On a Special Teddy

All of us place friends in groups as high school friends, college friends, work friends, neighborhood friends, church friends, and other … well, and not surprisingly, we have dance friends. Ballroom dance has introduced us to many good people, but Teddy is the one who stands out the most for me.

The first time one sees him doing something – you laugh, but with a smile. The more times I see him – I still laugh and smile – but the heart also glows. The more I watch him and now interact with him and learn more about him, I believe he is a special gift for all.

Teddy is a native Cincinnatian who has become a local celebrity, and has even received national exposure. However, through it all, he’s absolutely the same person that he was before the madness started.

From local articles, local television stories, and time with his (and my) favorite baseball team to attending the State of the Union as Speaker Boehner’s guest. From escorting two beauty queens (one on each arm) to speaking engagements and dance exhibitions. From a recent ESPN special segment to a shorter version ABC World News with Diane Sawyer (an America Strong segment), and to the latest as he’s now part of a Topps baseball card collection … and through it all, Teddy remains who he is … an example for everyone.

Teddy Kremer is not a kid, but a 30-year-old man. As a swimmer, ballroom dancer, and equestrian, he’s an athlete. Regardless how one knows him, all who he has touched agree that he is special because he demonstrates what we should be – kind, positive, appreciative, personable, loyal, joyful for life, and other characteristics.

I hope you take the time to watch this 12-minute story created by ESPN, and I have no doubt that Teddy will make you laugh and smile. After all, this video (just like Teddy) makes me laugh and smile, but in the end, I always shed a prideful tear … thus, I look forward to seeing him again on many Thursdays at the dance studio.

On a Joyous Possum

As the holiday season has many running around in a state of crazed madness, it is also a time to find good news – especially in light of the horrific, devastating news about the Connecticut school shooting.

As news organizations deliver us information about global conflicts, U.S. politics, Wall Street, violence, and more, this time of the year also allows these same newsrooms to give us positive stories – stories about the human spirit – stories of sharing and goodness.

I’ve never heard of Possum Trot, Texas – a small, incorporated town near the Louisiana border that is financially poor – but through love, sacrifice, patience, commitment, and genuineness, the members of this community demonstrate their huge heart of gold that serves a role model for humanity.

Follow the link to watch and see a proud side of humanity.

On a Wimpy Today

If you are a baby boomer like I, you probably associate Wimpy as a friend of Popeye the Sailor. Yep, that’s J. Wellington Wimpy to we cartoon enthusiasts.

Created by EC Segar for the original Popeye comic strip, the soft-spoken, kind, intelligent Wimpy was Popeye’s friend. When Fleischer Studios animated Popeye, Wimpy took a less prominent role.

Hamburgers are Wimpy’s favorite meal, and we know he can continuously eat them! Wimpy was also cheap, even a  moocher, thus known for his famous line, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

Wimpy also inspired the name for a fast food restaurant in London (1954). The chain has been bought and sold several times, but we can find Wimpy’s today in over 20 countries. However, this story centers around Wimpy’s in South Africa.

The chain had an ad campaign promoting that it had Braille menus, but a promotion’s effort took a unique turn – they used sesame seeds to place Braille messages on 15 hamburger buns, and then served the hamburger to 15 blind individuals.

Whether a sincere small gesture or intentionally exploitive, this is a feel-good video. Have a good rest of the weekend.

On an Angel’s Wings

Do you remember Clarence Odbody? I imagine the last name may throw you off, but he was an Angel Second Class who hadn’t yet earned his wings, thus assigned as the guardian angel to George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life.

I like good stories about good people doing good things for others – and I know that it’s been too long since I’ve featured a post simply about a good deed. After all, are some of the great words about being human include kindness, courage, love, sharing, generosity, humility, and respect?

Here’s a story about Woody Davis, seemingly a regular person who believes in a life of helping others – and one who says he feels blessed to be dying slowly. Oh no, it’s not a tearful story, but a joyous one of an ordinary person who has lived a life of giving – and worth your 3 minutes to see.

Note: After clicking the video, click again to watch on YouTube in a new window, and then I hope you return to comment. If you have a problem below, click here to watch on YouTube.

On Thanks for a Giving Joshua

After seeing this story about Joshua Williams a few months ago on the NBC Nightly News, I knew that I had to feature him in a post. With Thanksgiving upon us, now is time to feature his cause and action.

When he was four, his grandmother gave him $20, but he gave it away to someone homeless. Less than a year later, he wanted to do something to feed hungry children. Shortly thereafter, Joshua’s Heart, a foundation focusing on hunger relief was born. Joshua is now nine years old, and the foundation is going strong.

Amazingly, Joshua discovered something early in life that many never figure out – the importance of caring for and helping others. Whether you see it in the spirit of religion or not, he is an example and the spirit of what humans can do for one another. In today’s bitter, partisan times in our in-your-face culture, Joshua Williams is a beacon of goodness.

Besides the foundation’s video below, here is a link to the foundation and one to the NBC News story I saw. During this Thanksgiving holiday, I thank Joshua for being a model of giving.

On a Sports Story Bigger than Sports

I am a University of Cincinnati season ticket holder for football. Football fans know that the highs of the 12-0 season went into the toilet with the thrashing received from Florida in the Sugar Bowl – but there is a better story – a story about life that is bigger and better than the season and the scoreboard in any sport.

Last summer UC became the first college program in the country to “adopt” a child through Friends of Jaclyn, a foundation connecting children with brain tumors with high school and college sports times. I previously posted about this story before, but this story never gets old and helps put life into perspective.

I invite you to learn more by reading this article from the UC Magazine, watching the video below from Fox Sports Ohio, or by visiting the links below. Better yet, I hope you visit more than one.

Friends of Jaclyn
Friends of Jaclyn Video
Mitch’s Mission