Good News Friday: Every employee at an NYC hospital gets a 3-day free vacation. James Taylor and family make a beautiful harmony. And an Alaskan grocer travels 7 hours to Costco to get goods for his people

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR HYATT – NYC Health and Hospitals/Elmhurst nurses celebrate with a standing ovation and cheer, “Elmhurst Strong!” on Friday, May 8, 2020 in Queens, New York. Hyatt and American Airlines surprised thousands of frontline workers at NYC Health and Hospitals/Elmhurst, including doctors, nurses, facilities, food and nutrition and other support staff, with free vacations on Friday, May 8, 2020 (Ann-Sophie Fjello-Jensen/AP Images for Hyatt)

And a swell Friday to my fellow Earthlings! Hope wherever you are, you are safe and healthy and have not suffered the scourge of Covid-19. Here’s hoping the warm weather does indeed help cripple this awful virus, and that all these states rushing to re-open everything (I’m looking at you, Florida) don’t suffer awful consequences.

OK, on with the good news, and I want to start with a wonderful gesture made by a couple of large corporations for the tireless workers at a NYC hospital.

When workers at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens arrived for the weekly staff conference call last week, they got a wonderful surprise: A free 3-day vacation for all of them.

The heads of Hyatt Hotels and American Airlines were on the call and announced that all 4,000 members of the Elmhurst staff would be getting three free vacation days at select destinations in the U.S.

Very cool gesture for some incredibly hard-working folks who deserve it. Now if Hyatt and American Airlines can get PPE for all the hospital workers in America, that would really be something.

**Next up today, some beautiful, soothing music to put a smile on your face on this Friday. The legendary James Taylor, along with his wife Kim, and son Henry, performed an achingly-beautiful song on “The Tonight Show” recently, and the harmonies are just perfect.

Made me long for seeing live music again, though I know it’s probably going to be quite a while before I see it.

Enjoy. Man, James Taylor has STILL got the pipes.

**Finally today, you think you’ve got it bad during the coronavirus, maybe having to to travel a little longer to a different supermarket than usual to get what you need (paper towels and yeast, if you’re like most of us)? Check out this hero in a small town in Alaska.

There’s one grocery store in the town of Gustavus, Alaska, and the village is seven hours by boat from Juneau, the closest “big” city. There are no roads to get in and out of Gustavus; you have to fly or boat.

So in late April, the town’s grocer, Toshua Parker, sailed seven hours to Juneau, to the world’s most remote Costco warehouse (I wonder how bad the traffic is in that store!).  He loaded pallets containing $20,000 worth of eggs, flour, meat, canned goods, produce—and, we assume, toilet paper.

That helped keep his 446 neighbors in the town fed during this crisis. And since then, Parker tallies what the Gustavus residents need, taking orders by phone for everything from washing machines to eggs—before making his weekly 7-hour journey to the Alaskan capital to stock up.

It’s an art form, not a science,” Parker told The Hustle, explaining how he manages to predict the crazy demand week to week.

“The town might have a 100-gallon swing in (its) demand for milk from one week to the next without any explanation of why. One week, nobody wants whole milk; the next week, everyone wants 2%.”

Toshua pretty much saved the town,” says Mayor Casipit. “I really don’t know what we would’ve done without him.”

“It’s like Christmas when the load gets here,” says Parker. “Everyone is waiting for it. Word gets out, and they all seem to know when it’s coming.”

What an amazing businessman, this guy is. The effort to keep his little town fed, just remarkable.

You go, Toshua. Seven hours, just amazing.

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