Sunday, April 30, 2017

Right place at the right time, Part 2

Today's crumb comes from a alert reader in East Moline, Illinois. It concerns a 30-year-old man named Eric, who recently tried to take his life by jumping off the Bridge Street bridge in Lowell, Massachusetts. He was getting ready to plunge when two teens, Justin Petterson and Jessie Carrier, approached him. They recall that he was "being disrespectful to everybody, telling them 'It's not worth it. I'm going to take my life." They asked if he had any family, but he said "No, I have nobody." He told the boys he was an alcoholic with nobody in his life to help him. "He was getting more aggressive, but eventually I just pulled him back," said Petterson. The boys took talked him into leaving the bridge and joining them for a cup of coffee at Dunkin' Donuts. Eric drank the coffee, but then changed his mind and headed back to the bridge.

Eric's life was on the line again, and the boys were determined to save him. This time they called 911. Lowell police Lt. Steve O'Neill praised the teens for saving the man's life. Eric is now in the hospital for evaluation, and the boys found out he does have someone who cares about him, a younger sister. She reached out to them on public media to say,"Thank you so much. I'll never be able to put into words how thankful I and my family are for your heroic actions." Petterson says he was just glad to be "in the right place at the right time."

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Right place at the right time, Part 1

A few days ago, a man was driving this Lexus near New Carlyle, Illinois. As he turned off of Old US 50 into Fish Hatchery Park, he got a phone call. While adjusting his Bluetooth set, he lost control of his car. It went over a steep bank, turning over onto its roof in a pond, as seen here.

Nobody was nearby to see the accident, except Tyler Guthrie and Tucker Johnson, who were driving Johnson's car when they saw the Lexus flip about 100 yards in front of them. The teens stopped and checked the overturned car. The passenger door was locked, but they could hear a man screaming for help. Johnson called 911 while Guthrie picked up a rock and smashed the Lexus' rear window. Then Johnson helped the driver climb out as an ambulance arrived.

Because the bank is so steep, it is unlikely any other motorists would have seen the wrecked card in the pond. Both students will be attending college this fall. But for now, "We were in the right place at the right time," Johnson said.

Friday, April 28, 2017

How far would you pedal for love?

PK Mananandia was born into the lowest caste in India, "even lower than cows and dogs." But he worked his way through college, and by his early 20s he was a noted portrait artist. Enter Charlotte Von Schedvin, descendent of Swedish royalty. While in Delhi, she sought him out to paint her portrait. They fell in love and got married, but when she invited him to return to Sweden with her, he said he'd wait until he had enough money to support her.

                                                                                                                            PK Mahanandia
Two years later he was still poor, so he forgot his pride and decided to join Charlotte. He could not afford a plane ticket. He could only afford a used bicycle. "I never loved biking, but I bicycled for love," he said. He pedaled across Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, hitching rides when possible. He crossed Turkey and parts of Eastern Europe before biking north to Sweden -- that's 4,000 miles through ten nations. The trip took almost five months. Was it worth it? You decide. Since his trip, he and Charlotte have been together 40 years. They have two grown children, and he is an art advisor to the Swedish government. He work is so good that in 2005 he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. If this can happen to an "untouchable" from India, imagine what can happen to you. Happy cycling.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A monument to what?

Warren Henegar (1926-2012) served in combat in the Pacific during World War II. He believed certain wars are justified, but he was also a Quaker (Society of Friends). For the rest of his life, he insisted that efforts to bring peace far outweigh arguments for war.

Henagar settled in Bloomington, Indiana, after the war. He served on the Monroe County Board of Commissioners from 1977 until 1988, and was elected to three terms on the Monroe County Council. When he died, county officials remembered his long years of service, and how he was always an advocate for peace and non-violent solutions. They dedicated this monument in his honor on the courthouse lawn.  Monroe is one of very few counties in the United States with a monument to peace.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

British couple has no regrets

Back in 1983, Graham and Meg Hemmings, now 72 and 65, purchased a used piano so their four children could learn how to play. The Hemmings enjoyed the piano 32 years. Finally, in 2016, they donated it to Bishop's Castle Community College in Shropshire, England. This year the instrument was routinely checked by piano tuner Martin Backhouse, 61, who discovered small cloth sacks beneath the keyboard. He thought the sacks contained moth balls, but then discovered they held 913 gold sovereigns valued at $641,000, give or take.

Experts believe the coins may have been stashed in the piano during the Great Depression. Under the Treasure Act of 1996, only the finder of a treasure and the existing owner are entitled to the proceeds. Mr. Backhouse now plans to retire early, and the other half of the funds will go to the college. "I don't regret not finding the coins," Mr. Hemmings said. "We're to celebrate that its doing to be used for a good cause."  How very British!


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Patriot Guard Riders deserve our support

Staff Sgt. Jonathan Turner, 41, served seven tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. A year after he retired, he died of combat related injuries. He was living in California. His family lived in Georgia and was unable to attend his funeral. There were plans to mail his cremated remains home to his mother, Annie Glanton, by FedEx. That's when the Patriot Guard Riders saddled up.

                                                                                                                      Photos by Tribunist
"Turner was a great leader who inspired his fellow Marines," they said. They contacted all the Patriot Guard Rider state captains from California to Georgia. Within days, a convoy was assembled with each state's riders taking the remains to the state line and turning them over to riders from the next state. Sgt. Turner's remains were moved over 2,000 miles honorably, under flags. When the final set of riders presented the remains to his family, his mother said, "It's heartwarming to see all these people here. I know he was loved by a lot of people."

Monday, April 24, 2017

Mother love is a two-way street

Lena Pierce was only 13 when she had her first baby. Since Lena was a ward of the state in Utica, New York, her baby, later named Betty, was put up for closed adoption to a family in Long Island. Betty grew up on Long Island without any siblings. Her adoptive mother died when Betty was 21, and her adoptive father died a few years later.

For the next 50 years, Betty searched for her birth mother, with no results until Betty's 32-year-old granddaughter helped her search online. Betty quickly learned her mother is 96 years old and living in a nursing home in Hallstead, Pennsylvania. Once Betty tracked down Lena, she called Lena's daughter and planned a reunion. One plane-ride later, mother and daughter were tearfully reunited. Betty learned she is not an "only child" after all. She has two brothers and four sisters. "I've been on my own all this time," she said, "but not anymore"

Sunday, April 23, 2017

12-year-old girl praised as a hero

It happened recently near Williamsburg, Virginia. Brandie Weiler was driving the family van with her two daughters, Maddie, 12, and Mollie, 7, when she witnessed a crash ahead. She quickly pulled over and left the girls in order to help the victims. That's when a stranger, Paul Salsman, approached the Weiler's van. He reached through an open window to unlock the door and climbed in.

Quick-thinking Maddie screamed for help. But that's not all. She flipped the van into drive so the engine would not start, and then started punching Salsman hard. "I just went for it," she said. "Nothing passed my mind except, 'he's a psycho and needs to get out of the car.'" Even after Mollie had climbed out of the van to safety, Maddie was too busy punching Salsman to notice. It turns out he had tried to steal two other cars before meeting Maddie. He has been charged with carjacking, and hit-and-run driving under the influence.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

These Navajo students have a 100% graduation rate

Clyde McBride teaches ag-science at Monument Valley High School in northeastern Arizona. The school is part of the Navajo Nation. Its students are poor. Ninety-eight percent qualify for free or reduced lunch. But McBride's ag-science program catapults them out of poverty. Of his 200 ag-science students, 100% graduate from high school (the state average is 22%). Seventy-five percent of these go on to college, and the remaining 25% get jobs immediately after graduation. Why? Because of his hands-on-learning style. "You can't learn unless you get a little dirty," he says.

                                                                                                   Swikar Patel / Education Week
McBride first had to win the trust of Navajos. Little by little, they realized this white man wanted to help them. In 2011, after 20 years of effort, he and his students opened a $2.4 million Agri-Science Center on campus. Families bring sick animals to the clinic and he teaches students how to treat them. They learn to make charts and relate to animal owners professionally. Their classroom is the community. One day he took 17 students to help a woman whose sheep and goats needed vaccinations. Working as teams, they roped and tackled each animal. held it in place for a shot, and released it. His students truly appreciate McBride. Jasmine Blackwater was a very shy 14-year-old when she joined the program in 2009. The life skills she learned enabled her to enroll at Stanford University, where she's a senior. She plans to attend law school and then return to serve the Navajo Nation. McBride believes his program helps students to see the value of academics. "If you make a mistake on a math test, you miss that question," he says, "but if you make a math mistake in the Agri-Science Center, an animal might die."

Friday, April 21, 2017

Update on crumb for April 6

Our crumb for April 6 told of a team of student journalists at their high school paper in Pittsburg, Kansas, who researched the newly hired principal and reported errors in her credentials. She resigned even before her first day of work. The team of young writers received national appreciation for their research efforts and "digging for the truth," and now they are invited by the Huffington Post to be guests at the White House Correspondents Dinner on April 29.

                                                                                                     Keith Myers/ Kansas City Star
"I'm personally inspired by these kids," says HuffPo editor Lydia Polgreen. The weekend trip to Washington is all-expenses-paid, and some of the female teenage reporters are buying dresses and planning to get their hair done. Since this year's dinner will feature fewer "celebrities" (President Trump will not attend), this team of student reporters may get the attention they deserve. "I would love it if everyone lined up to take selfies with these kids on the red carpet," says Polgreen.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Would you like tuition with that?

On his way home from work this month, Don Carter stopped at his local Popeye's Fried Chicken drive-through for supper. He struck up a conversation with the lady serving at the window. She looked tired, and confided that she was working to save money to go to nursing school. On his way home, Carter couldn't forget the woman. He saw potential in her, and the idea came, "why don't you pay for her to go to school?" He did some research and learned it costs about $1,500 to get a CNA license. That was more than he could afford.

With a little help from his friends, he launched a GoFundMe page, hoping "300 people would donate $5 each." The response was beyond anything he could imagine. His post was shared dozens of times. Within 24 hours, he'd raised $1,700 for the stranger he just met. Two days later, he returned to Popeyes to give her the good news. He also introduced her to some of his friends who knew about nursing schools and could help her apply.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Can blind children find Easter eggs?

That depends on where they live. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, local Army and Air Force and police bomb squads, shown below, used their unique skills to make it possible. Special circuitry within each egg produces a beeping tone audible to most children.

The Albuquerque police department hosted an Easter egg hunt for blind children on the Saturday before Easter. The event was held at USS Bullhead Memorial Park, and hundreds attended. The community plans to make it an annual celebration, and similar events using beeping eggs were also held this Easter weekend in Virginia, Texas and Florida.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Never give up hope! Here's why.

It happened in 2009. Courtney Connolly was working at a summer internship in Boston, Massachusetts, when her wallet was stolen from her car. This month, eight years later, someone gave the wallet to a Boston police officer. He located Connolly's address on a pay stub and brought it to her sister-in-law's house. When Connolly saw it, she was shocked.

Nothing in her wallet had been used, touched or stolen. It still contained $141.00 in cash, her social security card and ID. Even a fortune cookie message she taped into the billfold was still there. It said, "Soon you will receive some pleasant news." Connolly concluded, "Some way or another, the universe will come back and say, 'I see what you're doing. I know you're doing well. I know you're trying, so here's your thanks for trying.'" Connolly says she believes this "whole-heartedly."

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The true face of Islam

The Unitarian Universalist congregation in Lansing, Michigan, is building a new church, but there have been unexpected delays. Many neighboring Christian churches have offered them temporary worship space until their edifice was finished, but Rev. Kathryn Bert did not want to disrupt another church's regular schedule. So she took an even better offer, one from the Islamic Society of Greater Lansing.

The Islamic Center does not hold formal worship on Sunday. The Unitarians held their first Sunday service at the temple on April 3. While the two faiths don't worship together, mosque members hosted coffee hour for the Unitarians after their service, and showed them around and answered questions. The Unitarians hope to be in their new edifice by May 1.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The honor of guarding a tomb

On this Easter day, we remember the guards who honor and protect a tomb which will never be found empty, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. The Tomb Guard Identification Badge is the second least awarded badge in the military, behind only the Astronaut Badge. To earn it, applicants must learn verbatim 35 pages of tomb history, including punctuation. If one comma is forgotten, the applicant fails. Guards are trained in seven different ceremonies held at the tomb, and must keep their uniforms in pristine condition. The badge of a Tomb Guard can be revoked later in life. "Even if you are 60 and you get caught drunk driving, your badge can be revoked," says Sgt. Sergeant Shane Vincent, a former guard.

The inscription on the tomb reads, "Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God." Soldiers have continuously guarded the tomb since 1926. There are no breaks for extreme weather or national emergency. Tomb guards remained on duty during Hurricane Sandy, and continued marching during the terrorists attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. To see a 10-minute video of the changing of the guard, visit  Happy Easter!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Teenage boys perform heroic rescue

It happened this month in Cope Park in Juneau, Alaska. Riley John, 14, and Seth Garrin, 16, were wandering through the park when they saw 5-year-old Mason Varner tumble off a cliff into a frigid river below. He hit his head on a rock and was being carried away the current. "I was like, 'Oh my God, that's a really far drop,'" says Riley. As fast as he could, Riley jumped into the river and swam after Mason.

He grabbed Mason's water-soaked clothes and pulled him to a safer part of the river, and when he could no longer hold Mason, he passed him off to Seth, who ran the 5-year-old to paramedics.  The teens left before Mason's mother could thank them, but she later found them on social media and they were honored at their high school with a Governor's Citation.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sometimes a crumb isn't enough comfort?

It happened last Sunday in East Palestine, Ohio. An unnamed 8-year-old boy took his 4-year-old sister to McDonalds for a cheeseburger. They went in the family van, and he drove.  According to media reports, he learned to drive by watching YouTube videos. At 8 p.m. his parents were already asleep after a full day playing with the kids, so he grabbed the car keys and his sister and drove away.

Observers say he drove the entire 1.5 miles to McDonalds perfectly. He stopped at all red lights and even crossed a railroad track. When he appeared at the drive-up window, McDonalds staff were sure it was a prank. They assumed his parents were hiding in the back seat. They weren't. As the children sat in the van eating, a friend of their family who was in the restaurant recognized them and called their grandparents, who came to get them. When confronted by a policeman, the boy realized he'd done something wrong. He started to cry and said all he wanted was a cheeseburger. After seeing this picture, can you blame him? (The children were not being neglected, and no charges were filed.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Babies aren't the only ones who need a blankie

Karri McCreary is a veterinarian and animal rescuer. She knows many dogs surrendered by their owners are scared and confused when caged in a shelter. They suffer from loneliness, especially pit bull-type dogs who have a reputation for being mean. When she recently visited a dog shelter in Greenville, Texas, she saw a very lonely soul indeed. He was the meanest dog in the shelter. His name was Big Boo.

                                                                                                                              Karri McCreary
McCreary gave Big Boo a bed and a blanket, and the meanest dog in the shelter melted. "He came back to life," she says. "He rolled and played and tugged that blanket, becoming a dog all over again." She left him cuddling the blanket, but the picture of him she posted on Facebook got a lot of attention. "We had a ton of shares and inquiries, and then he was adopted!" Someone took Big Boo home.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Maternity ward 42,000 feet in the air

An unexpected passenger appeared this month on a Turkish Airlines flight. The stowaway had no boarding pass or ticket, but she was not a terrorist. It happened on a Boeing 737 cruising at 42,000 feet between the Guinean capital Conarky and Ougadougosu, the capitol of Burkine Faso. A passenger, Nafi Diaby, who was 28 weeks pregnant began having labor pains.

                                                                                                                 Turkish Airlines/Twitter
The cabin crew helped her lay down across two seats and give birth to Kadiju, a baby girl. Then they wrapped Kadiju in an in-flight blanket, and took this selfie.When the airliner touched down in Ougadougosu, mother and baby were taken to a nearby hospital, where they were pronounced healthy, but very tired.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Karter would not take no for an answer

Six-year-old Karter Thorpe was in the back seat as his grandma "Mimi" drove through the Lowe's parking lot in Franklin, Virginia, recently. That's when he saw a man lying on the ground. He thought the man was sick, and told grandma to stop and help, but Mimi knew Karter had an "active imagination" so she kept on going. For some reason, Karter wouldn't let it go. He started screaming, "He's hurt! He's hurt! You have to go back!" So she turned around and drove back, just to prove the man he saw was perfectly fine.

                                                                                                                                  CBS News
Then she saw a pair of feet behind a truck. Sure enough, the man was lying on the ground. He was gasping for air. She stopped the car and ran to his aid, calling 911. Another passerby performed CPR on the man until paramedics arrived to take him to the hospital. Grandma Mimi never got his name until his family reached out to her on Facebook. They said he suffered a heart attack and would have died except for Karter's quick response. Mimi recalled, "Karter would not take no for an answer. He was determined and I'm glad he was."

Sunday, April 9, 2017

A wedding day he'll never forget

John O'Rourke got married on March 28. He's a member of the Indiana University Police Department, assigned to the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. But he was in Sanford, Florida for his wedding, and on the way to the church he stopped for a quick snack at the best donut shop in the Orlando area, Donuts To Go. He was waiting in line when he noticed a crowd hovering over a child in the dining area.

A little girl was having a seizure, and onlookers were too shocked to call paramedics. He rushed over to the crowd and instructed someone to call 911. After speaking briefly with the emergency operator on the phone, he began giving the child CPR and chest compressions. By the time paramedics arrived she had started breathing again. In appreciation for his heroism, he was given a free box of donuts. Then he was off to the second most important thing he'd do that day -- get married.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Old lives matter

Fidencio Sanchez, 89, and his wife, of Chicago, Illinois, both retired years ago. It seemed possible since their daughter was supporting them financially, but she passed away a few months ago. His wife also fell ill and was unable to work. Sanchez had no choice but resume pushing his Mexican popsicle cart around the streets, hoping to make ends meet.

That's when Joel Cervantes spotted him. Cervantes felt sorry for the old man and purchased 20 popsicles for $50. He wished Sanchez good luck, and snapped this photo. But after he got home, Cervantes knew had had to do more. Using this photo, he and a friend set up a GoFundMe page for the elderly man, with a goal of $3,000 to ease his financial pain. Imagine how amazed they were when over 700 people donated $154,000 in just two days! Cervantes responded to the donors, "The Sanchez family really appreciates all the love and support they are receiving from people all around the world. GOD IS GOOD!"

Friday, April 7, 2017

IHOP server offered career in nursing

For the past 11 years, Joe Thomas, 43, has worked at an IHOP in Springfield, Illinois. He knows all his regular customers by name, including one couple who eat there at least once each week. The wife has Huntington's disease and cannot feed herself. Each week they both order, and then the husband feeds his wife while his meal gets cold on the table.  Until last month.

                                                                                                              Keshia Dotson / Facebook
One day in March, after delivering their order, Thomas sat down next to the woman, waved her husband away, and started cutting up the eggs and feeding her. He said he told her husband, "Sit down. Eat your food. I got her." A few tables away, another customer named Keshia Dotson saw the act of kindness and took this picture, which went viral on Facebook. "I have a soft heart," said Thomas. "Everything I do is honestly just natural, besides the way my parents raised me. I don't think about it. I just do it." Since the picture went viral, Thomas has been offered a career in nursing.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Boston Globe Spotlight Team congratulates who?

Pittsburg, Kansas is a town of 20,000. It has a newspaper called the Morning Sun, and of course there's the Pittsburg High School student paper, the Booster Redux. When a member of the famous Boston Globe Spotlight Team applauded Pittsburg journalists for cutting-edge investigative reporting, who do you think they tweeted? The high school paper. The student staff, shown here, had seen the movie "Spotlight" last year to encourage themselves as reporters. They never dreamed the Spotlight Team even knew they existed. One student reporter was so surprised he called his mom to tell her. What did the high school reporters do to win such recognition?

                                                                                            Emily Smith / Pittsburg High School
First, they interviewed their school's new Principal, Amy Robertson, who was hired March 6 to the $93,000/year job. Then they noticed some discrepancies with Robertson's academic credentials. "Everybody was telling them, 'stop poking your nose where it doesn't belong,'" said newspaper advisor Emily Smith, but the students kept poking. They investigated Robertson for several weeks, keeping notes on a white board. Then they published an article questioning the legitimacy of her degrees. Result? Amy Robertson resigned even before she started work. The school board accepted her resignation, and the school paper became the subject of local, state and national news, with professional reporters, including the Boston Globe Spotlight Team, applauding the students for questioning authority and discovering the truth.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

"Oh my God, I feel like I'm dreaming."

Estelle Barnes-Summers, 33, of Detroit, Michigan, and her six children were left homeless when her husband, Elijah Summers, was shot and killed last May. They had just bought a fixer-upper (shown below) and Elijah was restoring it. When he died, the house was still completely unlivable, so Estelle and her children moved in with her mom, where the grieving children slept on the living room floor. Nine months later, FOX 2 teamed up with the Yatooma Foundation for the Kids to share her story, and offers to help began pouring in.

Dozens of volunteers put in nearly 2,000 hours of work. With DTE Energy covering all labor costs, a new water heater, furnace, stove and appliances were donated. Humble Designs completely furnished the home when renovation was complete, so the children could have beds to sleep in. When Estelle and her children saw their "new" home, they were astonished. Estelle wept and hugged everyone. "It lets my kids know that there's people out there that care," she said. "This world isn't all bad."

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Seven-year-old comforts grieving police

On March 22, Detective Jason Weiland of the Everest Metro Police near Wausau, Wisconsin, was killed in the line of duty. Seven-year-old Brady Duke heard about it, and could only imagine how the rest of the police force was feeling after the officer's death. He decided to comfort them by giving them his most valued possession, his Nintendo Wii.

                                                                                                         Wausau Police Department
Included with the console were some of Brady's favorite games. The officers were overwhelmed by the boy's generous gift, and the game console became popular at the station. Officers are encouraged to take breaks when they feel stressed and play a game. LEGO Star Wars is their favorite. In gratitude, the police invited Brady to the station for an afternoon of video game play, shown above. But that wasn't all. They also gave him a brand new game system as a thank-you. His mom wrote that Brady said playing with the officers was "the best day of his life so far," and then they gave him an XBOX360. "Brady is so thankful." And somewhere in heaven, Det. Weiland is smiling too.

Monday, April 3, 2017

An example of true sportsmanship

Two runners were caught on an ABC News camera, as they assisted an exhausted racer whose legs were about to buckle. It happened within sight of the finish line at a half-marathon last month in Philadelphia -- the "city of brotherly love." An unidentified female runner was struggling to hold herself up as she neared the end of the marathon. While dozens of runners passed them by, the two men helped the woman as she was almost unable to run. 10,000 people completed the Philadelphia Love Run Half-Marathon this year. Race officials have identified the woman but have not released her name, or the names of kind men who helped her finish the run.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

4-year-old girl entertains police officer

It happened March 4 in Hingham, a town on the south shore of Massachusetts. Hingham police Sgt. Steven Dearth  was in the Panera Bread Company enjoying dinner when a little girl felt sorry to see him eating alone and offered to sit at his table. Her name was Lillian and she was very outgoing. While he ate, she chatted away, even planning a future play-date.

Dearth said it was "the best dinner date ever. It means a lot to police officers when people say 'hi,' especially when children approach us." Lillian was at the restaurant with her parents and younger brother. Of course Dearth gave her a Junior Police Officer sticker, and for dessert, Lillian and her dad got a tour of Dearth's police car.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

For 100th birthday, he wanted one gift

Bill Hansen worked at Hutchinson Plumbing and Heating in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, for 32 years as a permit coordinator. He retired three years ago, when he was only 97. Recently he turned 100, and wanted only one birthday present, to return to work for a day.

"I hate being retired," he said, so CEO Fred Hutchinson agreed to pay him $1.00 for a full day's work. When he arrived, he got a standing ovation and a birthday cake, but he wasn't there to party. He was there to work. Carl Canfield, the man Hansen trained to replace him, says he only hopes he can be "half the man" Hansen is. Hansen said he feels blessed. He credits his work, his wife and family for his happiness. They also inspired his newest goal -- to see his granddaughter graduate. "That'll be in 2024," he said.