I started this post early last evening, and I had picked out several good people, the plan being to highlight each with a brief ‘snippet’. I spent nearly an hour on the first one, as I was having a hard time staying focused, and then something in my head kept saying it seemed familiar. It was … I had written about the Little Free Library way back in 2018. 😔 So, then I decided that some of the half dozen people I had selected for this morning’s post didn’t really interest me all that much (I told you, my focus is not working well). Which leaves me with just two for today. But hey … two good people snippets is still better than nothing, yes? Annnnnd … there’s a fun bonus at the end!
Divers In, Trash Out
I’m always seeing stories about people trying to set a Guinness World record for one thing or another. Sometimes I include them in my Jolly Monday posts, for they are so silly that one must laugh. Today, though, I am including one in my Wednesday ‘good people’ post, for these guys are trying to set a record for doing something to help us all!
It happened down in Deerfield Beach, Florida, where 633 scuba divers got together to clean up a section of the ocean. The previous record was 614 in a dive organized in the Red Sea in Egypt in 2015. A Guinness official, Michael Empric, flew in from Florida to verify the count and watch the operation. Each diver had to stay in the water for at least 15 minutes to be counted.
One of the divers was 13-year-old Dahlia Bolin. She and her mother Rebecca came all the way from Mackinaw, Illinois, to help set the record, and pick up debris. She recovered a white, metal sign with red lettering that warned: Boats Must Not Come Within 100 Yards of Pier.
The event was organized by Dixie Divers and the Woman’s Club of Deerfield Beach and included divers from across the United States, along with Europe and South America. The divers retrieved 9,000 items of marine debris, including 3,200 pounds of fishing gear, and 1,600 pounds of lead fishing weights alone, the result of years of anglers cutting bait.Granted, it is but a drop in the bucket of waste in our oceans, but I have to give two thumbs up to these divers for doing their part to help clean up … and just imagine if this were done on every beach around the world, say once a month? Great job, divers! You earned that record!
Learning Respect and Compassion
This one was sent to me last week by our friend Scott Lawlor … thank you Scott! Leaving Florida and heading over to New Mexico where Gino Perez teaches a wood and metal shop class at Valley High School in Albuquerque. Mr. Perez teaches a skill, but also a life’s lesson to his young students as they learn to make handcrafted wooden urns adorned with the symbols of all the branches of the military to be used for the cremated remains of homeless and indigent veterans. Says Perez …
“I wanted to make it real clear the status of these Americans — they’re mostly homeless and they were also veterans with full military honors and nobody claimed their bodies. I’ve never seen a group of students engage in a project like this. Even students that were down on the military for whatever reason — they’ve all got their politics — would say we’re doing a good thing.”
Perez, who has been a teacher for four years and is a Navy veteran himself was looking for a way to get his students involved in the community, while learning about metal and woodworking.
The students’ work will be recognized Sept. 20 at an assembly that will include New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services Secretary Jack Fox, Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley and Joshua McManigal of Daniels Family Funeral Services, who all partner in the Forgotten Heroes Burial Program. The Forgotten Heroes Burial Program provides a full military funeral at Santa Fe National Cemetery if there are no family members or friends to claim their remains or there is no money to provide for their funeral services.
A good teacher and students who are learning to be good people. Can’t ask for more than that, can you?
Never Too Old
This one isn’t really about a ‘good people’ helping others, but it’s a fun, uplifting story, and I think this lady deserves a spot here anyway. Perhaps it’s about perseverance?
Meet Julia Hawkins, who just happens to have been on this earth for some 103 years. Now, a lot of people slow down when they get older … I know this for a fact, for at 68 I have slowed down considerably! But not Ms. Hawkins … she sped up considerably! In fact, just last week, she ran both the 50-meter and the 100-meter dash races in the National Senior Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico! Two years ago, at the age of 101, Julia Hawkins set a record by running the 100-meter dash in just 39.62 seconds. They called her the “Hurricane.” This year, she had actually slowed down some, and was about 6 seconds slower on the 100-meter dash, but as she said …
“I’m two years older, remember?”
Ms. Hawkins got into running late in life, and it has become one of her many passions. She lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she takes daily walks and cares for trees on her property. She has four children, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was married to her late husband, Murray, for 70 years, after they had a wedding by telephone during World War II. Married 70 years … I told you it was perseverance!
Asked in a New York Times interview about her training regimen, she said …
“I run on the street by my house, occasionally, not often. As I get older, I feel like I only have so many 100-yard dashes left, and I don’t want to waste them in practice. Can you imagine that? I have markers on the street to show me where 50 yards is, and where 100 is, and I go by that. But I don’t practice much. I’m just pretty good at moving around and I do it when I have to, whatever I have to do.”
I like this lady!
Back next week with some more ‘good people’, and hopefully I will be better able to focus then.