A touching flag tribute, an engagement pic mystery and some cool turtle stuff

Posted at 10:42 PM, Jul 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-06 00:42:13-04

If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? Sure, “There’s no place like home” and all that, but a beach and some warm, aquamarine water sure sounds nice right now. Or a mountain cabin, or some far-flung city where they serve you tasty drinks whose names you can’t pronounce; we’re not picky. Your happy place may be thousands of miles away right now, but we’d be honored to be your second choice 🙂 Please fasten your seat belts and remove all objects from the seat-back table in front of you, because we are about to arrive at this week’s Good Stuff.

Our favorites this week

Get going with some of our most popular good news stories of the week

At 100 and 102, they found an ageless love

Love is truly the fountain of youth! Meet John, a World War II veteran who just turned 100, and Phyllis, who’s 102 years young. Last week, after doing the responsible thing and dating for a year, they went to get a marriage license and were surprised to find out they could get married right then and there. So, with the spontaneity of teenage lovers, they said “I do” on the spot. The happy couple live together at an assisted living facility in Ohio, and hope to spend their days enjoying meals, sitting in the sun and zipping around on their mobility scooters. Sounds like the recipe for a perfect marriage … and a reminder that there’s no age limit for finding true love.

A veteran goes from sea to shining sea

Two months after he turned 90, Ernie Andrus wanted to do something special, so he crossed the entire country on foot! (One person’s “special” is another person’s “flat-out bonkers.”) It took him two years, but he ran a full 2,631 miles from California to Georgia. Now that he’s 95, the World War II veteran wants to do it all over again. He began his second trek in March and has so far clocked more than 175 miles. As he runs, the Navy veteran is raising funds to sail a restored World War II landing ship tanker to Normandy for a D-Day anniversary. Andrus and some other veterans have been restoring the ship, the last of its kind, for several years. While he runs for fun and funds, Andrus also runs because he enjoys the company and friends he makes along the way. “There’s a lot of good, loving people in this country,” he says.

A shoplifting bust becomes a meaningful moment

When New York City Police officers approached a woman accused of shoplifting at a Manhattan Whole Foods store this week, it could have been a really unfortunate scene. Instead, the officers turned it into a positive moment. Lt. Louis Sojo says he found prepared-food containers in the woman’s bag, and she tearfully told him she was hungry. Moved by her genuine reaction, the group didn’t arrest her. Instead, they paid for her food. “When you look at someone’s face and see that they need you and they’re actually hungry, it’s pretty difficult as a human being to walk away from something like this,” Sojo said. Someone snapped a picture of the scene and posted it on social media where it got tons of love, but the officers made sure to remind people that they didn’t do it because they wanted attention; they did it because they saw someone in need.

Raise a glass to…

Camille Schrier, a 24-year-old biochemist who was just crowned Miss Virginia 2019. The talents at pageants usually skew towards your traditional singing and dancing, but Schrier found a new way to literally blow away the competition. For the talent portion of the competition, she showed off her science chops by triggering a chemical reaction on stage. Schrier demonstrated the catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, which sent spouts of colored foam shooting skyward. She says she hopes her victory challenges some beauty queen stereotypes. “I am more than Miss Virginia. I am Miss Biochemist, Miss Systems Biologist, Miss Future PharmD looking toward a pharmaceutical industry career,” she said.

You gotta see this

There’s a really moving story behind this giant, immaculately executed flag mowed into the front lawn of a home in Halset, Texas. It was created by Cameron James, 17, in honor of his friend, Army Pfc. Kevin Christian. Christian, 21, took his own life last month while deployed along the Arizona/Mexico border. The two young men were in Boy Scouts together, and James knew Christian’s dad had been interested making a large flag in front of their house for the Fourth of July. James decided to take up the task to show how much his friend meant to people. “He was just a role model for me,” James said. “So I wanted to make sure he was missed by even the people who didn’t know him.”

Heroes among us

Graduating high school is no easy feat, and it can be doubly difficult for students facing the trials of homelessness and poverty. So, of course, these 100 homeless New York City students who recently graduated high school definitely deserve recognition. The students were honored last week by New York City’s Department of Homeless Services, and many of them are now heading to college at prestigious institutions like Cornell, New York University and Stony Brook University. One of the graduates, Alexus Lawrence, was her high school’s valedictorian and will enroll at Brooklyn College next year to pursue a career as a pediatrician. “I’m just thinking of how far I’ve come,” she said. Oh, the places they’ll go!

Wanna get away?

Speaking of gorgeous beaches and blue waters, get a load of one of the many seaside hotspots along Turkey’s Turquoise Coast. The country has more than 600 miles of coves, inlets and shores to explore, and the mixture of European and Middle Eastern cultural influences could make this area one of the next trendy beach getaways.

Hear, hear!

But money doesn’t make anyone happy. It’s what you achieve and the people you meet.”

John Ellis, father of US women’s soccer team head coach Jill Ellis, recalls his daughter’s rationale for quitting her lucrative desk job to pursue a career coaching soccer … that paid just $6,000 a year. As Ellis prepares her team for its third consecutive Women’s World Cup Final, it’s safe to say she made the right call. GO USA!!!

Who knew?

We love these eerie, gorgeous shots of decommissioned airplanes by photographer Troy Paiva. In reading about them, we learned a few things: One, there are so-called “airplane graveyards” in the Mojave Desert where movie set companies and private collectors alike keep old planes, some of which have been broken open and seriously show their age. Two, Paiva uses a technique called “light painting” to get his multi-chromatic style. He sets up a long exposure shot, and then lights different parts of the shot with colored lights for long periods of time. He can even walk into the shot to set up lighting without ending up in the final product. So cool.

Tell us something good

Carmel, Indiana

Do you know this couple that got engaged on the Fourth of July? Photographer Tyler Huffman captured some beautiful fireworks photos in Carmel, Indiana, and as he went through the images he realized he captured something else: A proposal! You can see a man on bended knee on the sidewalk in this perfectly-timed shot. Now Huffman is trying to get a hold of the couple so they can have a lasting memory of their sparkling moment.

Are there people in your community doing great things who deserve a shoutout? Drop us a line with a photo and a short description and they could be featured here.

Shameless animal video

There’s always time for cute animal videos. That time is now.

I’m kind of obsessing over turtles right now. I recently visited the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, Florida where they rehabilitate injured turtles and I HIGHLY recommend. Then, on the Fourth of July, hundreds of sea turtle hatchlings in Fernandina Beach, Florida, delighted revelers when they made their way to the sea during a fireworks display. Here’s another amazing sea turtle hatchling moment to marvel at. The drama! The bravery! Pixar, you need to get on this. (Click to view)