Does anyone recall “The Summer of George” from the classic TV sitcom Seinfeld? It was all about the beleaguered character of George Costanza trying to make the most of a summer of freedom, only for things to go horribly wrong! Well, in some respects, the summer of ’22 has been a bit like that.
As we enter the month of August, we can look back on a period of strife and uncertainty. We had the turmoil of the January 6th hearings on the 2021 Capitol Riots. Another Covid variant. Oh, and Monkeypox. A July 4th packed with mass shootings. A controversial Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights. Rising prices and fears of a recession. Rising temperatures and fears of climate change. And the ongoing war in Ukraine reigniting tensions with Russia. Phew! News-wise, this summer has been a scorcher!
But wait, it wasn’t all bad news! Amid the misery, there were many upbeat stories to lift the mood, some of which we highlighted here across USA Today and the USA Today Network.
Big Table is in the business of rescuing people. And our good news story highlighted the work done by the nonprofit to help workers in the restaurant and hospitality industry who’ve fallen on hard times. Big Table provides financial, emotional, and practical support for workers with housing, mental, dental, and medical health issues.
10-year-old Blake Grice had no issue speaking to Major League Baseball star, Clayton Kershaw. As we reported from the MLB All-Star game, he told the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher that meeting him had been on his grandfather’s bucket list. Sadly, he’d died without realizing his dream, but Blake gave Clayton a tearful hug on his grandfather’s behalf.
Staying with baseball, in Florida, a Tampa Bay Rays’ security guard lit up the gap between innings with an impromptu solo performance on the dance cam. The guard busted out his full repertoire of moves before ending with a military salute that brought the house down.
And speaking of the military, our ever-popular Militarykind franchise featured countless stories of heroes coming home to be reunited with their loved ones. One of the most touching tales was that of Army Sergeant Jeremy Brown, who collapsed in tears as he hugged his sons, the youngest of which he was holding for the first time.
Sportskind told you of a huge family gathering in Tennessee. Mike and Hayley Jones have 11 kids, eight of which they adopted from Sierra Leone after the siblings were orphaned. In the U.S., the kids thrived, forming a soccer dynasty at Grace Christian Academy in Franklin.
From the young to the young at heart, staff and residents at the Independence Village in Plymouth, Michigan, are redefining what it means to be elderly. The Senior Living center has become party central thanks to a fun-packed itinerary that includes a range of activities designed to help the residents live their best lives.
People living their best lives was also the theme of our story from the U.S. Adaptive Open in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Golfers with various cognitive, physical, sensory, health, and age-related challenges competed in eight categories and put up some awe-inspiring numbers.
4.17.22 are the numbers Earnest Cobble will likely remember for the rest of his life, as that’s the date when he prevented a woman from committing suicide. And as we reported, in July, the Nashville International Airport volunteer was honored for his heroism by the Metro Nashville Airport Authority.
High-flyer, Andreas Hemli, has no need for airports. In a story from Norway, the daring Base Jumper scored the most spectacular good news story of the summer by leaping off a cliff in the dark with blazing flares attached to his feet and gliding to earth like a superhero.
And heroes were also on hand in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where we covered the story of firefighters who rescued a kitten that had somehow become trapped in a car’s engine. The stray cat was released without harm and eventually adopted.
So, there you have it. Without a doubt, our Summer of George is suffering a few Costanza-like moments. But just like in the classic sitcom, there is always something you can smile about.
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‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort