By Dick Platt
Corsicana Daily Sun
I am always on the lookout for feel-good items in the news as opposed to the dog-eat-dog political head knocking and the tragedies and atrocities people suffer around our globe. I collected a few such stories last week and I pass them on in the hope that you will find them interesting.
Unless you are an avid college football fan and especially a Notre Dame fanatic, you’re probably unaware of an All-American linebacker named Manti Te’o. You also probably think I misspelled the name because it looks like the bottom row of an eye chart. In addition of an odd name, there a few peculiarities about Manti that set him far apart from the average college BMOC.
First of all, he is of Samoan descent; was born and raised in Hawaii; and he is a devout Mormon who opted to play at our most famous Catholic university — Notre Dame. Secondly, he is a serious candidate for this year’s Heisman Trophy, which is almost unheard of for a defensive player. Thirdly, he recently displayed that he has a heart as big as his six-foot-two-inch, 255- pound frame.
Shortly after dealing with the loss of his grandmother and then his long-time girl friend to cancer, Manti heard from a mutual friend about a little 12-year old girl in Detroit who was dying from a brain tumor. She was a huge fan of Notre Dame football and Manti in particular. In fact, the little girl and her parents had recently watched Notre Dame spank Michigan on the TV in her room in the University of Michigan Intensive Care Unit. Manti was so moved by the little girl’s story and recent events in his life that he wrote a letter to her and her parents.
The little girl is now gone and the parents want to keep the contents of Manti’s letter private and personal but they said the ending paragraph could be published, to wit: “...Please tell Bridget that I am her biggest fan. Thank her for me for being an inspiration for me. I wish you and your family all the best. And know that I will be praying for your family, especially Bridget. God bless you all, Manti Te’o,” He may not win the Heisman but, in my book, Manti Te’o is truly an “All-American.”
On Oct. 25, a 9-year-old Irish lad was hunting treasure on the beach near his home in Passage East, County Waterford, Ireland. He came upon a capped 2-liter plastic bottle with a hand-written note inside. The note was written in French and had been thrown into the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada, by two 12-year-old girls in 2004. Can you imagine? This bottle was afloat for eight years and washed up on shore 2,500 miles away.
There was an e-mail address on the note which no longer worked as the girls are now 20-year-old college students. However, word got back to Canada and all the parties managed to get connected on line via Skype and they are planning a get-together in the future. This shows you what a small world we live in. As for the note itself — when translated from French to English it read, “Just 15 minutes with GEICO could save you hundreds of dollars on your auto insurance.”
On Saturday night, Oct. 29, police in Bryan came upon a vehicle stopped in the street with its engine still running. As they approached the vehicle the driver sped off and the cops gave chase. They managed to stop him and he was arrested on charges of evading arrest and driving with a suspended license. He was released from the barbed-wire hotel on Sunday after posting a $4,000 bail.
Here’s the kicker — this joker has had his driver’s license suspended 21 times! Is this guy a menace or what? How in the world does a guy with this many suspensions make bail? How many people do you know who have had more than one license suspension in their lifetime? I guess they let him go because of the extenuating circumstances — he claimed the only reason he was driving was his passenger was intoxicated. That makes sense because only a stone drunk would let this guy use his car.
Last one. On Oct. 8, the Petland stores in Plano and Frisco were burglarized and the crooks made off with nine expensive puppies. One of the perps was caught and, when his picture appeared in the news, a young couple recognized him as the guy who sold them a “soft-coated wheaten terrier” for their 4-year-old daughter. Even though it broke the little girl’s heart, they did the right thing and returned the puppy to Petland. A microchip scan proved it belonged to the store and they took it back to be vaccinated and checked by their veterinarian.
Even though the puppy has a retail value of $1,500, the store has decided to give the pooch back to the family free of charge because the family had obviously bonded with it and had already purchased a fancy eating/drinking dish, a sheepskin bed, and a pooper-scooper. The item withheld the family’s name but I suspect it is Davidson because they named the puppy “Harley.”
Speaking of robberies — did you hear about the small town wino who robbed a liquor store because he wanted the money to get drunk on?
Lastly, I am so thankful the nasty national election is finally over. My fervent prayer now is that the political Hatfields and McCoys will cease their sniping at each other and exercise some cooperation, consideration, and compromise to lead us all to a better tomorrow.
I am Dick Platt and I approved this message.
Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org