11 Good News Stories: Tom Hanks' Gift, Turtle Time, 'Mutant Clovers'
11 Good News Stories: Tom Hanks' Gift, Turtle Time, 'Mutant Clovers'

11 Good News Stories: Tom Hanks' Gift, Turtle Time, 'Mutant Clovers'

ACROSS AMERICA — Actor Tom Hanks recently lived up to his reputation as a pretty nice guy.

As Patch’s Veronica Flesher reports, the Oscar-winning actor sent an autographed typewriter — a beauty, a green 1934 Underwood 4 Bank — to Ian McAndrew, who runs Iron Fox Typewriters in Lacey, New Jersey.

In a letter, Hanks explained why he’d chosen McAndrew, who has built a business around his love for the machines and even has a “Public Typewriter Project” that lets people use them for free when they find them in shops around the area. It’s less clutter for him, Hanks explained, but added, “you may be giving this miracle of a machine a fuller, newer life of use.”

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“I do hope this typewriter comes into use,” he wrote. “It is yours now. Take good care of it and help it continue doing its job for another hundred years.”

To McAndrew, the unexpected gift felt like kismet. » A Patch Exclusive by Veronica Flesher For Lacey Patch

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Speaking Of Actors …

“Diner,” “Police Academy” and “Three Men and A Baby” star Steve Guttenberg can’t say enough good about growing up in Massapequa, New York. “I had a wonderful upbringing,” he recently told Patch’s Jerry Barmash. “My parents were a dream. Two wonderful sisters.” He knew when he was 11 that he wanted to be an actor, but “it wasn’t a conversation” until he was a senior in high school. He went for it, earned his cred and is now sharing his story in an original play based on his 2012 memoir, “Tales from the Guttenberg Bible.” Topics explored in the show include his Jewish upbringing, family life, ambition, innocence and kindness. » A Patch Exclusive by Jerry Barmash for Massapequa Patch

Turtle Crossing (This Is Not A Joke)

It’s turtle time in Blauvelt and West Nyack, New York, and an army of volunteers is helping to get them safely across the road as they crawl along an ancient pathway to nesting grounds. Thousands in New York don’t make it, so volunteers have been helping them along for the past decade. Why care? Aside from being prehistoric reptiles, snapping turtles do an enormous amount of ecological good in ways that help keep area drinking water systems safe. “We hope to keep them on the safe side,” volunteer Jane Murphy told Patch’s Lanning Taliaferro. “We’re losing too many of the larger turtles. There are hardly any of them left.” » A Patch Exclusive by Lanning Taliaferro for Pearl River Patch

‘I Thought I Didn’t Get It’

Earlier this spring, a Central Islip, New York, high school senior Kelly Gaussaint knew she was going to be recognized as the class valedictorian at a school assembly, so she put on something nicer than a hoodie and sweatpants. She’s glad she did, because what happened was picture worthy. She was announced as the recipient of a $40,000 Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship to study computer science or engineering at any school she chooses and a paid internship at Amazon after her freshman year. “I thought I didn’t get it,” the teen told Patch’s Maureen Mullarkey. “Usually when scholarships don’t tell you anything, you didn’t get it.” How the scholarship was presented is quite a story. » A Patch Exclusive by Maureen Mullarkey for Brentwood-Central Islip Patch

What’s This, ‘Mutant Clovers’?

Montclair, New Jersey, it seems, has “a lot of mutant clovers.” That’s the only explanation 7-year-old Sam Karp’s mother can come up with to explain the four- and even five-leaf clovers her son has found. But this? “I was looking at clovers and I found a six-leaf clover patch,” Sam told Patch’s Eric Kiefer. “It was big and growing out of the rest of the patch. I felt so excited …” What are the odds? It depends on who you ask. » A Patch Exclusive by Eric Kierfer for Montclair Patch

An Accidental Baker

Tom Giancola accidentally became a baker. He didn’t plan on it. He just kind of fell into it. His inspiration came during a Michael Pollan food documentary. He liked the poetic way Pollan talked about food, so he went down something of a rabbit hole learning to bake. It paid off, and now he’s selling bread around Anne Arundel County and is part of a vibrant food scene that starts with fresh, high-quality ingredients. “I instantly was hell-bent on going and baking a loaf of bread,” the 40-year-old Giancola told Patch’s Jacob Baumgart. “It truly was an accident. I never set out to be a baker, but I inadvertently fell into it, and now I couldn’t imagine a week without it.” » A Patch Exclusive by Jacob Baumgart for Anne Arundel Patch

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100-Year-Old Business Is A Gem

Gennaro Jewelers has stood at the same place on Bedford Avenue in Bellmore, New York, since its 1923 opening. It’s now designated as a Historic New York State Business with a nifty plaque, but it doesn’t quite get at what makes Gennaro Jewelers a mainstay. “Probably one of the biggest things that sets us apart from many other places is the fact that everything is done in front of the customer,” Gary Hudes, who joined the store in 1979 as a bench jeweler, told Patch’s Jerry Barmash. “That makes customers feel very at ease.” » A Patch Exclusive by Jerry Barmash for Bellmore Patch

A Nice Gesture That Grew

Jacci Richards was struggling in 2020 with the unexpected loss of both of her parents when she and her family decided to help older people on fixed incomes struggling during the first COVID-19 holiday season. They just wanted to do something nice. But just over two years after they established their Crystal Lake, Illinois-based Fisher Outreach Group to honor their parents, it has offered numerous programs to help financially struggling seniors, including the Adopt-A-Garden Program. The people who benefit help care for container gardens of flowers and produce, but the organization also put farmers markets on wheels, regularly delivering fresh fruits and vegetables to dozens of low-income seniors living at a Crystal Lake care facility. » A Patch Exclusive by Amie Schaenzer for Crystal Lake-Cary Patch

A Reason For Leo To Smile

A Woodlawn, Virginia, 7-year-old named Leo hasn’t had that much time to be a kid over the last couple of years has he’s gotten treatment for childhood leukemia. Now, thanks to volunteers in his neighborhood who built a sweet play set in his back yard, the simple pleasure of swinging and climbing is just steps from his back door. “Seeing him happy makes us happy, and that’s been our thing throughout this entire journey, just being happy,” Jiro Melendez, Leo’s father, told Patch’s Emily Leayman. “It means a lot to us; if I see him smile, it makes us happy.” » A Patch Exclusive by Emily Leayman for Greater Alexandria Patch

Yes, Mom Says, Elly Would Approve

Two years after Ellyana DeLaTorre died unexpectedly, her dog still sometimes waits for her at the door of the family’s home in Patchogue, New York. The teen’s mother, Eileen, isn’t ready to give up on her daughter’s memory, either. She started a mental health advocacy organization, the Elly CARES Project, which has raised $25,000 and recruited volunteers to help people trying to manage mental health issues. Would Elly approve? “Absolutely,” her mother told Patch’s Peggy Spellman Hoey. “This is why we do what we do. We do what do to continue her work because she was always lending out a hand to help everyone else.” » A Patch Exclusive by Peggy Spellman Hoey for Patchogue Patch

This Could Have Ended Differently

Four tiny bobcats almost met an untimely end when they were scooped up by an excavator during a construction project in South Florida. They had been abandoned by their mother when the crews began clearing the site and disrupted their den, Patch’s D’Ann Lawrence White reports. After dumping his load, the excavator operator noticed movement in the rubble of vegetation. Carole and Howard Baskin of Big Cat Rescue say the kittens are doing well, and will be raised and released together once they are old enough to survive on their own. » A Patch Exclusive by D’Ann Lawrence White for Tampa Patch

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