Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Rose Knows

 Sunday June 15th, 2014 - Island Lake, IL

This is a Facebook post I made earlier this week and wanted to include it in my blog update. It was a sweet experience to be able to just show up and make someone's day. It was a classic example of win/win.

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 Kindness really does exist! My film director friend Mark Gumbinger pulled off a wonderful gesture yesterday by arranging a double dose of it for a person that really enjoyed it.

Mark lives in Kenosha, WI where I happened to have a paranormal talk radio show for five years. He is friends with a wonderful lady who was one of my biggest fans, but never called in because she was shy.

The lady's name is Rose, and her 95th birthday is coming up this week. 95! WOW! She's a super sweet lady, and Mark asked if I wouldn't mind going to a surprise birthday dinner her family was throwing. How could I say no to that?

Mark stopped and bought a box of chocolates and a single Rose, and we went to a fantastic restaurant called 'Michael's On The Lake' in Kansasville, WI. Mark introduced me to Rose and her face lit up like a little girl at Christmas. To her, I was a big celebrity, and I gave her a hug and told her how much I appreciated her listening to me all those years. She just GUSHED about how much she loved the show and said how witty and funny I was and how she looked forward to Sunday nights and would never miss it.

I had no idea what to expect quite honestly, and when Mark said 95, I expected a basket case frail old lady with a walker and tubes in her nose. I was pleasantly surprised to meet a wonderful lady that if I had to guess her age would have honestly placed her in her 60s. Her mind was sharp as a tack, and she was vibrant, intelligent and funny.

About 20 of her nieces and nephews showed up as well, and it was her night to shine. I loved seeing her beaming face as everyone told her how much they loved and appreciated her.

Then as the main event, WLIP's star host Lou Rugani showed up in a tuxedo of all things, and planted a big kiss on her cheek. Rose is a big fan of Lou's show, and she should be. Lou is a star in Kenosha, and one of the most talented radio broadcasters I have ever met. He's suave and debonair, and very classy.

Rose was the center of attention, and the look on her face made it worthwhile. I would have driven 1000 miles in a blizzard on a riding lawn mower with a bad wheel to see her have that much joy at 95 years old. What a stellar gesture of kindness on Mark's part to arrange it. All it cost him was two phone calls, and it made a lady's birthday one she will NEVER forget.

When I think I am a low life maggot with nothing to hang my hat on, I see how people like Rose look at me like a big star and it keeps me going. What a fantastic positive experience all around. Thanks Mark! YOU are behind all this, and I am proud to call you and Lou - and now Rose - my friends.THIS is the kind of kindness I'm talking about, and it's my new addiction. Absolutely EVERYBODY won, and I am flattered to be part of the mix.

Mark is a very talented director, and has done feature films, documentaries about shipwrecks like the Titanic and Edmund Fitzgerald, and most recently directed a three camera shoot of my one hour comedy live show called 'The Dented Can Live'. He did a masterful job, and I would recommend anyone check out his work

Mark Gumbinger was able to make a lady's 95th birthday party special by making two phone calls. Kudos Mark!

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