Sep. 2: Radio Announcers and Guide Dogs

Morning radio in Chicago has featured husband-and-wife team Don and Roma Wade for more than 25 years. Don is a lifelong radio personality, while Roma, an educator, came to it later in life.  “My husband lured me into radio,” she says.But a decision the couple made together was to support the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind because they saw their own professional careers as a natural link to the charity.“The concept of radio is so helpful to the blind population, we thought it would be … [Read more...]

Sep. 1: Refilling the Well

The dozen women sit in a circle on the floor, sharing their symptoms of “compassion fatigue.”  All are caregivers for chronically or terminally ill animals. Some are veterinarians, vet technicians, vet tech students; there’s even a pet owner or two.“Refill the Well” is a one-night workshop given by the Reverend Eliza Blanchard in Westwood, Massachusetts.Blanchard tells participants that their jobs are difficult “because you give care, you don’t take care.”  She reminds the group of the an … [Read more...]

August 31: Second Chance

In the Academy at Florence, one of the great Italian masterpieces displayed is Michelangelo’s statue, “David.”  Every year, thousands of people admire this early example of the great master’s work, unaware that the huge block of stone from which the figure was hewn has a curious history.At first an inferior artist began to work on it, but through lack of skill, he succeeded only in hacking and marring the marble.  Then the rulers of Florence called on the young Michelangelo, who created a las … [Read more...]

August 30: Pitching In

In the Revolutionary War, during preparations for a battle, a man in civilian clothes passed a corporal who was arrogantly ordering his men to lift a heavy beam.  The man stopped and asked the corporal, “Why don’t you help them?”“Sir,” the answer came back indignantly, “I am a corporal!”With a muttered apology, the stranger stripped off his coat and pitched in to help the soldiers.“Mr. Corporal,” he said when the task was done, “whenever you haven’t enough men to do a job, call on you … [Read more...]

August 29: The Finder of a King

Interested in Egypt from childhood, Howard Carter got to travel there from his home in England when he was in his early 20s.  He worked as an artist and photographer at various sites, capturing the beauty of ancient civilizations.In 1922, more than three decades after his arrival, Carter discovered the intact royal tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun—“King Tut”—who had been interred around 1333 B.C.Reports say that Carter struggled after that to produce a noteworthy follow-up to his remarkab … [Read more...]

August 28: The Distribution of Talent

A bricklayer whose brother happened to be a gifted and famous violinist once found himself in a conversation with the head of the construction company for which he worked.“It must be great to have such a renowned man for a brother,” the executive said.  And then, anxious not to offend his worker’s pride, he added, “Of course, we must accept the fact that talent isn’t evenly distributed—even in the same family.”“That’s the truth,” replied the bricklayer.  “Why, my brother doesn’t know the … [Read more...]

August 27: Keeper of the Puppets

A look into the Bronx, New York basement of Nilda Garces reveals what might be best described as a United Nations of puppets.  On every wall there hangs a cluster of puppets—“little people,” as Garces calls them—each one dressed in traditional garb from across the globe.For almost four decades, Nilda has been using the puppets locally in her shows and classes for education, recreation and therapy.  A self-taught puppet maker, Garces started with shows for kids in the Bronx Zoo and the Botanic … [Read more...]

August 26: A Little Knowledge

A high-school girl, seated next to a famous astronomer at a dinner party, struck up a conversation with him by asking, “What do you do for a living?”“I study astronomy,” he replied.“Really?” said the teenager, wide-eyed.  “I finished astronomy last year.”Many people stop growing mentally and spiritually at an early age.  Physically, they continue to develop, but spiritually they remain as six-year-olds.  Yet most of us do recognize that we have a lot to learn.The words and actions … [Read more...]