Thursday, May 14, 2009

Oldies but goodies...

Today is my 50th post. I can't actually believe I've been doing this for 50 days already. And while I don't think 50 is anywhere near old, it is a milestone, which is why it tickles me that the stories I found for today all have ties to the elderly who have reached milestones of their own. So please, no hate mail from the over-50 crowd. : ) 

The 60th anniversary of the day the Soviets lifted their blockade on West Berlin was May 12, 2009, and reported on the 100,000 Berlin citizens who turned out to honor the 120 Allied pilots who made daily food and supply drops to the starved people of West Berlin. On Tuesday, American pilot Gail Halvorsen flew a WWII-era cargo plane that dropped chocolate-covered raisins to mark the anniversary. He was known as the "Lollipop Bomber" after he shared two sticks of gum with starving German children and returned to bring more candy from his own rations after that. He inspired other Allied pilots to do the same and the result was "Operation Little Vittles." How cute is that?

The "Canton Citizen" out of Massachusetts had a local feature on a family who surprised their matriarch, for lack of a better word, with a home makeover. Maggie Koelsch, mother of eight, grandmother of 15 and great-grandmother of one, went to California to visit one of her daughters, and 14 enterprising East Coast members of her family completely updated her house. The 83 year-old woman raised her children on her own after separating from her husband, and she is determined to stay in her own home now. Her family wanted to be there for her since she's always been there for them.

This last one from is a little quirky. My brother used to be an athletic trainer at the minor league level of professional baseball for the Baltimore Orioles. I'm not sure he's familiar with a pitching prospect named Josh Faiola, but the young man is making news lately for his life off the field. And for once, in the world of athletes, it's for something good. Minor-leaguers are often hosted by local families since they don't get paid much. Faiola's proposed host family didn't actually have a room for him at their house, but they run an assisted living facility nearby and decided to put him up there. He's the new darling of the residents, even inspiring some non-sports fans to pick up baseball. Faiola has a terrific attitude about it too, understanding the value of having so many "grandparents" around to care about him and how he does. 

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