Good News Friday: Rod Stewart and James Corden give you 9 minutes of joy. A fantastic California program that helps parolees on their first day out. And John Cena makes a boy’s dreams come true

And a Happy Friday to all of my readers. Hope the weather is as gorgeous where you are as it has been in New York this week.

Three great stories/videos for you heading into another great summer weekend. First, I’ve talked before about how great James Corden has been in these “Carpool Karaoke” skits of his, where he takes a famous singer, talks to them and karaokes with them to their favorite music, while driving in L.A.

This is probably my favorite one so far, not just because I love Rod Stewart. Here, in between songs, the legendary crooner with the still-awesome hair talks about how many people you can fit into a hotel room, why his old band, Faces, used to smash up those hotel rooms, and what the secret to a happy rock and roll life is.

“A-drinkin’ and a-shaggin,” Rod says.

“A-drinkin’ and a-shaggin,” that’s what it’s all about. I’ve found my new motto. Enjoy.

roby.carlos

**Next up, this is the best thing I’ve read in weeks, and is such a smart idea that it really ought to be implemented nationwide.

Jon Mooallem in last Sunday’s NYT Magazine tells the story of Roby and Carlos, two former prison inmates who have made it their mission to help parolees adjust to the outside world again, literally from the moment they are released.

A group at Stanford called the Three Strikes Project, which helps file petitions to help free prisoners who, once the three strikes law was overturned in 2012, contacted the Los Angeles-based Anti-Recidivism Coalition, and together they hire men like Roby and Carlos to pick up new parolees and literally lead them through the confusing new world. They take them to convenience stores, to Target to buy clothes, set them up with an apartment and give them some spending money.

This story gives us the first few hours of a man named Dale Hammock, freed after 21 years, and just how bewildering the world is to him.

So many of these men and women, locked up for so long, are almost helpless in the outside world, and yet our government does very little to re-acclimate them.
This story is truly a dizzying look at what it’s really like when you’re suddenly “free,” and there are some hilarious lines in it, like when Roby complains about traffic, he says to Dale, “You see that, I’m complaining about traffic. You know what that’s called? Free person problems.”

The whole story is great; I wish this program was expanded to every state.

** Finally today, I don’t particularly like pro wrestling anymore, and when I researched my big opus for Maxim magazine a few years back on the Chris Benoit murder/suicide, I heard quite a few things about John Cena from other wrestlers that didn’t make him sound so good.

But I have to give credit where credit is due; the WWE does a ton of wonderful work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Cena is at the forefront of that. ESPN did a great piece this week on John Cena and a little boy named Kenneth Harmon, and if it doesn’t make you tear up just a little, well, then I’d check your pulse to make sure you’re still alive.

Great stuff…

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