Tag Archives: Boy Scouts of America

Good News Friday: David Letterman gets sent out in style. Two adopted sisters meet for the first time, in a college class. And the Boy Scouts finally come to their senses about gay leaders

And a Happy Friday to you, wishing you and yours a wonderful Memorial Day weekend; it’ll always be special to me for all the normal reasons, but also Monday is my 2-year wedding anniversary, celebrating the best day of my life, when I made the best decision I ever made: Marrying the most beautiful and sweet girl in the world.

Want to start today’s Good News Friday with the retirement of a TV legend. David Letterman took the mantle from Johnny Carson and became the best, and funniest, late-night TV host ever. I loved Dave for the reasons everyone else loved Dave: He was smart, he was acerbic, he was a great interviewer when he wanted to be, and he was just plain zany. I never stayed up until 12:30 a.m. for his old NBC show because, you know, I was too young and had school the next day.

But seeing some of those classic bits over the years, you saw the genius at work. He took guys like Chris Elliot and Larry “Bud” Melman and made them comedy heroes, while taking everyday folks like Rupert Gee from the deli around the corner from the Ed Sullivan Theater and making them “stars.”

Dave was one of a kind, and I will miss him. His final show Wednesday night was a beautiful tribute, and he seemed at times genuinely overcome with emotion. The final montage, over a live performance by Foo Fighters, was dizzying and wonderful.

So long Dave, we’re going to miss you. I leave you with this: There were a ton of great tributes written about Letterman the past few weeks, but this one, by longtime writer/booker Daniel Kellison on Grantland.com, was by far my favorite. The “insider” stories he tells about some of the most famous Letterman moments (the Drew Barrymore flash, the night Madonna wouldn’t leave) are really entertaining.


**Next up today, this story sort of blew my mind: Two sisters, both adopted by separate families when they were babies, met for the first time two years ago. In a classroom at Columbia University,

Katy Olson, 34, and Lizzie Valverde, 35, were adopted and raised by separate families three decades ago — Olson in Florida and Iowa, and Valverde in New Jersey.

According to this story (and the video is great, too), two years ago, they wound up sitting in the same writing class at Columbia. On the first day, as students shared some stories about growing up, they realized their connection.

“It hit me, all the pieces just collided — kind of like a big aha kind of moment,” said Olson, who had been looking for her sister for years. “I was like, ‘Whoa!'”

 Another crazy part is that Valverde never knew she had a biological sister, while Olson did.

And now, Valverde is graduating. What a great story. Can you imagine meeting a sibling for the first time in your 30s? Crazy.


**Finally today, I’ve ripped this organization many times over the years in this space, so when they actually show signs of intelligent life, I feel I must give credit where it’s due.
Even if their actions are long, long, LONG overdue.
Yes kids, the Boy Scouts of America, long completely intolerant of gay scouts and leaders, is finally joining the 20th century. Just a few years after finally allowing openly gay scouts to stay in the organization, now the Boy Scouts president, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, said the scouts should end their ban on gay adult leaders.

Gates said that “any other alternative will be the end of us as a national movement.”

Well hallelujah and pass the Merit Badges. Better late than never. That this incredibly intolerant organization has been allowed to “get away with” this kind of discrimination for decades is deplorable. The idea that a gay scout leader is somehow deficient in helping lead young boys is offensive on many levels.

Better late than never, Boy Scouts.

A truthful obituary, written by the guy who died. The Boy Scouts, once again disgustingly bigoted. And a cherry-pit spitting contest winner to be proud of

I’ve heard of people throwing funerals for themselves while they’re still alive, so they get to see and hear all that people would say about them when they’re six feet under.

But writing your own obituary before you die, and being completely 100 percent honest about your past while doing it? That’s a little more rare.

But Val Patterson, of Salt Lake City, didn’t want a regular old obituary when he passed away. So he wrote this one, which is touching and funny and brutally truthful (example: “As it turns out, I AM the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June, 1971.”).

Give it a read, count your blessings. I’m glad Patterson’s family has such a warm final memory of their loved one.

**So, the Boy Scouts. Upon further review: Still a loathsome, offensive, bigoted private organization. After a two-year study, the Boy Scouts of America announced Tuesday that they will continue to ban gay scout leaders in its ranks. Or gays of any kind, for that matter.
Yes, I know they’re a private organization and can do what they want. But it doesn’t mean, just like Augusta National Golf Club, that they shouldn’t be called out for this hideous display of bigoted thinking.
This is my favorite part of their nauseating statement affirming the current ban: “The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting,” said Bob Mazzuca, BSA’s chief scout executive.
As Andrew Rosenthal puts it in the N.Y. Times, they’re basically saying homosexuality is a mental illness that needs to be “dealt with.” Pray the gay away, and what not.

Such a terrible message to send to young boys out there.

**Finally, some contests are more prestigious than others. I’ll put this one in the “mighty impressive, but a little weird” category: Mr. Ron Matt, of Chicago, has won the International Cherry Pit Spitting Contest held a few weeks ago in Eau Claire, Mich. Matt spat a solid 69 feet to win the title! Second-place guy spat only 61 feet, 2 inches.

Sounds like a rout. Here’s some video of last year’s event, and hey, how’d you like to be the folks having to clean up after this event?