And a Happy happy Friday to all of you kick-ass readers out there. As we recover/rejoice/get depressed over this insane week of politics, with the Dems gaining a majority in the House (and still likely to get bigger, as more and more races get called), our President having a batshit insane press conference which led to his Press Secretary using doctored video to try to make a reporter look bad, and the world (God help us) looking at TWO recounts in Florida elections, let’s all take a breather and get happy.
(And by the way, don’t think it’s not killing me that I haven’t had the chance or the time to opine in this space about the Duke basketball team’s 34-point obliteration of Kentucky Tuesday night. Man oh man, if it hadn’t been an election night I might have subjected you all to a 1,000-word treatise on how freaking amazing this Blue Devil team might be. But, you know, I’ll save that for January or something)
OK, you ready for some Good News Friday? (Read that in a sports coach’s voice for the full effect). Of course you are ready for some Good News Friday, dadgummit!
OK I’ll calm down now. Let’s start tugging at the heartstrings with some amazing schoolkids. At Hickerson Elementary School in Coffee County, Tenn., there’s a beloved hearing-impaired janitor named Anthony James. He’s been there for 15 years, is described as “sweet” and “selfless” by the staff, and of course is beloved by the kids.
So for James’ birthday recently, the Hickerson kindergarten classes taught by Mrs. Allyssa Hartsfield and Mrs. Amy Hershman learned how to sign the words to the Happy Birthday song to surprise him. And surprise him they did.
Watch the fantastic video above, and realize just how easy it is to make someone’s day. Just pure joy on James’ face.
**Next up today, I am legally required as a Jewish person from New York to love and worship Barbra Streisand, but even if I wasn’t legally required to do so, I would. Barbra as a person is, well, complicated.
My two favorite quotes about Streisand from people I know have always been my father telling me, as a little boy, to listen to her sing “because it’s like a symphony, all in one person’s voice,” and a friend of my ex-wife’s once watching Barbra do a TV interview and then saying to me, “There’s no one in the whole world who loves themselves as much as Barbra does.” (She was right, of course, but the guy currently sitting in the Oval Office may have surpassed her by now).
Anyway, Barbra still has an amazing voice, and she went on James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” last week and was, predictably, awesome.
A nice Jewish girl from Brooklyn is still doing pretty good for herself, and that makes me smile.
**And finally today, another example of a small family of customers appreciating the small store they frequent, and stepping up to do something amazing.
For nearly 30 years, Cambodian refugees John Chhan and his wife, Stella, have been serving customers fresh donuts at their store, Donut City, in Seal Beach, California, near Los Angeles.
But a month ago Stella suffered a devastating brain aneurysm, and has been absent from the store.
Loyal customers originally wanted to set up a fundraiser for John to help with medical expenses, but John said no, he just wanted to spend as much time as possible with Stella.
And so to give John his wish, loyal customers have been showing up every day at 4:30 a.m. when Donut City opens, buying a dozen donuts at a time, hoping to sell out all of the store’s merchandise within a few hours, so John can go be with Stella in the hospital.
Stella is doing better, John says, recovering slowly but surely.
People helping people. If I lived anywhere near the shop, I’d buy a few crullers every morning.