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Saw God on a Locker

Today was the last full day of school for my 8th grade son.  He will be graduating from the school he has been at since kindergarten.  When the kids got to their lockers this morning, a note with a quote was hanging from the lock.  Each note was different.  My son brought his home to share with me.  Great words to live by.

“Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark.” –Jay Danzie


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Saw God in a Singing Survivor

DETROIT — An 89-year-old Holocaust survivor has fulfilled her longtime wish to sing the United States national anthem at a Major League Baseball game.

Hermina Hirsch sang Saturday at Comerica Park in Detroit before the Tigers played Tampa Bay.

Hermina Hirsch reportedly has been a Tigers fan since she moved to the Detroit area more than 60 years ago. Carlos Osorio/AP Photo
The Czechoslovakia native lives in Southfield, Michigan. She was 17 when her family was split up and sent to concentration camps in 1944. According to her granddaughter, Andrea Hirsch, Hermina Hirsch and her older sister were shuffled between five concentration camps, including Auschwitz. She was liberated in January 1945.

WWJ-TV has reported that Hirsch has been a Tigers fan since she moved to the Detroit area more than 60 years ago. Hirsch has been singing the anthem for years during Holocaust survivor meetings in the Detroit area.

Pat–Scottsdale, AZ

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Saw God in the Nest

Not the typical birdies at Valley golf course


Wealthy retirees, golf lovers and now a family of bald eagles have chosen the green oasis of a Scottsdale golf course to call home. ¶ High in a tree, a couple of bald eagles and two hatchlings are nesting amid whizzing golf carts. ¶ The massive nest, which can be seen from outside the gated golf course, has brought out amateur photographers and onlookers almost daily. ¶ “Those birds have blown my mind,” said Kenneth Jacobson, the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s bald-eagle management coordinator. “They are highly tolerant. There’s a lot of activity over several hours. In fact, they didn’t even bother to look down on us as we talked beneaththeir tree. Anywhere else in the state, it would be something much different.”


The birds likely chose to nest on the lush greenery of the course, which features a lake with their primary food of fish, because the species’ presence in Arizona has been increasing. The birds, which might have been nesting along the lower Salt and Verde rivers, could have needed room to spread their wings, Jacobsonsaid. Last year set breeding records, with 66 young bald eagles making their first flight from 89 eggs laid, an increase from the previous record of 58 setin 2013. There are a recorded 59 breeding pairs today, compared with 11 pairs in 1978. The hope is that 2016 will be another banneryear. Bald eagles have been in the Scottsdale area for at least five years, but this is the first time they’ve chosen to nest, Jacobsonsaid. The two 6-week-old nestlings will be flying inanother four weeks. This is a crucial time for the birds, he said. If the parents become disturbed, they could abandon the nest.

For that reason, The Arizona Republic is not publishing the exact locationof the golf course.

Keeping tabs on the birds at a distance

Joe Miller, the lead volunteer for rehabbing bald eagles for Scottsdalebased Liberty Wildlife, has been offering regular reports to Game and Fish since the building of the nest over the winter. He uses a spotting scope to keep tabs on the birds.

“They’ve done a good job of picking out the tree inside the city where they are protected by a golfcourse fence and a larger outside fence. Plus, if you were to walk across the street, a big tree blocks (the nest) view,” Millersaid. “These birds,” he added, “appear somewhat desensitized to traffic all day, every day. Everyone’s been responsible,and we hope that it stays that way.”

A sign on the golf course alerts golfers not to disturb the eagle’s nest.

It takes nine weeks for the eaglets to grow to full size, and they assume the appearance of the older bald eagles, with the unmistakable white head and yellow beak, in another few years. They will remain in the nest for about 45 days.

The birds are expected to leave the nest in late June, bound for lower temperatures to the north.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department protects bald eagles through the coordinated efforts of theSouthwestern Bald Eagle Management Committee. The committee, formed in 1984, is composed of federal, state, tribal and private groups to support the long-term conservation of the species.

Game and Fish oversees the Arizona Bald Eagle Nestwatch, which monitors breeding bald eagles and reports the number of successful offspring flights.

If this pair of eagles successfully see their young out of the nest, they could return to the area next year.

The birds likely live off the pond fish, waterfowl and small critters. One of the pair also was seen flyingoverhead with a snakein its talons. The striking features and the size of the birds are showstoppers to anyone lucky enough to spotthem.

Arizona State University ornithologist David Pearson said witnessing a bald eagle is a “goosebump” moment. Pearson sees the survival of the bald eagle as a feather in the cap of ecology after the species’ near-extinction in the 1960s, when its numbers nosedived in the contiguous 48 states to 480 nesting pairs.

Estimated to be about 100,000 pairs or more in 1787, when the bird was adopted as the national emblem, the bald-eagle population plummeted over the next 200 years. Illegal shooting, habitat destruction and DDT, the chemical pesticide that interfered with the eagles’ and other birds’ ability to reproduce, causedtheir numbers to fall. “It was the first time people said, ‘Wow, we can’t just assume nature will keep on no matter what we do to it,’ ” Pearson said.

Predating the Endangered Species Act, Congress passed the Bald Eagle Protection Act in 1940, and it was amended in 1962 to protect the goldeneagle. In 2007, the Department of Interior took the American bald eagle off the federal list of endangered and threatened species, although that move remains controversial.

“Even for a hardened scientist, every time I see one, I get the same feeling. It’s a wonderful bird. It’s so big. It’s so powerful. It’s so majestic,” Pearsonsaid. “It stands for so many things, and especially unity. It shows what you can do if conservatives, Democrats or whoever work together — which we don’t have a lot of rightnow.”

The Republic will track the birds and report back on their status. Visit az for updates.

The bald eagles nesting in Scottsdale have shown remarkable tolerance for humans and their activities, an expert says.


Pat–Scottsdale, AZ

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Saw God Holding the Door

At the age of 74, New Jersey transplant Bill Walsh has spent the last year pushing his daughter, Caroline, all across the Charleston Southern University campus. The two of them attend every class together, and sometimes, Walsh is called on by a professor to add perspective to a particular topic from which the class might benefit.

Caroline, 19, will readily tell you anything you want to know about any subject. Not bad, considering Caroline didn’t talk at all until she was almost 5. She certainly has a story worth hearing.

Walsh and his wife, Kim, had four biological children and lived a charmed life in New Jersey. After those children became adults and left home, Bill and Kim adopted four more in the years to come. Caroline was a drug baby, born with cerebral palsy. “She was the biggest challenge of our foster children, but she is also the smartest,” Bill says, with his lip quivering and his voice shaking. The emotion builds in Bill, not from embarrassment, but from pride. A father proud to stick out his chest.

Caroline took 16 hours both semesters and is about to finish her freshman year with a 3.4 grade point average. How many college freshmen out there have that to show for their first year?
The Walshes have a grandson about to graduate from The Citadel. The Walsh family hardly knew a thing about Charleston until there was a “Cid” connection. But he sure knows about the Lowcountry now.

Caroline, meanwhile, was continuing to excel in her school work. Her middle school teacher told the Walshes, “I learn more through her than I can teach her.” In high school, Caroline graduated with all A’s and B’s and started looking at colleges.

In her wheelchair during a visit to Charleston Southern, Caroline found that she liked two things right away: The campus was flat, and people she didn’t even know held the door open.

Upon enrollment, her dad kept pushing her to class, helping with the writing assignments, taking her to the bathroom and sometimes sharing lunch. I say sometimes, because Caroline admits that she needs time “away from Dad.”

That’s where Celeste comes in. Celeste and Caroline are the best of friends. Celeste is from Columbia and two or three days a week, the two girls have lunch and talk like, well … girls. During spring break, Caroline’s family took Celeste to Disney World. It was Celeste’s first time.

Caroline, on the other hand, has been to The Magic Kingdom so often that some people know her as well as they know Mickey.

Reading, writing, riding
As this freshman year comes to a close, Caroline and Bill have become quite the tandem. Upon graduation, Caroline wants to work for Disney or Universal helping design rooms for handicapped visitors. She believes there’s still plenty of room for improvement in that area.

In a recent class, she presented a paper on how tough it is for a handicapped person to attend a concert. “We often are placed in the back. What’s the first thing people do when the music starts? That’s right, they stand.” So Caroline has some ideas on how that can be remedied, as well.

Eventually, her goal is to own and operate a hotel for handicapped people. She then turns from her wheelchair and says to her dad, “and you can stay for free.”

Like I said, she didn’t start talking until she was almost 5, but since then it’s been nonstop.

Sometimes we don’t know where we’ll land or how we’ll get there. Caroline and Bill ended up at CSU primarily because somebody opened a door for her. Her ideas on handicap accessibility might just open doors for many others.

Reach Warren Peper at

John & Janet–MI

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Saw God Behind the Stop Sign



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Saw God in the Flight of Honor

John & Janet–MI

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Saw God Remembering

The donors had been thanked. The dinner had been served. The program was about to start, but not before the assembled ladies and gentlemen were asked to watch a 12-minute video.

The man with the free-flowing hair and the salt-and-pepper mustache turned to face the screen, his elbow propped atop the back of his chair. No one in the ballroom sat closer to the screen than he did.

The screen was maybe two feet from his face, the images of his most celebrated professional failure displayed and repeated. Vin Scully called the play, and Kirk Gibson hit a home run. Jack Buck called the play, and Gibson hit a home run. Bob Costas described the play, and Gibson hit a home run.

Dennis Eckersley took it all in with an easy smile. As he looked at the video, Gibson looked at Eckersley.

“I didn’t feel right sitting there, watching you watch that,” Gibson told him a few minutes later.

For the first time in the 28 years since that home run, Gibson and Eckersley sat in front of a room, next to each other, and talked about it. Tony La Russa and Orel Hershiser joined the panel, and Billy Crystal emceed, all for the benefit of Joe Torre’s Safe at Home Foundation. The event, on Thursday at the Hotel Bel-Air, raised $300,000 to maintain and expand a support network for abused and neglected children.

Gibson’s home run has been elevated to the realm of the mythical, and not just because the Dodgers have not returned to the World Series since then.

The images have been seared into the minds of a generation of fans, almost as if pages in a Gibson flip book: hobbling to bat; wincing with each foul ball; stepping out of the box to recall Dodgers scout Mel Didier saying Eckersley would throw a backdoor slider if the count were full; reaching for that slider; yanking it deep over the rightfield fence; pumping his arms as he rounded first base.
The words have been seared into our minds, as well: “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened,” Scully said.

The details remain vivid in the minds of the participants. It was Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, in which Gibson and the Dodgers slew the Bash Brothers and the rest of the Oakland Athletics en route to the unlikeliest of parades.

For the bottom of the ninth inning, the A’s handed a 4-3 lead to the trusted Eckersley. Mike Scioscia popped up. Jeff Hamilton struck out.

Mike Davis pinch-hit. He hit 22 home runs for Oakland in 1987, two for the Dodgers in 1988.

“It was horrendous to walk Michael Davis,” Eckersley said.

Or not, considering that the Dodgers had Dave Anderson on deck to pinch-hit.

“He was a lamb,” Eckersley said. “He was an absolute out.”

Gibson had sent his wife home in the early innings, the better to care for their rambunctious toddler. Not going to play tonight, honey.

Both of his knees were hurting. So was a hamstring. He had gotten a couple of painkilling injections and ice for his legs. As soon as he heard Scully say on television that he could not hit, he shuffled to a batting tee to try.

“Gibby’s going to hit,” Hershiser said he told Scioscia.

“Gibby can’t walk,” Scioscia said.

Anderson retreated to the dugout, and a thunderous roar greeted Gibson as he stepped gingerly to bat. La Russa, the Oakland manager, signaled for his outfielders to creep forward, worried more that a guy hitting on one leg would bloop a single over the infield than drive a ball over the fence. Eckersley geared up to throw fastballs, believing that the compromised Gibson could not catch up to them.

A couple of strikes, a couple of balls, a couple of foul balls, one a dribbler up the first base line that rolled foul before Eckersley could get to it.

“It would have changed my whole life,” Eckersley said, laughing.

The seventh pitch, the seventh fastball, and Davis stole second. That was ball three.

Full count. Backdoor slider, not a fastball. Home run.

“Ugly swing,” Gibson said. “I was just trying to get a little blooper over the shortstop’s head.”

“God knows I should have gassed his ass,” Eckersley said.

As the A’s staggered off of the field, pitching coach Dave Duncan had one word for La Russa. Duncan had suggested that the A’s walk Gibson and pitch to Steve Sax, but La Russa had wanted Gibson.

“Dumbass,” Duncan told La Russa.

In a Santa Monica home, Gibson’s wife danced with the couple’s 2-year-old son. A city danced, too, pumping its arms backward, just the way Gibson had.

Gibson pointed to Eckersley. Didn’t mean to show you up.

Gibson: “There’s a lot said about today’s ballplayers and how they celebrate. The arm pump was not really like me. It just happened.”

Eckersley: “Hooray for you. Too bad for me. It was the ninth inning. You can do whatever you want.”

La Russa: “If it would have been some disrespectful yahoo, it would have really hurt.”

Eckersley, 61, said he long has since made his peace with the home run, and not just because he is in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He even could appreciate the moment as it happened, he said, for he had found sobriety a couple of years earlier. He was grateful to be present, not despondent about the outcome.

On a quiet patio outside the ballroom, Eckersley said he would be forever connected to Gibson, and not at all upset about that. As the years pass, he joked, fewer people call him by his given name.

“It’s like my last name: ‘Hey, Gibson!’” Eckersley said. “Every time someone sees me: ‘Hey, Gibson!’”

If the two men can relive that home run again for a good cause, Eckersley said, he would be glad to help.

“I respect the hell out of Kirk,” he said.

Gibson, 58, fights to keep his Parkinson’s disease at bay. He works as a part-time analyst on Detroit Tigers broadcasts and with his foundation. He was supposed to be here last year, but that was when he was diagnosed with the illness.

“I had a little detour on the road,” he said. “I had to shake my boy Parky.”

On his right wrist, he wore an assortment of bracelets, including a gray one reading “Be Brave” and a yellow one reading “Think Loud.”

Parkinson’s disease can trigger speech and facial disorders. The “Think Loud” slogan refers to speech therapy designed to counter softening voices. Gibson also had to retrain his face to smile.

“We’ve taken how many pictures?” he said on the red carpet. “It’s good practice.”

He looked good. He sounded strong enough. As the panel discussion ended, he and Eckersley clasped hands and held them aloft.

“We’ve struck up a little friendship,” Gibson said on the patio. “We’ll take our time, as much as we have left, and enjoy it.” FREEP.Com

Pat–Scottsdale, AZ

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Saw God in the Loss of an ‘Angel’

Angels’ Place

We are saddened to inform you that Annemarie Lopez, founder and board member of Angels’ Place, has passed away.

Please join us in prayer as we celebrate and give thanks for the life of a special lady who inspired the idea of Angels’ Place and worked tirelessly and humbly to insure its success.

She is with the angels and saints and her special angel Charlotte. Our deepest sympathy to her husband Ray and to the entire family.


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Saw God All Over the Place!

It has been a long 4 days, but I have seen God in SO many people.

I was in Chicago, helping my daughter, son-in-law and their 2 small children move to Portland, Oregon. My grandson is 3-1/2 years old and LOVES trains. On Monday morning I took him for one last right on the L-train. We had gone a distance, switched trains to come back and then got off to go to a park. He decided he wanted something to eat. I wasn’t looking where I was walking and I fell when I stepped in a spot on the sidewalk where the cement was missing. I went down and sprained my ankle. A woman was walking near me with a baby in a stroller and her own toddler. She stopped to help me up. She brought me a chair from a nearby outdoor seating area. She offered to bring a chair for my grandson and to stay with me in case he took off on me. Two gentlemen who were in the area also offered assistance and kept an eye on us until my son-in-law came with the car to get us.

On Tuesday, my daughter and I were flying with the 2 children from O’Hare airport to Portland. When we checked in, I asked for assistance to get to our gate. A wheelchair attendant came and gave me a ride. He allowed my grandson to sit on my lap. He helped us through security and took me right to the gate.

At the gate, a flight attendant saw me with my grandson and told me the food that would be available on the flight was not kid friendly and wanted me to know that in case I needed to purchase something for him before out flight.

While on the 4 hour flight, my grandson kept kicking the seat in front of him. The person sitting there never once complained. My granddaughter is 8 months old and teething. She was pulling papers out of the seat back pocket. She would drop them in the aisle. My daughter couldn’t always reach them to pick them up, but the gentleman across from her would pick them up. He also played peek-a-boo with my granddaughter.

When we arrived in Portland, my daughter and I struggled with 2 very tired children, our carry-ons and a car seat. A flight attendant helped us get everything off the plane where another wheelchair was waiting for me. This attendant was very friendly and again let my grandson ride on my lap. After a stop at the bathroom, I realized I had left something on the plane. He took me back to the gate to get it and then took me all the way to baggage claim where my husband was waiting for us.

Today, I was flying home by myself from Portland, thru Chicago to Flint. On the Portland to Chicago flight, there was a medical emergency. The crew asked in there were any medical personnel on the plane. The woman sitting next to me immediately signaled she would help. When we landed, the passengers were asked to remain seated to allow paramedics onto the plain. EVERYONE remained seated and I didn’t here ANYONE complain.

I had to change planes in Chicago. I had to go from one terminal to another. In Portland, I had requested wheelchair assistance again. It was very slow in coming and I was getting concerned about making my connection. The gate attendant called over to my second flight to let them know I was on my way. When the motorized cart finally picked me up, there were other people already on it. They didn’t mind riding around to get me to my destination because they had a 2 hour layover and had plenty of time to get to their gate.

I saw God in all of these people who helped my, my family and another passenger.

I also saw God in my husband. He drove by himself, from Chicago to Portland with a pickup truck overflowing with stuff for our daughter and her family to get them started until the moving truck arrives in about 2 weeks. He drove that in 3 days!

I also saw God in our second daughter. She lives in Seattle. She met us at the airport in Portland to drive us all to the new house. She had her car filled with things to welcome her sister to the Pacific Northwest. She brought toys and clothes for the kids, towels, bedding, paper products, food and most importantly, her love for her sister, brother-in-law and her niece and nephew.

Submitted by Mary W, Macomb, Michigan

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Saw God Waiting on My Desk


I came into the my office at work last Friday and found this waiting on my desk. That’s God!!


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