition, or last year’s . . or the year before that. Because what Herring does so very well, it doesn’t tend to make the kind of headlines that OBJ gets just for handing out cash. Even though, what Herring does would make Wonder Woman have to take a year long holiday in some remote locale that specializes in sun and sand.

This mother of eight (five biological as well as three adopted kids) has been a foster mother for more than five decades. She did all that on top of running a home daycare and working nights as a custodian. And because I need you to try and wrap your head around this, because I still haven’t . . . she has fostered more than six hundred children over the last five decades. Tell me when you’ve caught your breath and I’ll continue.

“Linda mostly fostered young children and children with special medical needs and kept bins of clothes in her garage, stacked to the ceiling, labeled by size and gender,” read a statement from Johnson County officials. “No one had to worry about a child going without clothes at Linda’s, even if they arrived with nothing but what they were wearing.”

Health concerns led to her decision to step away from her role as a foster mother in October. To honor Herring for an amazing life’s work, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors and Department of Human Services commemorated her with a resolution of appreciation this week. And hopefully their next order of business is dialing up that remote locale and finding her a bungalow right next to Wonder Woman.

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

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In this week’s episode, I delved into great catches, life changing tips, Hollywood giving and, get this . .  the federal government doing some good for a change. I know, it sounds like a work of fiction but it’s true. I mean, I wouldn’t get used to that kind of behavior in Washington. But it’s nice to know that our elected officials have it in them.

And now, your heroes . . .

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A purple haze hung over the New Orleans Superdome last Sunday after Kyle Rudolph came down with a rainbow pass from Kirk Cousins in the back of the end zone that ended the Saints season while keeping his team’s hopes very much alive. After catching the OT game winner, Rudolph gave his game worn gloves to a ‘media member’, autographing them first. So when the dude turned around and sold the gloves on eBay for a few hundred bucks, Rudolph was a little bummed out. Until Jason King tweeted the Vikings wide receiver, informing him he was the purchaser of the gloves and that he would donate them to the charity of Rudolph’s choice. That’s called putting your money where your heart is.

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Danielle Franzoni is a recovering addict who wakes up every day with three reasons to stay clean. The mother of three is a server at Thunder Bay River Restaurant in Alpena, Michigan, and as the new year approached, she received a message letting her know she’s doing things the right way. This message came in the form of a tip from a couple she’d been serving. In keeping with the year to come, they left her a $2,020.00 tip. She says “Things like this don’t happen to people like me,”. But lemme tell you, when people like Danielle happen to things like this? It’s like the world is singing in perfect harmony.

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Chris Hemsworth ain’t just another pretty face. The actor known as Thor to Marvel fans just so happens to be a superhero in real life as well. After watching fires sweep through Australia, Hemsworth and his family have announced they will be donating one million dollars to their native country. Other celebs have taken note of what’s happening on his Instagram page. Elton John will also be donating a million dollars, while Margot Robbie, Selena Gomez, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and Pink are doing their part as well. Hollywood can be so much more than a Ricky Gervais monologue when it wants to be.

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And another lampooned entity- our very own federal government- is getting involved in the relief efforts in Australia as well. More than one hundred American firefighters have already been deployed, with a few dozen more volunteer firefighters set to head down under. And to show they are about way more than just NBA titles, Canada has sent eighty seven of its own volunteers to assist in the relief efforts as well. Isn’t it kind of refreshing to see our federal government putting out fires rather than starting them?

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In a perfect world, Ryan Smith would be the starting power forward for the East Stroudsburg University Warriors. A sophomore, he would be improving on a star that has been shining brightly since his days at Lampeter Strasburg High School in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

But there are no perfect worlds where cancer is concerned as Smith came to learn last summer. He noticed he was getting more fatigued during his workout regimen, which led to a battery of tests. A full blood panel at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono revealed the sum of all fears: Acute Myeloid Leukemia. So far he’s undergone a few rounds of chemo while taking up residence at University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.

This past Monday, Millersville University teamed up with East Stroudsburg during a PSAC Mens/Womens doubleheader. All proceeds from tickets sales of the games to be donated to the Smith family through a fund established by East Stroudsburg. And for the first time in almost a year, Ryan Smith stepped foot inside Pucillo Gymnasium on the campus of Millersville to watch the game he has been in love with his entire life. He received a hero’s welcome as he sat in the stands of a rival arena that was intent on giving him a home court advantage as he battles on.

Ryan has a much bigger victory in mind.

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

Super Man

Imma try something new this week with my Heroes entry by giving y’all briefs on my heroes and zeros rather than prattling on. I got the idea after reading an article which claimed that readers tend to lose interest if they have to read more than a few paragraphs on a given topic. I forget what the rest of the article said, but I was duly inspired to exercise brevity. I’m sure there will be instances where I will prattle on. Take this explanation, for instance . . .

Mother Nature- The balls on this chick. There was snow in New England this week. Not the movie set Styrofoam shit either. As Lou Gramm opined, head games . . I can’t take it anymore!

Favorite headline from the Globe, or The National Examiner- “It’s not Harry’s Baby!”. Personally, I would have gone with Royal Flush! or Check Mated! But whatevs.

Wise beyond her years- I’ve been a critic of Team Process in Philadelphia, because I think any professional organization that soaks its fans for half a decade and then dresses it up in analytics should be brought up on charges. But the Sixers are fun, and Joel Embiid crying on the court after losing to Toronto touched me, okay?

Leave it to a nine year old Sixers fan named Olivia to sum things up best of all.

Readers ain’t writers (Spoiler Alert)- Palenty of Game of Thrones fans went carazy over how last week’s episode went down, so lemme simplify for the simpletons. Jaime proved you never outrun your past. Dany predicted how this was going to go down ages ago. And all those innocents? Picked the wrong kingdom to buy a house in. War ain’t tidy, kingdoms are won on equal parts guile and brutality and if you want a happy ending, go to Friendly’s. That is all.

A long time coming- Pete Sabedra waited a long time to earn his high school diploma. More than seventy years, in fact. When Pete was in the eighth grade, he had to drop out of high school to support his family. After serving in WW2, he received his GED.

Fast forward to now, where the 92 year old Sabedra was presented with a diploma during the awards ceremony in which his grandson Kace received his diploma. He was named an honorary member of the class of 2019. The moral is, it’s never too late.

Favorite headline from the the National Examiner, or The Globe-
“Betty White’s Wild Life!- Cocktails, Close Friends and Hot Dogs” My God, what a hedonist she was!

When jokes go South(west)- During an hours long maintenance delay on a recent Southwest flight, a passenger’s innocent joke got serious. Quickly. As attendants were handing out water, a passenger remarked “They should be handing out vodka, we’ve been waiting so long,”. Rather than let the joke die a cornhole death, an attendant shot back at the passenger and then informed authorities of an unruly passenger.

The plane did a u-turn and the passenger was removed from the flight, to the protests of all the passengers who had witnessed the exchange. Hopefully, this attendant will visit the website peoplewhoareeasilyoffendedbythestupidestshit.com.

Uncommon strength- Journalist Jayson Greene has written a book Once More We Saw Stars. It’s a memoir which details the anguish of losing a child. Greene and his wife Stacy lost their two year old daughter Greta in 2015 when a brick fell from an eighth story windowsill and struck her in the head. She died the next day.

Greene’s book is filled with painful, sobering images. But it also speaks to the crumbling infrastructure of New York City, and the desperate need for action so that this does not happen to someone else. It always amazes me to find people like this, who contribute to humanity in the face of unspeakable loss. God bless them.

Boycott Alabama- Of course, I ain’t ever visiting the place to begin with. And I don’t know too many folks who are. But it’s time to strike back at legislators who recently signed an abortion bill into law that truly belongs in the dark ages. Shameful.

Favorite headline of the week from the New York Post- “Here Cons The Bride”- ‘Husband’ sues car heiress for faking their wedding

All heroism is local- One minute Duana Owens was sitting outside a Wells Fargo branch minding his own business, and the next he’s getting a Sorryless mention.

Owens watched a man enter and then rapidly exit the bank, brandishing a hatchet on the flip side no less. Undeterred, Owens sprang into action. He ordered the culprit to lower his weapon and to get on the ground. After a few tense moments, he did as Owens had instructed. “(Police) said they really couldn’t find too many citizens like me,” Owens said proudly. No kidding.

Welp, that’s a wrap for this week. Apologies to those who never made it out of the green room, like . . . NYC Mayor DiBlasio turned Presidential candidate #714, the troll who wished cancer on talk show host James Corden’s kid and as always . . Chancellor Trump.