This week’s ‘good people’ post is shorter than usual, and for that I apologize. I was working on a good people, but realized around midnight that it was more in-depth than I had first thought and I was running out of energy, having been awakened after only 3 hours of sleep by the roofers for the last two mornings. Funny how hard it is to go back to sleep when you awaken at 7:30 a.m. to the sound of men walking directly over your head, pounding and scraping! Anyway … I had bookmarked the first story last week for use in a future good people post, and the second I stumbled on tonight, so … long story short … I have only two short stories for today’s post. But, I think you’ll enjoy them.
A shared love of all things baseball … especially cards!
Reese Osterberg is 9-years-old, lives in Fresno, California, loves baseball and collects baseball cards.
“I like baseball cards because they are pictures of people doing happy stuff. Doing what they love. And what I love.”
Reese’s collection contained about 100 baseball cards in all, and she loved those cards. And then, on September 5th, Reese and her family were forced to evacuate their home because of the Creek Fire, the biggest fire in California’s history of wildfires … which, by the way, is still burning. The card collection was left behind, and Reese had high hopes of returning to it within a few days. But, tragically the Osterberg home was ravished by the fire and nothing was left of Reese’s baseball cards.
Enter Kevin Ashford, our ‘good people’ this morning. Kevin just happened to be listening to the radio when he heard the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) telling Reese’s story and asking for donations to replace her lost cards.
Call it fate, call it kismet, call it whatever, but it just so happened that Kevin Ashford himself is a collector of baseball cards. Kevin began collecting cards in the 1960s and over the 60-year course of his collecting he had amassed quite a collection. In fact, he had recently contemplated selling his collection on Ebay, and it was estimated at a value of somewhere between $35,000 and $50,00 … a nice little chunk of change!
But, when Kevin heard Reese’s story, he did not hesitate. He picked up the phone, called the number on his screen, and told the operator at Cal Fire that he had a collection he wanted to donate to Reese.
“I had initially planned on selling my cards on eBay, but when I thought about the smile I could put on that little girl’s face, it was an easy decision. I felt compelled to donate the cards to her.”
Cal Fire quickly put Reese and Kevin in contact and even offered to help deliver the many boxes to Reese’s home in Fresno, which they did Friday.
“When she told me that she used to sit with her binder of baseball cards in front of the TV watching baseball, I knew I had made the right decision, because that’s exactly what I used to do as a kid.”
But there is another ‘good people’ in this story, and that is Reese herself. She is sharing some of the cards with her friends who are also baseball enthusiasts, and according to her mother, Amy, they are planning to send cards and notes of encouragement to children at the nearby Children’s Hospital of Central California. Now, this might seem a small thing, but think about it for just a minute. This is a family who just lost their home to a horrific fire, lost all their worldly possessions, and yet … and yet they are thinking about kids in the hospital, taking time out of their efforts to re-build their lives to do something nice for sick children.
I think both Kevin Ashford and Reese Osterberg deserve a thumbs-up this week, don’t you?
They DO exist!
Now, I keep politics out of my good people posts, for these posts are about compassion and kindness, not words we typically associate with politics. And this story isn’t really about politics, but about showing that we can set aside our differences and care about others, regardless of political views and affiliations.
It happened in Washington County, Wisconsin, a republican stronghold, where Tim Place is one of only about two democrats with a Biden/Harris sign in his yard. Well, he did have one, until somebody stole it. A few days after the sign was stolen, Place received a gift — a new Biden campaign sign from a neighbor … a neighbor who supports Donald Trump!
The benefactor was Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann, who lives a few doors down from Tim, and who has a Trump/Pence sign in his own yard. Says Schoemann …
“l thought, ‘that’s just not right. Although we are Trump supporters, we love our neighbors and want them to be able to exercise their freedom of speech just like everybody else. I decided to take my son and go and replace their sign.”
The gesture brought the neighbors together for the first time, sharing a moment as they met. The two found unity through an unlikely item — a sign, they say, that stands for more than politics.
Tim Place (left) and Josh Schoemann
Y’know … as I read this, I asked myself a question: If I had a neighbor who had a Trump sign in his yard and it got stolen, would I be so kind as to buy him a new one? And the answer … well, let’s just say it disqualifies me from ever being featured in one of my ‘good people’ posts.