April 5, 2021

#3 One Hundred Years From Now

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Join Deanna for a walk down Memory Lane as she and Chris share books that have impacted their lives. They talk about where Chris got all of his trivia knowledge, the bookmobile, a poem that has them both LOLing, Deanna's days in the classroom, and she pays homage to numerous children's book authors, including the great Beverly Cleary. Then grab some Kleenex and journey with them to the Basilicata Region of Italy as Deanna tells the story about a retired teacher, his Ape, and their impactful journey together over the last 20 years; a journey that has made the difference in the lives of many children.

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Hey, Neighbors! It's Deanna. Today, I'm going to be sharing a story I like to call One Hundred Years From Now. Welcome to THE GOOD ALL AROUND US! (upbeat Intro music) Hi, Deanna! Hi, Chris! How are you today, my love? I am doing absolutely fantastic! Good! I want to point something out right off the bat. I am not wearing a robe. Let's get that out there. Thank you. You're welcome. And we're going to go play some trivia tonight. I'm really excited about that. Me too. I've never been to Hotel St. Louis. That'll be fun. Yeah. And our friend Wendy Fitter is the Trivia Queen of St. Louis. So she's hosting it tonight. We're going to go down there and have a little fun, have some trivia action. Six rounds is what she told me. So that'll be fun. It will be fun! You're gonna answer all the questions. I'm going to have an adult beverage or two and have some snacks and just watch you do what you do best, and that is (geek out?) that is know the answer to the most craziest, out of the way, (obscure) ridiculous questions ever. (That's me.) You WOW me with your trivia knowledge. Well, I have tons of useless knowledge between these ear holes. Alright. Well... Welcome! Welcome! Welcome to THE GOOD ALL AROUND US podcast! I'm Deanna Ley. And I'm Chris Ley, and we are ready to HAPPY UP YOUR LIFE today. I'm excited! Yep! Deanna, you are our storyteller today. That's right. And here's how it works, gang, just so you get a heads up. We are recording this in our home so you're probably going to hear - well, here's the disappointing thing... we keep saying this, but they haven't done it yet - You MIGHT hear the dogs or the cats in the background. They really run the house. We just live here. We have two dogs, Sanderson Pooper, also known as Sandy, and CoCo Bean, whose name is really CoCo, and three cats who shall be nameless (laughs). No... KiKi, Blue and Roo. Sandy loves to bark. So you might hear her. CoCo loves to whine, so you might hear her. Roo and Kiki, they'll probably get in a fight. Blue is going to be eating because that's all he does. That's all he does. Yeah. So if that does happen, and you hear the noise, we apologize in advance. Second, we are storytellers. The stories we're going to share each week are researched thoroughly. We do this using the interwebs and all kinds of different sources so that we can bring you the best details each and every time. Then we compile all that research into stories told in our own words to share with each other and all of you. So like I said, today Deanna is the host, and I'm hearing the story for the very first time ever just like you. If some of the things in the story are omitted or incorrect or some of the details from the background aren't just right, we do say some of this stuff off the cuff, and for that we apologize. We do our best to be as precise as possible. So please don't email us or give us a bad review for being human. We are doing our best to bring you the finest stories from around the globe. A little theatrical there. I love it! With all that being said... Let's do this. It's time to HAPPY UP YOUR LIFE! Deanna Ley, take it away! I'm really excited to share with you this week because remember how last week you took us on a plane ride... a very expensive plane ride (It wasn't cheap!) from St. Louis to Barcelona. (Barcelona) Well today, I'm actually going to take us on a journey as well, but it's going to be down my memory lane. Oh, fun! And it all revolves around books and the memories that I have and the memories that they spark in people, and what books actually do is at the heart of our story. So it all really kind of came about because I read earlier this week, March 25th, 2021, that Beverly Cleary, who is one of my favorite childhood authors of all time, passed away at the age of 104. We'll talk about her in a minute, but it just really got me thinking about how books really not only made me who I am today, but shaped so much of my childhood, even into my adulthood when I was a teacher and taught third graders for years and years, and they have so many special memories. Yeah. Do you have memories of books (Oh my gosh.) that you can think about? I know you're a music guy. Well, here's the funny thing. My mother was a voracious reader, as well. I don't think I ever saw my dad crack a book in his entire life, but Mom would read to me constantly, so she started reading with me early. It was Winnie the Pooh, and as you know, it holds a special place in my heart. I absolutely love Winnie the Pooh and all the adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin. And I really picked up on reading early. I fell in love with reading... My kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Libla, would read to the class and she would hold the book so the class could see the book, and she would read upside down. So I literally would go home and practice reading upside down so I could read to the class. Oh, how amazing is that!?! And I would read all my stuffed animals, and I would do it as Mrs. Libla did it - reading upside down - That's actually really, really good. Yeah. Shows how smart you are. Tons of books! When I was young, obviously, it was the elementary age books. As I got a little older, I fell in love with The Hardy Boys. Those were big for me. Then, as I got a little bit older, I got into more of those chapter books. But I remember one book in particular that has always stood out for me. It's the first time I ever cried reading a book. Okay. And it was the book Sounder. Do you know that story? I've never read it. It's an incredible story. I'm not going to go into detail on it because this is your story, but Sounder was the book that really kind of changed things for me when it came to reading. It was the first time it brought that emotionalism - emotionalism? Is that a word? - It brought that emotional response from reading. So, yeah... I love books. You know that. Was Sounder a dog? Sounder was a dog. Not going in a bunch of detail. The story of a very poor family. And the father had Sounder the coon dog that would hunt with him. Then one day, the father would always try to hunt and bring home food, but it was never quite enough. One day he comes home with a ham and obviously the family feasts. But then the police show up and they take him away because he had stolen the ham. And the young boy - it was is kind of a coming age story - but the young boy is then responsible for Sounder, and it's really just a beautiful book. You have to read it. I will. I will add that to my list. Hopefully it doesn't have the type of ending that most (you'll have to add it to your list) stories about dogs have. I will not say another word. (Deanna singing) Old Yeller... Yeah. Come back, Yeller. Best doggone dog (trails off) Well, when I was little, I remember having books like The Snowy Day and The Night Before Christmas. Richard Scarry's Busy Town books were among my favorites. as well as I had a Little Golden Book and had Grover from Sesame Street on the cover (Get out of here! I had that book), and it was called (The Monster at the End of the Bed) The Monster at the End of This Book (I thought it was a Monster at the End of the Bed. See I don't even remember that. The Monster at the End of this Book. That's right!) Yes. And Little House on the Prairie books... They just enthralled me. And I put out there on Facebook. "Hey, what books really left an impression on you when you were growing up?" and we got a couple of people, Lisa Pearson and Kristina Holloran, talking about how important Little House on the Prairie books were for them. I'm actually going to read a little comment that they put in response to that. Lisa said the Little House on the Prairie series was so important to her. She used to dream what it would be like if Laura Ingalls Wilder were in present day with her. They would be best friends. She would show her all the wonders of the modern world. And her daughter wanted to go to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum a couple of years ago, and she told her she had to read the entire series before she would take her. And it took her daughter over a year,l but she finally did it, and they went to the museum, and Kristina said... Hold on. That's super cool. Isn't that fun? What a great incentive! And the kid just dove right in and read all the books. I love that. Yeah. Yeah, and it took her a while because she doesn't really like to read, but she wanted that enough. But I love that Kristina popped in and she said, "My mom bought my sister and I this series and we would take turns reading them over and over", and she wants to go to the museum, too. So at Lisa and Kristina were actually talking about going together in the thread. So yeah, I loved how Laura Ingalls Wilder, and like the tenacity they had and just really helped me realize that you can find joy in simple things. I cried when Mary lost her sight... so emotional. I remember that from the TV show. Well, I also loved Encyclopedia Brown books. Oh, me too. I'm not one of those people that like to figure out what happens. I don't try to figure things out before the end of the book tells me what it's all about. Yeah. So I loved being right there at the dinner table. Encyclopedia and his dad were talking about the case. I actually learned how to spell the word encyclopedia because of that book. That's funny. So can I tell you a funny story? (e-n-c-y-c-l-o-p-e-d-i-a) So we had the Encyclopedia Britannica. Okay. Mom and Dad (we did, too) We didn't have a lot of money, but Mom and Dad wanted to make sure that I had that. And then we'd also get the Book of the Year every year that would come. Did somebody come to your door and sell those? Yeah. Somebody showed up one day, and my dad was like, "That's an investment! We'll take that!" Good, because my mom was the one who bought them without telling my dad... and that was a shocker. Well, I think I still have them. I think they're still in storage at my mom and dad's house. Yes. And I would read the Encyclopedia voraciously. And then every year, the Book of the Year would come along. What was cool about that is you didn't get all of that information back then because you didn't have everything in your fingertips. Right. So reading the Book of the Year was going back through the year and learning things that I wouldn't have learned otherwise. Oh, my gosh. I love that. Yeah. That seems right up your alley. No wonder he knows so much trivia, everyone. (nerd) He read the encyclopedia cover to cover. When you're an only child, the encyclopedia is your best friend. Well, I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books. I never got into those, but those were kind of cool. They were very cool. So you would read a little bit, and then it would give you a choice. Turn to this page if you want to make this choice, and turn to this page, if you want to make this choice. Well, I would spend so much time on one book, I would go through every single choice option until I knew everything in that book, all the different choices that could be made from cover to cover before I would go on to the next. That's fun! You got your $6.99 out of that book, didn't you? Do you remember the Scholastic Book Fair? Oh, my goodness. The sheets of paper... I would run home and beg my mom for books. It was one of the best times when I was a teacher to introduce those. They're on newsprint, and you could barely see the photos but could read what the books were about. But then when the fair would come and the kids would have their own little money to spend, and then as a teacher, I would get free books for my library, depending on how many kids ordered. That's right! You had thousands of books. Oh yes, we'll get into that. Trust me. So I absolutely loved Beverly Cleary books. And again, that's what kind of brought all of this full circle. She has been writing since 1950. Henry Huggins was her first book. Then the Quimby family stories came about with Beezus and Ramona... and Ramona was so feisty. I just remember thinking if I got in trouble as much as she did, my parents might disown me. But it was good for a kid like me who would do a bad thing every now and then to see how her parents - Ramona's parents - forgave her and loved her, and, you know, it was really fun. But out of all the Beverly Cleary books, Ralph S. Mouse. Oh, my goodness. And the S stands for Smart. (Smart Mouse, right) He was the best. The Mouse on the Motorcycle... and then they did that little movie. I think it was like an After School Special. Yeah. Was that stop motion? They did a stop motion movie of Ralph, The Mouse and the Motorcycle. His little voice was so cute. I'm actually going to put the YouTube video of that movie in the Neighbors Facebook group for everybody else to reminisce about it, too. But she wrote so many books. And as I was researching and looking through all of her titles, just such great memories, and not only the fact that I had them, but again, read them to kids in my classroom, and we'll get more into that, too. But I found a quote by her that really, really speaks to my soul. And I think this is really important, especially in her time. That not only was she writing, but the time - the 104 years that she lived - this is just how she approached life. "If you don't see the book you want on the shelves, write it." Awww... That's awesome. Isn't that great? So Roald Dahl... also another favorite of mine - Fantastic Mr. Fox, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda. The author who wrote my most favorite book of all time was Shel Silverstein... (Oh yeah, Shell.) The Giving Tree. And if you have not read The Giving Tree you really need to. There are so many life lessons wrapped up in that one book. The Missing Piece, which a lot of people haven't read by him. And then who can forget all of his poem books? Where the Sidewalk Ends is a favorite of mine. So my favorite poem by him still cracks me up to this day. Do you mind if I recite it (no, please!) real quick? (Deanna clears throat) Boa Constrictor (Deanna cracking up) I'm already laughing. I'm being eaten by a boa constrictor. A boa constrictor. A boa constrictor. I'm being eaten by a boa constrictor, and I don't like it one bit. What do you know? It's nibbling my toe. Oh gee, it's up to my knee. Oh fiddle, it's up to my middle. Oh heck, it's up to my neck. Oh dread, it's mmmppfffmmmmmfh. (both laughing) I think that the way you read that was precious. I know. See? Makes me laugh still to this day. So moving in from my childhood to my adolescence, Judy Bloom, like, was the author of my adolescence. Her hilarious books coming up about Fudge - which just so you all know if you like Super Fudge, his real name was Farley - I didn't know that. I didn't know that either. And then you have his brother Peter and the Hatcher family. Well, of course, Fudge was always making trouble, but I loved her Freckle Juice book, as well as the one who really, as I was coming into my young womanhood, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. I mean, it's shaped so much... taught me so much. Well, I think everybody read that. It was, for sure, one of my favorites. You know another book that everybody read, and I forgot all about? The Outsiders. Everybody read that. I didn't read that... We watched the movie. Well, we watched the movie, too. We read it in English class. And then we went to the movies together as an English class. How fun is that? Pretty cool. Yeah, that's a good one. (Stay golden, Pony Boy). That's a great book. I did end up reading it after I saw the movie. But the book was so much better - as are most books. Well, I'm a little embarrassed to say that in high school I really got into this series. It was about these twin sisters, identical twins, who lived in this magical place. Is this Sweet Valley High? I wanted to be Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield's best friend. I kid you not! Like, I asked my mom - Can we move there? And she's like - It's not a real place, honey. Alright. Disclaimer. I've never read that (good) and never would, but I know about it. All right. There we go. So I must have read 100 books in that series, and I did a bit of research because I wanted to know how many Sweet Valley High books Francine Pascal wrote... 181. (Oh, my gosh!) From '83 to 2003, she - and this is disappointing - a team of ghost writers (Yeah, there are other people involved in that.) they wrote 181 books about those twins. It was awesome. You think you're making money on Twilight? ...A series I've never read, by the way, but thankfully, my love a book series did not end with Sweet Valley High. Good. It didn't end there. That wasn't your frame of reference for adulthood. (No) Good. So some of my most favorite series after high school, of course, Harry Potter. (Loved it) Love Harry Potter. I read it to our kids. I read most of my classes. The Divergent series. Love Hunger Games and all those books (Yep, Hunger Games was fun). But my favorite series and a lot of people maybe have never read. This is all about a 13 year old named Brian Robison who gets stranded in the Canadian wilderness and he has to fend for himself and work to get rescued. And it's the book that starts with Hatchet (Yes, the Hatchet series) by Gary Paulson. And there's five books in the series. And do you remember the hunt I went on to find all five of those books. I think this was before Amazon before it was during the Ebay days. It was Ebay days, yep, when you were trying to find those. And yes, I remember that because we fell in love with it together again. I know you had a Hatchet before, but I had never read it. And I think we went to the library and got the tape for Hatchet, the cassette tape, and we listened to it (it was before Audible). Yeah. We listened to it on a road trip, and I fell in love with it, and then read the book after that, and then we searched for all of them. Yeah. We found a couple in resale shops, and Ebay was a big help. Remember we found the one where the whole back half of it was gone. We didn't know what we bought it. Yep, so I had to replace that one, too. But it sits on my shelves with my most favorite books today. And as I was picking them up, I'm like, I've got to reread those. So I think that's going to be on my list to do next. That's cool. One of my favorite memories when I was a teacher was reading to my class every day after recess. Yeah. So they'd come in from recess, all hopped up and excited. And it was our time to kind of pull together, settle down, get ready for the rest of the afternoon, and I would read out loud to them, picked all sorts of different books, chapter books mainly, and they would rest and really get into the books, which I absolutely loved. But reading out loud doesn't come easy for a lot of kids. It can be embarrassing. They could think that they're slow or aren't as good as the other kids. There's a lot of comparison that can take place. So I was very conscientious of that as a teacher, and I would never call on kids if I knew they were uncomfortable reading out loud, but it's such an important skill for kids to have. And that's what I absolutely loved, being able to give them the opportunity to stay in for recess with me (oh, that was special to them then). We'd have lunch together, and then after lunch, we would go sit in the classroom library, and they got to pick any book that they wanted. And I had all sorts of ranges of books from preschool age books all the way up to hard chapter books. And I would never make fun of them for the book they chose. And some of the kids who were having a struggle reading, they would pick some of the easier books and their face... the way their face lights up when they figure out a word that they've struggled over or finish a book that they've been working on for quite a while.... There's nothing ever in the world that I would exchange those memories for, because I could tell the joy that it brought to them to be able to pat themselves on the back and to not have somebody judge them. And I think that's why I love (awwww... don't cry because I'm about to... knock it off). That's why I love the memories that books hold because they can do so much and you don't even realize it. They can take you to places that you never imagined. They can give you knowledge and memories that are so special to you. And the smell of a bookstore... the smell of a library... just that alone brings back a ton of memories. And of course, you know, you get me into a bookstore and you're not going to get me out. It's so funny because sometimes you'll be like, I just need to pop in for one thing. And I'm like, Here we go. It takes a bit. But do you remember the bookmobile? Oh, my goodness. So the St. Louis County Library had a sweet bookmobile. It was ugly, tan brown with brown stripes. You step it in and it starts to wobble. And the bookmobile lady was always up at the end, and it smelled just like a rolling library. I know. I loved it. The smell of it was so great. Well, my kids didn't have regular access to be able to go to a library other and the one in my classroom or in the school, and so I would hold their library cards. Every kid in third grade, they got a library card from St. Louis County, and then on Bookmobile Day I would hand them their card. You would think I was giving them gold. (Oh, how cool!) (You never told me this!) They would walk out in their little line, and of course, you can't have more than a couple of kids in the bookmobile or it might fall over on its side. But the care that they would take in picking out their books and then giving their card to be scanned by the librarian. It's like you're a big kid. Oh, my gosh. And then we'd all come back to the classroom. They would share their books with each other. They would all pair up or buddy up or sit in groups all around the classroom. And it was my most favorite time as a teacher was (It's like magical) when they got to come back from the bookmobile. I wish I would have seen that. Well, no offense. I would have disrupted the class. You're right. Yeah. I liked to rile them up. My husband would come in - either I forget something at home or, I don't know, he'd just pop by - and you'd get the kids all fired up. Oh yeah. I'd whip them into a frenzy, and then I'd leave. Yes. And I was left with the aftermath. Well, as I shared, the kiddos I taught, like having access to books wasn't easy for most of them. Right. So I made it my personal mission to make sure that no matter what, kids had the ability to take books home. (nice) And I don't even know if you know this, really, but I think in my nine years of teaching, I probably spent $1,000 on books, easily. I'd pick them up at Goodwill or garage sales. And if a kid wanted to take a book home, I would let them. We had a cute little checkout system, but if they didn't bring it back, it wasn't a big deal because it was one book that they could have that they could keep forever that was theirs. And I think that's why our story today means so much to me, because I have a lot in common with this guy. He's a true hero, though. And our story today is one I like to call One Hundred Years From Now. And the hero in this story is Antonio LaCava, and he has a quote that says, "Without a book, so often the child is alone." When Antonio retired from teaching in 1999 after 42 years in the classroom, instead of kicking up his feet and enjoying the easy life, he got right back to work. But it's a work with a purpose, and it brought children - it has brought children - in remote villages all over the Basilicata Region of Italy. Nicely done. Thank you. It's brought them so much joy for the last 20 years. A little bit about Basilicata. You know how Italy shape like a boot, right? Yep. So Basilica is actually the region that makes up the instep of that boot. So it's 3,900 square miles with a population of about 600,000 people, and the region is very mountainous. In fact, 47% of the area is covered in mountains, with another 45% being considered hilly, and only 8% being labeled as plains. So with it being so mountainous, it's not easy for people to get from point A to point B. For centuries, it has been one of the poorest and most isolated regions of Italy. But over the last 30 years, there's been the surge of tourism that's taken place, and it's led to some growth in the larger towns. But even with that growth, a lot of the areas, a lot, especially in the mountains and the hill towns, remain largely cut off from most most modern amenities. Yeah. Still remote. Very. And so one of those modern amenities that we tend to take for granted... are libraries. Yeah, I can see that. And over his years of teaching, Antonio noticed a decrease in his students' interest in reading. And as he traveled to the areas, especially these remote areas, it was evident that the lack of access to books that were age appropriate for these kiddos in these villages, it was abundantly clear. He's quoted as saying, "I was strongly worried about growing old in a country of non-readers," and he believes it's so important to spread the joy of literature to as many children as possible. "Carrying out such action has a value, not only social, not only cultural, but has a great ethical meaning." So with this limited access to books, he knew he had to do something about it. So this retired teacher took it upon himself to solve this problem. He purchased an Ape. What's an Ape? It's spelled like ape, but it's the Italian world for bee, which doesn't make much sense. But he basically made the world's smallest traveling library. Oh, get out of here. So an Ape, if you can imagine, is a three-wheeled, motorized vehicle, and his was painted a very pale blue. And he converted this, it almost looks like a little bitty house (like those little carts). Yeah, exactly. But it's fun because he converted it, and it actually holds 1,000 books. Wow! So he named it the "Bibliomotocarro". (Bibliomotocarro) I can't roll my Rs. So "biblio" meaning book/library... (I was going to go into a whole thing there.) Oh, go for it. How did they say "Hello" in Italy...Bonjourno? No, that's French. Anyway, we're not going through a whole thing there. I'm going to tell you that the Bibliomotocarro (Bibliomotocarro) Thank you. I like how you say it much better. So book/library (slash) scooter/motorcycle (slash) cart. Okay. So I absolutely love it. It's written all over the front of it. And he has spent - he and this Ape - have spent 20 years traveling close to 200,000 kilometers - that's 124,000 miles - through the remote villages. And he only goes to villages that have 1,000 people or less of this Basilicata region. So each week he drives 310 miles from village to village, delivering books to kids that otherwise wouldn't have access to them. So he is on a personal mission to make sure every child has a book in hand that they can read. That's pretty cool. And he even goes into this story about how he drives 62 miles each way to this very small village that only has two kids in it. No kidding. When asked why he does that, he said, to him it's worth it. It's worth it to him for them to have a new book in their hands each and every week. That's pretty awesome. I love that. So when the ice cream truck comes down our street, you know it, right? Yeah, absolutely. No, get out of here! So when he comes into a village, he lets everyone know he's arriving by playing this musical sound. It's an organ sound, but everybody knows he's coming. Oh, how fun. Kids come running. Their parents come running. They gather around his Bibliomotocarro (Bibliomotocarro). He reads stories to them. They each get their books. And I love this because it reminds me what I did in my classroom. There's no check procedure. There's no ledger. He doesn't keep track of who has what books. It's all done on trust. The kids know that when they return the book, they get a new one. So when they're finished with it, they bring it back, they return it and they get a new one. And the kids in the village, they share books between themselves. Fun. It really is a big, huge ordeal. I mean, not only is a great reading, but it's now introducing them to each other, building their relationships with each other through the books. This guy's brilliant. Isn't he? 20 years he's been doing this. 200,000 kilometers. How old was he when he retired? He is not a young man. He's gotta be up there. He is up there. But it's literally become his life's mission. How awesome! So the kids came up with their own idea to start their own books. So here in America, we call it somewhat of a "Writer's Workshop". Okay. Yeah. So he actually did a TEDx talk, and I'll put that in the Neighbors group. But he shares a story about how one child had an idea to start writing a book of her own, but she didn't have access to materials. Paper, pencil... it just wasn't readily available. So what did Antonio do? What did he do? So he took his own money, of course. And I forgot to mention. All of this... None of this has been like a nonprofit. It hasn't been anything organized. (Get outta here. He funded all of it?) He has spent all of his own money (What a guy!) to do this. Buying the Ape. (Biblioteca?) (I already forgot what it's called.) Bibliomotocarro! So what he ended up doing was he purchased these blank books and he would give the books to the kiddos. They would write a chapter, and then he would take that book to the next village and leave it with them. And they would write a chapter (Brilliant!), and then the next village, and then the next village, and the next village. And those books... I am not sure how many (Can we read those?) there are. I have to do some more research. I could not find them easily, but I know that they've been turned into compilation books, (I love it!) published, and they've even made little short videos and movies about some of the stories that kids have told, too. Get outta here! This is unbelievable! So these kids who would not have access to books, much less books that are age appropriate for them, they've been brought this really, really special gift through this gentleman who is dedicated the last 20 years of his life - his retirement - to be on a mission so kids can learn to love to read. Oh, Antonio... I wish I could shake this guy's hand. Don't you, though?!? I wish I could hug him. So we're going to go from Barcelona to... Yeah, while we're over there! Might as well! ...So everyone I want to read this quote to you. "One hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, how big my house was, or what kind of car I drove. But the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child." So whenever you see a problem, one that you think is too big for you to solve, think of (I know.) Think of (choking up) Think of Antonio and his pale blue Ape delivering books to children helping them develop a love for reading. That problem wasn't too big for him. One person can make such a huge difference, especially in the life of a child. You stinker. Sorry. Just unbelievable. Now that has got to be one of the most inspirational stories I've heard in years. Isn't he amazing? He is amazing. Great, great story, Deanna. Thank you for sharing that with me. You're welcome. Sorry I made you cry. Oh, geez... you did. Awww, gee willikers Oh, wowsers. It's all good. It is ALL GOOD. Antonio is someone to admire. Indeed. Well, Neighbors, if you liked that story as much as I did, you could help us out by going over to the Apple Podcast and rating and reviewing. Giving us a 5-Star review would really help push us up the charts. We'd appreciate that. You can also Subscribe to the podcast on all of our different players, and the easiest way to do that is to go to our website, TheGoodAllAroundUs.com. And if you really, really like us, what can they do, Deanna? You can go to Patreon and become one of our Neighbors - Patreon.com/TheGoodAllAroundUs. Oh, my goodness. You can either just see what we're all about. You can Move In or you can ask to Borrow Our Mower. That's right. We may borrow some butter from you or even some sugar. Well, we're trying to lay off the sugar and the butter, so we may borrow a cup of water. We don't have water of our own, so we'll be right over. Very good. Well, I think we've got a new Neighbor in the Neighborhood? We do! Welcome, Jeffrey Krumm. He moved right in. He did move right in. Excellent. Yeah. Thanks, Jeff, for doing that. And thank you, all of our Neighbors for the support through our Patreon. We really appreciate it. It's just been so much fun growing this community with you. Exactly. And I have some reviews that have been submitted. I'd love to read them, Chris, if you don't mind. I think that's a great idea. Go ahead! I picked a couple out. We're very blessed to be able to have one from KSam79 through Apple Podcasts. "These two... Chris and Deanna are amazing people, and their podcast warms the cockles of my heart on so many levels. Thank you for gifting us with you, Deanna and Chris." That's sweet. Thank you, KSam. Is that right? Yep, KSam79. KSam79. Thank you. And then MatthewABennett left a really sweet one - 5 stars, of course. "The neighbors you wish you really had!" Wow! "I am in the process of falling in love with this podcast. From the inspiring name to the goodwill I feel from the hosts, I'm looking forward to many more positive, uplifting (and unique and unexpected) stories. It is genuinely positive input from genuinely positive people. This podcast makes your day and week better. Give it a listen." Oh, Matthew, thank you. That's sweet. Isn't that sweet? And then one more I'll read from Ewinea. "THE GOOD ALL AROUND US. I loved the second episode of Chris and Deanna's podcast. Such a heartwarming story that occurred in the middle of the pandemic. They did a great job bringing it to life." Awww, Ewinea, thank you for that sweet review. And thanks, everybody who's done a review for us on Apple Podcasts and all the other platforms. Well, Neighbors, until we're together again, remember that we're here to help you HAPPY UP YOUR LIFE. Thanks for joining us on THE GOOD ALL AROUND US podcast. Bye, everybody! Have a good, GOOD day! (upbeat Outro music) 2021 TBDB Global Enterprises, LLC