Good News Friday: The FSU star who did an enormous good deed. A mom and pop mini golf course on Cape Cod has a beautiful backstory. And remembering Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka


Hi everyone. Sorry there was no blog on Wednesday, simply got too busy with U.S. Open stuff. A few links to my work the last few days: Here’s one on Jared Donaldson, the pride of Rhode Island, who scored the biggest-first round upset; and here’s one on Delaware’s Madison Brengle, who had a truly bizarre first-round loss: Thanks for reading.

It’s football season, which means we’re going to be hearing all kinds of negative stories about the sport. The drumbeat against football, much of it completely deserved and legitimate, has been going on for years and likely will continue.

So when there’s a small, happy story to share involving a football player, it tends to make news.

Florida State football player Travis Rudolph and some teammates were visiting Montford Middle School in Tallahassee on Tuesday, and Rudolph noticed a small autistic boy named Bo Paske sitting by himself at the lunch table.

Rudolph decided he would give the boy company and join him for lunch with a couple slices of pizza. The boy’s mother, Leah Paske, found out about the gesture, and was incredibly moved, even to tears, and posted on Facebook about it.

It read, in part …

“A friend of mine sent this beautiful picture to me today and when I saw it with the caption “Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son” I replied “who is that?” He said “FSU football player”, then I had tears streaming down my face. Travis Rudolph, a wide receiver at Florida State, and several other FSU players visited my sons school today. I’m not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I’m happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten. This is one day I didn’t have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes.”

Such a little thing. Such a big thing.


**Next up, another small story that made me smile. I heard it on the awesome NPR radio show “Only a Game,” which I’ve written about here numerous times.

It’s about a man named Mo Burke, his wife Sylvia, and a lifelong dream to build and own a miniature golf course that has gone for more than six decades.

It’s called Sandwich Mini Golf, it’s on Cape Cod, and it’s a beautiful story of a man holding onto his dream, and a beautiful lady who supported him all these years.

NPR’s Gary Waleik tells the radio story here, beautifully.

**And finally today, a happy  memory of Gene Wilder, who to me will always be the greatest as Willie Wonka in the “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” upon his death this week.

This is just one scene out of many I could’ve picked. What a brilliant, brilliant actor.



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