During the 1950s, Captain George H. Grant, a skipper who saved 106 lives during his 50 years at sea, was awarded a gold medal for meritorious service.  His rescues included two men on a sinking fishing boat in the Gulf Stream, 17 sailors from a naval vessel that sank outside San Francisco harbor, and 83 survivors of a collision between a tanker and an ice breaker. One of Captain Grant’s most remarkable rescues involved one of his own men—a sailor… Read more

The man hunched over slightly as he spoke, but his voice was strong and clear: “I realized that I was someone, something, and somebody.  I was not garbage anymore.” The speaker was a former compulsive gambler, and a member of Gamblers Anonymous (GA) an organization with chapters around the world. Unlike the occasional bettor, the compulsive gambler can’t resist a wager.  His personal and family life crumbles, he runs up large debts and may resport to stealing or writing bad… Read more

Emmy Award-winning journalist Rita Cosby wrote a best-selling book called Quiet Hero about her father Richard’s World War II past in Poland—and the emotional wounds that allowed him to abandon their family years later without showing a shred of remorse.  Because Rita’s mother had always encouraged her to forgive him, she found the strength to hear his side of the story. Though Richard Cosby was reluctant to talk about his past, he finally opened up to his daughter, revealing that… Read more

Sometimes a TV show can remind you of life’s little truths. Take, for instance, the 1960’s TV series, The Andy Griffith Show.   It took place in the idyllic town of Mayberry and featured Andy Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor, a widowed father who lives with his son, Opie and Aunt Bee. One episode revolves around what happens when Andy hires Malcolm, a visitor to Mayberry, to help Aunt Bee with her cooking, baking, and cleaning.  Andy thinks Aunt Bee is… Read more

“Leave an awesome tip (and I don’t mean 25 percent.  I mean $500 on a…pizza).” Thus read the last part of 30-year-old Aaron Collins’ will, as it was written on his computer.  Collins’ brother, Seth, discovered the document after Aaron passed away unexpectedly. Determined to fulfill his brother’s dying wish, Seth created a website in Aaron’s name to raise money.  He collected enough to present $500 to Chelsea Powell, a surprised and appreciative waitress at Bella Notte restaurant in his… Read more

The service that Peggy Bowes and her family received at the restaurant they went to was poor, to say the least.  Their waitress had been bringing their food in sporadic shifts—and sometimes it wasn’t even the right food! With everyone at their breaking points, the server left the table frustrated.  Moments later, she returned with the correct food, uttering what Bowes calls “three powerful words.”  The waitress said, “Please forgive me.”  She revealed it was only her second day on… Read more

Playing with children may seem to be primarily about fun, but it’s also about math and language, even creativity. Play, in fact, is essential for a child’s growth and development.  By encouraging and engaging in play, parents and other adults teach children to gain knowledge and valuable social skills. For example, by counting fingers and steps, children learn math.  By playing hide and seek, they develop their memory.  By dressing up and pretending, they learn to understand more clearly the… Read more

Maine lobsterman Jim Henry didn’t learn to read until he was 91, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing an even higher goal.  The book he wrote himself, In a Fisherman’s Language, is on its second printing.  A collection of stories about his life, it has attracted interest from as far away as Germany and Greece, and caught the eye of a New York film producer. Henry’s father made him quit school when he was in the third grade so… Read more

As a boy, Daniel Murphy started playing baseball through the process of elimination.  He was too short for basketball, too slow for soccer, and because he didn’t like to get hit, forget about football.  Baseball, however, was a game for which he had a gift. Murphy was drafted by the New York Mets in 2006, and made his Major League debut two years later.  The year 2011 was shaping up to be his best season to date.  Then it happened. … Read more

Knitting their own wedding dress isn’t an option many women would consider, but Lydia Tayler from Huddersfield, England, made a successful go of it.  Both she and the groom-to-be, Ash Pears, wanted to hold a wedding for less than the average 20,000 British pounds it costs in modern-day England.  They would much rather invest the money in a house that could hold them and the kids they wanted to have. A knitter since age six, Tayler spent four months making… Read more

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