One hundred and sixty-five.
It’s a big number in some cases (wow, you own 165 T-shirts?) and not such a big number in others (there were 165 fans at that high school volleyball match).
But for me on Saturday, 165 represented a tragic number. That’s the number of children who’ve died from pediatric brain tumors after they’d been “adopted” by teams across the U.S. after being linked up with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, the non-profit charity I’ve written about here numerous times, and an organization so near and dear to my heart.
Last Saturday was the annual FOJ Angel Walk, held at the Walkway over the Hudson pedestrian bridge in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. It’s one of the highlights of my year, every year, when many members of the FOJ community come together to honor those children who we’ve lost; to celebrate their fight, and their life, by releasing beautiful white doves into the sky, and to continually push for research for a cure.
It was a clear, sunny day for the walk, and my wife, my boys and I had a terrific time. As I’ve said before, one of the reasons I love FOJ so much, besides the amazing, huge-hearted people that run it, is that it’s not one of these billion-dollar monolith charities that feel so distant. As I looked at the names of the “angels” who’d passed far, far too young, I recognized them. In many cases I’d spoken to them, or their parents, or someone close to them.
As we walked across the bridge on a brilliant spring afternoon, a local youth choir sang. Bagpipers played beautiful music. And we all desperately, desperately hoped that by this time next year, that number, 165, would stay exactly the same.
For more on the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, and/or to make a donation, please click here.
**Next up today, it’s been a while since I’ve featured a super-cool wedding dance montage, and this one is one of the best ones I’ve seen. It starts off with “The Lion King,” and gets into some Britney, some Backstreet Boys, and it gets better from there.
I always wonder about these things: How many hours do these dudes rehearse for this? Like, is it a month of practice at one dude’s house after work? Or do they each learn their own part, then they mash it together?
Anyway, I enjoyed this immensely. The little kid on the right killed me.
**And finally today, we journey down to my former home state of Florida, for one of those stories that could only, only happen in the strangest state in our beloved union.
We go down to Punta Gorda, Fla., where a local woman was pulled over during what seemed to be a routine traffic stop.
Deputies pulled over the pickup truck a woman and her male companion were riding in around 3:15 a.m. They saw it drive past a stop sign on Oil Well Road and turn onto Tamiami Trail without stopping, according to an incident report from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.
The 22-year-old man driving told deputies he and the woman were coming from the underpass of Oil Well Road, where they were trying to collect frogs and snakes, the report states.
When the police officers asked the woman if she had anything else on her person the deputies needed to know about, she pulled a foot-long alligator out of her yoga pants and placed it in the truck bed, according to the report.
A FOOT LONG ALLIGATOR!
Ah, Florida. The best part is she was cited for carrying the alligator because it’s not regulated to be carried in the state.
Who doesn’t carry alligators in their yoga pants, right?