Category Archives: People Who Made A Difference

One final entry …

This will be the final entry in this blog. As regular readers know, Mrs. R. and I have spent a good deal of time in the hands of the medical profession in the five months since Thanksgiving. She has had a number of issues, including three operations. She faces nothing life threatening, other than the […]

Life: ‘People can turn around’

“Ryan jumped out and got the bag and opened it up, revealing a thick wad of hundred dollar bills inside.” Back in the last century, when I taught high school journalism for a dozen years, the kids had something called the Fred File. It was a collection of never used story ideas that they could […]

Compassion: People Who Gave … and Gave

by Dave Riley When you write about people — good people, that is — you don’t choose just anyone for a subject. You look for those who are somehow special, somehow more compassionate. As a result you can easily develop an attachment to them, as if each one were a close friend. When I wrote […]

Veterans Day: WW II Through the Eyes of a Kid

A blue star banner indicated that a household had a family member serving in the military during the war. A gold star indicated a family member had died in the service — either killed in action or died from other causes. by Dave Riley MY WORLD WAR 11 began on a Sunday afternoon in December […]

When We Were Kids: My First Employer

Once I said to Joe, who questioned some work I had done, “I think it’s good enough.” Joe, with a withering glare I shall never forget, replied, “Good enough, isn’t.” by Dave Riley Kids’ activities don’t run on autopilot. There have to be adults who coach and manage and make sure that stuff gets organized. […]

Infirmities: The Caregiver

“…I suspect there are a lot of caregivers who would tell us that the film isn’t a realistic portrayal of their lives.” by Dave Riley I HAVE NEVER BEEN A CAREGIVER for someone with Alzheimer’s or any form of dementia. I have known some such caregivers, and from what I can glean, the road they […]

People Who Make A Difference: Arthur Vandenberg

This is like a job to him. He hardly ever misses a day, and when he does, he calls in to let us know.” by Dave Riley MY NEIGHBOR ARNIE — Arnie’s full name is Joshua Bateman Arnold — anyway, Arnie is pretty careless with numbers. “China has three trillion people,” he once told me. […]

The Pilot Who Made People Smile

“There are many ways for a cartoon to be great, not the least of which is to be funny, and Leo was one of the most consistently funny cartoonists we ever had…” by Dave Riley IN THE PAST WE HAVE PAID TRIBUTE in this blog to notable humanitarians, pioneering scientists, and just plain folks who dedicated […]

‘Feeder of the Masses’ — Nevin Scrimshaw

“If there were a pantheon in the field of international nutrition, he would be absolutely at the top.” By Dave Riley EVER HEAR OF Nevin Scrimshaw? Neither had I until two years ago. He was a doctor who not only lived a long life — almost a century — but spent most of it improving […]

Meals on Wheels: ‘One Is A Lonely Number’

“There’s a lady on my route who comes to the door with a huge smile on her face. She says I’m just about the only person she talks to on my delivery day.” By Dave Riley My first encounter with what I will characterize as senior isolation occurred when I was just eight or nine […]