And a happy Good News Friday to you all; I’m happy because I’m going to my first Rangers game at the “new” Madison Square Garden on Sunday, where I’m sure I’ll be depressed after what I suspect will be the Jets letting me down Sunday afternoon.
But that’s two days away, let’s focus on the good. And on two great stories involving Grandmas, who really never get the credit they’re due.
First, once again “CBS Sunday Morning” comes through with a heartwarming story. An 81-year-old grandmother named SuEllen Fried of Prairie Village, Kan.,who for the past three decades has been leading a support group and lending plenty of support herself, to prisoners at Lansing Correctional Facility.
Fried runs a program called “Reaching Out from Within,” helping prisoners learn to be kinder toward one another, and trying to change their outlook on life.
You may think it’s a hopeless task, but this stat from the story blew me away: While the normal prisoner recidivism rate is 50 percent, inmates who go through Sue’s program only return to prison 10 percent of the time.
It’s a beautiful story and yet more evidence that the neanderthal notion of “locking them up and throwing away the key,” without offering supports and a way out, is just so, so wrong.
You go, Grandma.
**The second Grandma story involves Florida Marlins rookie pitching sensation Jose Fernandez and his grandma (I actually saw Fernandez pitch in high school in Florida, and he was a man among boys).
Fernandez is from Cuba, and he hadn’t been able to see his grandmother for the past five years, since he left the country for Florida.
Well, with the help of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria (who rarely gets any praise, nor deserves any), Fernandez got to see his Grandma recently. Check out the video here; it gets really good around the 2:45 mark, but the whole thing is terrific.
**Finally today, this story is wonderful on a few different levels. A 5-year-old boy with leukemia named Miles loves Batman, and his Make-A-Wish Foundation wish was to become BatKid.
And now the entire city of San Francisco today is helping Miles’ wish come true. Check out these awesome details from this story:
“(Today) a breaking news story will appear on TV in San Francisco. The police chief will be asking if anyone knows where Batkid is because he needs his help to solve a crime and “bringing the bad guys to justice,” Make-a-Wish said in a statement.
“Miles’ day will then include rescuing a damsel in distress tied up across the Hyde Street cable car line and capturing the Puzzler in the act of robbing a downtown vault. As Batkid eats his lunch at Burger Bar, he’ll get a special message from the chief telling him to go to the window where he’ll look out over Union Square and see a huge group of volunteers jumping up and down and asking for his help.
A villain will be kidnapping a famous San Francisco mascot and Batkid will rush to the rescue. His last stop will be City Hall, where the mayor and police chief will thank him and present him with a key to the city and a crowd will be cheering him on.”
I mean, can you believe the lengths this city is going to? Thousands of people are coming out to help make one sick little boy’s dreams come true.
How could you not be an optimist about our world after reading that?