Good News Friday: A 107-year-old barber on the secrets to a long life. An English soccer team finds a unique way to deal with hooligan awfulness. And an NFL player raises a ton of money to help hungry people

And a Happy Friday to all of you out there, as we in the East dig our winter coats and hats out of the closet all of a sudden. It went from summer to freezing in like two weeks here. I guess I missed autumn.

Anyway, as I bemoan the hated Red Sox reaching yet another World Series (try telling a Boston fan in 2002 that they’d read that sentence from a Yankees fan i 2018), lots of good news going on as usual to take my mind off that.

First up, nothing more inspiring than people who refuse to let their age dictate how they live. Meet 107-year-old barber Anthony Mancinelli, who still works full-time at the Fantastic Cuts hair salon in New Windsor, N.Y.

According to this charming profile in the New York Times by Corey Kilgannon, Mancinelli started working in barbershops when he we was 11 years old. Warren G. Harding was the President then.

He still works five days a week, from noon to 8 p.m. This is a guy who was born before World War I started! And he’s still going strong.

“People come in and they flip out when they find out how old he is,” said the shop’s owner, Jane Dinezza.

“He never calls in sick,” she said. “I have young people with knee and back problems, but he just keeps going. He can do more haircuts than a 20-year-old kid. They’re sitting there looking at their phones, texting or whatever, and he’s working.”

Diet-wise, he said, “I eat thin spaghetti, so I don’t get fat.”

He has all his teeth and is on no daily medication. He has never needed glasses, and his hairstyling hands are still steady.

“I only go to the doctor because people tell me to, but even he can’t understand it,” he said. “I tell him I have no aches, no pains, no nothing. Nothing hurts me.”

Incredible. He’s 107 and has no aches and pains. I’m 43 and complain all the time about physical ailments. What a great role model for us to aspire to. Here’s a short YouTube video showing Anthony in action.

**Next up today, another tale of an NFL player doing good things far from the field. New York Jets offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum just raised $70,000 to fight hunger and support World Food Day. World Food Day is celebrated internationally on October 16th every year to honor the founding date of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945.

Beachum initiated a match challenge for five food banks across America that honor his hometown, his home state of Texas, and the cities he’s played in during his NFL career.

Beachum helped raise enough to serve 327,000 meals at the food banks he chose, a tremendous accomplishment.

As someone who’s worked at food banks and soup kitchens for a long time, believe me, those meals will go a long, long way.

Great job Kelvin.

**And finally today, this might be one of those stories where you question my inclusion of it into Good News Friday, but to me I think it really is a sign of progress, and a terrific idea.

So it’s no secret to most sports fans that British soccer fans can be among the nastiest, most boorish, racially-insensitive fans anywhere. Tales of racist, xenophobic, homophobic and any other cruelty you can imagine being yelled at athletes has been yelled by fans.

Well, the famous Premier League team Chelsea is trying new approach: It’s sending racist fans on educational trips to former Nazi concentration camps.

For real.

“If you just ban people, you will never change their behavior,” Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck was quoted as saying by Britain’s Sun newspaper on Thursday, providing details about a project the club announced at the beginning of the year. “This policy gives them the chance to realize what they have done, to make them want to behave better.”

Although similar visits organized by other institutions have yielded some positive results in the past, the effort can be risky. This is all part of a more concerted push by the club to tackle anti-Semitism. While club officials have repeatedly stressed that it’s about the rise of anti-Semitism globally, the club specifically has faced criticism for discriminatory chants by fans. The club is owned by Roman Abramovich, a Russian-Israeli Jewish billionaire. In November 2016, Chelsea fans made headlines when they chanted anti-Jewish slogans, targeting fans of rival club Tottenham Hotspur.

Besides the planned visits to concentration camps, Chelsea is also holding workshops and movie screenings at schools or during fan forums.

Look, do I think this will solve the problem of anti-Semitic fans? Not completely. But could it hurt to actually send these louts to Auschwitz and Treblinka and Dachau, and force them to see what actually happened there? No, it couldn’t.

I commend Chelsea for trying something here.

2 responses to “Good News Friday: A 107-year-old barber on the secrets to a long life. An English soccer team finds a unique way to deal with hooligan awfulness. And an NFL player raises a ton of money to help hungry people

  1. Matthew McGuire

    I am still depressed and dismayed by what is happening on a a daily basis to our country but I have to say I am actually relatively happy today.

  2. Israeli fans aren’t much better when it comes to playing teams that have muslims on it. Real Sports did a segment on this Israeli soccer club, but I couldn’t find the segment. Have to do more searching. But here is a story from the Nation.

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