Heroes Of The Week!

Abraham Lincoln Quiz | Britannica

Just a quick bit of housekeeping before I dive in to this week’s lineup of hits and misses. Marco will be going on a brief hiatus from the shop, say about two weeks worth of slinging some hibernating hash? And in the interim, I gots me a couple of All Stars who are going to make sure you don’t miss me one lick. The lovely Dale will be filling my roster spot next Friday and the inimitable Frank will bat for me the week after that. Make sure to show them some love.

And now to this week’s lineup . . .

Chiropractor may be able to crackdown on NFL head, neck injuries ...

My first entry isn’t really a story at all. I simply want to give props to the professional athletes from all over the map who have opted out of their respective sports this year. These guys are dishing up the truth when they tell us they’re dubious as to how safe their leagues can keep them. They’re putting the interests of their families and friends ahead of an entire calendar year of work, which is no small thing when you consider how brief the average career of a professional athlete is. I’m not going to name any specific player because I don’t want to leave anyone out; they’re all important. And what they’re doing is righteous. Yanno, I guess that is a story unto itself.

Get the he-- out of the country': Mike Ditka slams NFL players who ...

And on the flip side of that coin we have Mike Ditka. The former coach of Da Bears went on the attack recently. His target? All those kneeling players. Taking a page from his boy Trump’s handbook, Iron (Head) Mike says that if those guys can’t stand for the national anthem, then they’re free to get the hell out of the country. But I have a better idea. Why doesn’t he leave instead?

Next up is a two for one story brought to us by Dale over at A Dalectable Life.


You won’t find six year old Bridger Walker in the next Avengers movie, but that doesn’t mean the little guy ain’t worthy.

On July 9th, the Wyoming boy came to the rescue of his four year old sister who was being attacked by a German Shepherd. He says that “if someone had to die, I thought it should be me,” and if that sentence doesn’t shake you to your core . . then you may not have a core. As a result of his heroic act, Bridger suffered significant damage to his face that required ninety stitches. But he says he would do it all over again for the baby sister he loves more than anything in the world.

When Bridger’s aunt posted the story to Instagram, it caught the attention of none other than Chris Evans, who plays Captain America in the Avengers series.

So Evans responded to Bridger with this: “I read your story, I saw what you did. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of this over the last couple of days but let me be the next one to tell you. Pal, you’re a hero, what you did was so brave, so selfless β€” your sister is so lucky to have you as a big brother. Your parents must be so proud of you.”

And then Evans sent Bridger his very own Captain America shield. After which Evans’ pals got involved too. Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk) reached out, as did Tom Holland (Spider Man) and they let the kid know what an inspiration he is to all of them. Even Anne Hathaway chimed in by saying that while she’s not a part of the Avengers, she knows a superhero when she sees one.

So the next time you see these guys in the theater? You’ll know whose script they’re working off.

I’m putting a bow-tie on this week’s episode with a beautiful story that is brought to us by the lovely Monika over at Tails Around The Ranch. It’s a story whose perspective has great value inside the world we currently inhabit.

Tommy Rhine has been running a shoe repair business in downtown Denver for more than forty years now. With the COVID-19 outbreak, Rhine’s business suffered so badly that it looked as if it would have to close its doors for good. It just wasn’t fair. Here was a guy who made a city feel like a neighborhood, who has greeted every working day by providing his customers with a primo job and a smile made just for them. Monika remembers bringing in her high heel shoes to Tommy when she used to work downtown. She says “I’m convinced he often gave the shoes a good buffing so they would look new,”.

Rhine had no luck in securing a business loan in order to keep his place going, and just when things were looking their worst, his community showed up, the way he’s been showing up for them for the pasty forty years.

The only form of promotion Rhine had to his name at that point came from a sign his son had placed in the window of his father’s shop that read “Black Owned Business”. It was a sign that was meant to at once curtail any possible vandalism by protesters while also being a way to attract business to his struggling enterprise. And while Tommy is not involved in the current day struggle for equity, he well remembers a time back in the sixties when he fought the very same fight.

That little sign in the window, it ended up changing everything. Ryan Warner of Colorado Public Radio tweeted an image of it, and the response was immediate. So they set up a Go Fund Me page for Tommy and now those forty years in business will get a few more added on to them. He’s getting donations from all corners of the map and customers who are bring in their shoes to him whilst featuring him on social media as well.

Tommy didn’t have a fat cat bailout to rescue him. What he got instead were neighbors and friends and strangers who appreciate the heart and soul he brings to his craft and want to make sure he keeps on keeping on. In a world where it seems as if too many people are out for themselves, here’s a story about showing up and giving back and appreciation. And it tells us the blessed truth of our humble existence.

Love matters.

54 thoughts on “Heroes Of The Week!

  1. I am so moved by the little boy coming to rescue his sister. Renews faith in the future of humanity. As for Ditka, it will certainly be a lot easier for him to leave this country than all the folks who believe in free expression and peaceful protest.
    Will miss you but you are leaving This spot in good hands. Hurry back. 🌻

    Liked by 3 people

  2. B,

    Aww dang… no matter how well (ahem) you replace yourself for a couple of weeks, you will be missed. None of us can hold a candle to you but we will do our best.

    Yes, I am so proud of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. He showed up on the front lines as soon as he could. He’s still “just” a resident and when then asked him to change diapers, he did. Whatever they needed, he was there. He is already a fine physician. All the other athletes who chose not to go back merit kudos as well. They know what’s really important.

    Mike is a Dick – they spelled his name wrong.

    Omygosh. Rereading about Bridger Walker has brought fresh tears to my eyes. He is SO worthy of Captain America’s shield, seeings as he shielded his sister from the attack and all. That sentence, “If someone had to die, I thought it should be me.” gives me the goosebumps and a tightness in my throat. So brave.

    As for Monika’s story about Tommy Rhine, how heartwarming is that? I absolutely love how that small sign in his window changed his life. The “little guy” never gets the damn bailout, does he? What he got was so much more loving, though. This is a beautiful share.

    Love will always matter.

    And you are right! PERFECT song to end this fantabulous post!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Q,

      Y’all bring your own unique brand of goodness. Just don’t turn me into Wally Pipp . . that’s all I ask. πŸ˜‰

      Whatever the reason, they all have one. And when you consider the fact that these guys love what they do, I find it to be stoic. I think the average career of an NFL is just over three years. That’s something.

      Good call on Iron Head.

      Yes, can you imagine a little boy saying something like that and really meaning it? All because he would have done anything to save his baby sister from harm. Remarkable little kid. And the outreach on the part of the Avengers cast was truly special. Good for them. And thank you for the double dose of goodness.

      Yeah, right? It’s funny how conservatives railed on about welfare back in the day while their side benefits SO much from it. Tommy didn’t ask for nothing he wasn’t going to be paying back. All he wanted was to ply his craft. And thank goodness for the people who came to his rescue. Shops such as his are becoming a thing of the past, and if they can hold onto him a little bit longer, it’s a win for the community.

      Indeed it will. These stories show us why.

      That London Bridge flash mob happened before the world went under lock and key. It’s a little bit sad to think, but also inspiring when you watch the video and see all the different people coming together in song.

      Muchisimas gracias for your help with this one.


      Liked by 1 person

      • We bring our thang… and, after googling Wally Pipp, I can assure you that we will never be able to do that.

        It is definitely stoic – to give up one year of salary is huge.

        Thanks. Iron Head – name sure applies now.

        No. I can’t imagine it. I can’t imagine him even thinking it. The Avengers’ outreach was the bomb. Such a beautiful thing. And, you are most welcome.

        I love that the community came in when the powers that be snubbed him. It breaks my heart that these little shops are dying one by one, being replaced by cold, unfeeling businesses. It feels backwards. We need more love and closeness now. More than ever.

        Yes, it will.

        Obviously that happened before the shit hit the fan – not a mask to be seen πŸ˜‰ But it doesn’t matter. We need to see people coming together in song. As they’ve been doing over Zoom but this is special.

        You know I’ve always got your back.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The Wally Pipp Effect is actually quite interesting in that nobody WOULD have remembered him at all if not for the greatness of Gehrig. So ya Googled Wally huh? I hope his pic came up and not Lou’s.

          Of course, there are certain members of every fan base who will argue that they can afford it. Many of the same clowns who blow their vacation fund by betting on the Lions to cover the spread.

          Yes, that little boy has an upside the heights of Mt Fuji. And the Avengers cast was never so heroic as in their replies to this special little guy.

          It reminds me that shops such as this are in fact a thing of the past. Like radio repair shops and Radio Shack. Hands on owners who actually know what they’re talking about. Replaced with big box stores. The tradeoff is sad.

          They really kicked it into gear. One of my favorites as far as flash mobs go.


          Liked by 1 person

          • Of course, I did – Google, that is. You know you send me there all the time with your references, leaving me to feel I know nothing until now I do πŸ˜‰ And yeah, it was his…

            Of course some can afford it more than others – they don’t all have the same salary. But let’s face it, they spend way differently than we do, too.

            That little boy is something else. I love everything that has happened to him since his act of bravery.

            They are. I always think of the silly movie “You’ve Got Mail” where Meg Ryan’s lovable bookstore gets eaten up by a humongous chain. Sigh. Tradeoff is yeah, cheaper goods but so cold and impersonal.

            They did! Yes, as far as flash mobs go, this one was way up there.


            Liked by 1 person

          • Wally Pipp wasn’t a bad player by any stretch. It’s just, he wasn’t Lou Gehrig, because nobody was Lou Gehrig. Other than Lou Gehrig of course.

            This is an impossibly difficult decision for the kids who are just trying to make a team. But for those who can afford to stay away, I applaud their decision.

            He deserves it, and then some. And it looks as if he’ll get it.

            It’s the way of the world and it ain’t going back to where it came from. Everything is drive thru and big box and next day delivery so you don’t have to get out of your pajamas.

            It was great.


            Liked by 1 person

          • I figured πŸ˜‰ And I shall have to trust you on that one as it’s not my specialty.

            Yes it is an impossible decision, but I really think it is a necessary one.

            He does!

            I know. Dammit. The only time you can get that feel is if you go to a little towns in, say, Maine. I have decided to forego the Amazon thing for now.



            Liked by 1 person

          • Poor Wally.

            I feel for the players who are trying to break into the league and are undrafted because it is tough sledding to them in a non-pandemic situation. It’s damn near impossible in this one.


            Maine and Vermont have Rockwell spots all over the place. Upstate NY and the Carolinas too. I mean, really, any place outside the crazy rush of humanity.


            Liked by 1 person

          • Poor guy!

            Yeah. It’s a tough time for so many.

            I adore Maine and Vermont, Upstate New York and the little I saw of South Carolina… yeah – all the places far from the big metropoliseseses….


            Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh. my. heavens. Little Bridger’s story brought tears to my eyes as did the story you penned about Tommy Rhimes. Well done, dude! You da man and deserve all kinds of happy R&R. Enjoy your time off. You’ve left the blog in great hands though we’ll miss you bunches (and not just because we’re jealous). Have a super time; the beasts and I will be here when you return.
    P.S. A pox on Iron Mike who has turned into a vile nasty piece of work. I applaud all athletes who continue to shed light on a serious civil rights issue this country has avoided for far too long. Bless them and may the universe keep them all safe as well as those who chose family over payout.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mike Ditka – I just wish there was a way to put them in the Please Ignore box. One of the biggest problems with Trump is that his actions and conduct have served as a blessing for the idiots and lunatics to believe their own idiocy and lunacy.

    Bridger? First off, what a great name. Second, I’d like him to be my bodyguard for my neighborhood walks and excursions. It’s a paying gig.

    What a line … if somebody was gonna die, it should be him. That’s just stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll never forget the rally where a couple of dissenting voices were led out while Trump implored his crazies to kick their asses. That says it all.

      He would do it.

      And yeah, it stunned me too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Although the Reds are currently down to the freaking Tigers, cheers to another great collection. Gotta love the concluding video. For me, love the Tommy Rhine story the most. Cheers to next week’s hostess with the mostest. Thanks for the shoutout, but hey – nobody mentioned me. Damn … how quickly they forget.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And they lost to those freaking Tigers, wth.

      Thank you Frank. And I thought you might like that video, it’s great stuff.

      The Tommy Rhine story made me think back to when stores were personal accomplishments run by individuals who plied their given crafts for generations.

      Cheers times Canada!

      What do you mean? In the comments? I’m sure, quite sure, that you don’t ever have to worry about being forgotten. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  6. When I first read this story about Bridger and his sister and what he said about protecting her I just wanted to give him the kind of hug that could last a lifetime. He’s someone I want to know and follow as he gets older. How he might turn out is not the question because that question has already been answered.
    I hadn’t read the story about Tommy and his shoe repair business but I wished it were in my neighborhood. I loved your last paragraph about how he didn’t get a bailout, just love and appreciation from his neighbors and friends. One of the more heartwarming stories relating to this whole mess of a time.
    Your song choice was perfect.
    Enjoy your time away. It’s well deserve and you have a couple of real pros to carry on your message.


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