And a Happy Friday to you out there in Internet-land. A little bummed this morning because the Rangers blew Game 1 against Ottawa, but hey, the Jets seem to have made a good draft pick and our President says he thought being President would be much easier than it is, so hey, everything’s coming up roses. (How much do you love a man saying he thought being President would be easier than his last job? Ah, the chutzpah.)
Anyway, three cool stories for you today on GNF. First up, meet Joyce Kevorkian and Jim Bowman, two 81-year-olds who grew up in Indiana. They went to the senior prom together 64 years ago, then drifted apart, had very long marriages to other people that sadly ended in their spouses dying.
After being alone for a little while, Bowman began thinking about his old flame. Bowman dug up Kevorkian’s address and sent her a letter. Kevorkian responded within a month and the two began rekindling their lost love.
“After many hours of phone conversations and emails, she asked me to visit her,” says Bowman. “We both like fun things and we both still have a good sense of humor and can laugh at each other. We both still liked to dance, we both love music and reading and hiking still.”
The couple tied the knot on April 1 at Kevorkian’s senior living center during an intimate ceremony Bowman described as “very special.”
“She’s even more beautiful now,” Bowman gushes to PEOPLE of his new bride. “We’re just as happy as can be.”
Kevorkian adds, “And he hasn’t changed that much! A little less hair, but he’s tall and handsome as ever.”
Those photos are just perfect, aren’t they? Great story. I’m sure this kind of thing has happened before, but to see the joy in Jim and Joyce’s faces … just magical.
**Next up today, I’m not a big dog person but I thought this was pretty sweet. A dog owner in North Carolina had gotten very sick and been in the hospital for a few months, losing a lot of weight. When he came home, his beloved dog didn’t recognize him and started barking wildly. Then the pooch got close enough to smell his owner and boy, did that change!
**Finally today, this is such a wonderful story. A man named Gift Ngoepe became the first player born in Africa to play in a major-league baseball game this week, and in his first at-bat, the 27-year-old ripped a single to center field.
Ngoepe’s story is pretty amazing; he spent nine years in the minor leagues after being signed by the Pirates (the incomparable Gary Smith wrote a marvelous story on Ngoepe in SI in 2009) and he took a long road to the majors.
But Wednesday Ngoepe entered a game against the Cubs in the fourth inning and made history. His story is terrific, and after the game he gave a great interview to Deadspin. Quick excerpt:
“I heard the fans yelling when they called my name to hit and I was like, “Oh boy, yeah, okay, thanks.” There’s like 30,000 people watching right now. No worries. And that’s not even counting the people that are streaming it. Or ESPN might be showing it across the whole world or something. I don’t even know what’s going on. I just tried to keep everything simple at that point.”
I hope Gift stays around awhile.