Let’s be better

Sorry I’ve missed the whole week. I heard stuff happened. No worries. Stuff will happen next week and I’ll be back to pretend it didn’t. It’s a self-survival thing now.

May I just rise to the defense of “soft news” again for just a second?

Back when I missed most of my family’s meals because I was in front of the television — my dinner on a tray — watching the news and learning all about places in Vietnam I’d later consider ways to avoid if I needed to.( I didn’t need to, but that’s not the point.), Charles Kuralt’s concluding segment would remind us that Vietnam is not be ignored. But neither are the fragments of life that we need and tend to grasp on to without apology, in the belief — even if in denial — that America still has a shot at being what it could be — better.

That has fallen to guys like Steve Hartman, whose CBS piece on Friday evening was pure tonic.

It’s the story of Layla Lester, who has autism, and saw Cinderella the other day. It wasn’t Cinderella. It was Olivia Spark, a heavy equipment operator, who was getting married and was in her wedding dress for a photo shoot.

No matter. She took time out to be Cinderella. Then she, her family, and her photographer started a GoFundMe account to raise money to send Layla to meet a real Cinderella.

Some guy tried to assassinate people this week. A woman played Cinderella to make a kid happy. Both remind us as individuals that we can be better.

Logically, what do we have to lose?

  • Guest

    Moderated comments about REAL policy, not just “those guys are awful”
    Insight behind news
    Stories not found elsewhere
    Sweet Stories

    Bob, you are a refuge in the blizzard of outrage.
    Thank you.

  • AL287

    We have missed you, Bob.

    When my mother was still alive she used to give her adult children “just because” gifts.

    There is no better way to brighten someone’s day than to give a gift or do something “just because.”

    I think the mail bombs have sobered us up regarding our “agendas.”

    Lets hope the truce lasts.

  • ec99

    I too ate supper off a tray while watching TV. But it was to see Clancy the Cop.

  • Lois Gaetz

    Ahh to see a princess/prince in everyone we meet, well, maybe not, but we could try seeing who they are and maybe remember that they are looking back at us. Demons and witches are out there but sometimes inside the costume is someone you can still talk to and if we don’t start looking for that we are losing more than the current battle. Be honest be true and know who you are voting for.

  • lindblomeagles

    It’s very difficult to argue with “Let’s Be Better.” 2 hours before Bob posted this story, a brawl among parents broke out at a 10 year old youth football game here in Saint Paul. And this incident, mind you, came hours after the arrest of the “Democratic mail bomber,” and Trumps refusal to tone down his rhetoric or take responsibility for the bomber’s actions. Then, came the breaking news this morning from the Washington Post – shots fired at Jewish Synagogue in Pittsburgh. We’ve absolutely lost our minds here in America. Sad to say, but our kids are doing far better at civility than we adults are. Maybe we should all start looking for Cinderella.

  • Hi. I’ve deleted the usual messages about politics. I’m tired. And we’ve read them 10 million times already. Nothing personal.

    • Wait, there were people arguing politics here? On a “Cinderella” story? Seriously?

      /Stop the planet I want to get off.

      //And welcome back…

  • Joe

    I’ve very much enjoyed your museum series, and look forward to the next installments.

    • Thanks. There may be a little delay. I’ve gone pretty much profoundly deaf and can’t interview anyone at the moment. I have one I’m writing for Friday, though.

      • wjc

        Geez, Bob! Sorry to hear that. I hope you get better soon.

      • >> I’ve gone pretty much profoundly deaf and can’t interview anyone at the moment.<<

        Damn. My mother is in the same boat and has has a cochlear implant for a couple decades now.

        i hope you can remedy the situation.

      • Al

        Bob, take care of yourself. We can wait. 🙂

        • Debby

          So sorry, Bob. Good to have you back with us.

  • Dan

    “Both remind us as individuals that we can be better”

    Great line, and the best defense of “soft news” I’ve read.

  • KTFoley

    Welcome back, Bob.

  • KTN
  • Al

    Parents of my age (older millennials) talk a lot about “looking for the helpers.” It’s what we teach our kids to do when they get scared or something bad happens: Look for the helpers, because there will always be people helping out when something bad happens.

    I think, maybe, that just looking for the helpers isn’t enough. I think WE are the helpers. Whether we’re pretending to be Cinderella, fundraising for a real Cinderella (hell, fundraising for anything), donating our time and our talents, standing up for something in which we believe–it’s us. We are the helpers. Big things, little things, seemingly trivial things like playing Cinderella–they make a big, big difference to someone’s heart.


    • Al

      Probably especially poignant, as Pittsburgh gave us Mr. Rogers in the first place.

      • KariBemidji

        This synagogue was in Mr. Roger’s neighborhood. He lived 5 blocks away.

  • Jeff C.

    Earlier this morning I was thinking how sad it is that I could hear about the massacre of human beings at a synagogue and feel nothing. No sadness. No outrage. No shock. It was just more bad news that I’ve become numb to. I already know what will happen next. Words will be said – some right, some wrong. Nothing will change. Wash, rinse, repeat – the cycle will continue and I’ll be numb to it all.

    Then I read this: “I’ve gone pretty much profoundly deaf and can’t interview anyone at the moment.”

    Tears flowed.

    I’m so sorry to read that, Bob. I hope something can be done to help you.

  • Tyler

    My daughter is in a spanish immersion school, and calls her teach “Cinderella Peterson,” because she’s heard the word ‘cinderella’ but not the word ‘senorita.’ Her teacher has yet to correct her, because…why would you?