ACROSS AMERICA — Clifford Peterson and Carol Ryan probably crossed paths at Ramapo College of New Jersey in the early 1970s, but they didn’t officially meet until plans were underway for a celebration of the liberal arts school’s 50th birthday.
Now, the 79-year-old Peterson and 78-year-old Ryan are husband and wife. They married in front of 400 from around the world who had come home for the celebration.
Peterson was “very intrigued” by the questionnaire Carol sent ahead of the party, and they spoke on the phone a couple of times. “I was not only enchanted by her answers but how she sounded on the phone,” he said.
From there, their love blossomed. “It was the small world department run amok,” the groom said. By Lanning Taliaferro for Ossining-Croton-On-Hudson Patch
Following are 12 more good news stories from Patch editors across America, starting with a few that are all about family.
A Surprise Sister
Jenn Roster had always thought she was an only child. But then she got the results of a 23andMe DNA test she took to satisfy curiosity about her ancestry. She was surprised to learn she wasn’t German or Italian, but French and Jewish. The biggest surprise was that she has a half sister she never knew. The siblings are looking forward to the day they can meet, but in the meantime are exploring their similarities — and there are many — from a distance. By Alexis Tarrazi for Bridgewater Patch
Keeping The Organs In The Family
There was some good news and bad news when doctors tested Jeff Camp to see if he could donate a kidney to his son, Tyler. Yes, his kidney was a strong match for Tyler’s. Then came the “but” — he needed to lose weight and rein in his blood pressure. Dad began to exercise and eat healthier as if his son’s life depended on it — and it did. Tyler is recovering splendidly from the transplant. By Rich Kirby for Shelton Patch
Twin Babies Are Home, No Thanks To Coronavirus
Alison Herman and John Waterman are finally able to hug their twins after a two-month, 2,288-mile separation, thanks to an air ambulance company that operates out of a hangar at Tampa International Airport. The twins were born 10 weeks prematurely to a surrogate mother in Utah on May 29. The coronavirus pandemic complicated everything from that point on: It was too risky to travel 33 hours by car across the country with the immune-vulnerable babies, and flying the babies home on a commercial airline flight was equally dicey. Other options were beyond their financial reach. But then air ambulance company, JET ICU, decided to play stork. By D’Ann Lawrence White for Tampa Patch
The Family Table
Luca Di Pietro had to make an excruciating decision in March when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio limited the city’s restaurants to takeout and delivery only. Di Pietro had to lay off 95 of his 102 employees and close four restaurants. Within a couple of days, a friend of his wife called and asked about ordering 40 dinners for delivery to a hospital emergency room. And an idea was born. His daughter and a few of her friends at Harvard University spent the night building the Feed the Frontlines NYC website, a platform that allows people to contribute to food deliveries to front-line workers across the city. By Gus Saltonstall for Upper West Side Patch
Beer For Equity And Inclusivity
Latiesha Cook noticed something as she and her husband visited their favorite Florida breweries. “We were usually the only Black or brown people in the room," she told Patch. She and her husband of 16 years started buying craft beer and sharing it with their neighbors, developed impressive credentials to compete in the craft beer market and then teamed with Beer Kulture, which partners with breweries already doing inclusion and equity work in their space. Their eventual goal is to create collaboration beers that would raise money to help not only minority communities, but communities that are already doing great things around St. Pete. By Skyla Luckey for St. Pete Patch
Doing John Lewis’ Work
John Lewis, memorialized at public ceremonies over the past two weeks as a civil rights titan whom history will remember as founder of an equitable society, also was remembered quietly at a place that honors his legacy of service: the Bread of Life Fourth Street Seventh-Day Adventist Soup Kitchen in Washington, D.C. “Many of them are Washingtonians, so they have a concept of the civil rights movement,” Tijuana Griffin told Patch of the people who stop by for meals. “That’s why we put a little flyer in each of their lunches for them to take with them as a reminder of the service he gave to America and the service he gave to the homeless population." By Michael O’Connell for Washington, D.C., Patch
When New Jersey began to reopen from coronavirus shutdowns, people rushed to the mall for retail therapy or to their favorite salon for a full cut, color and blowout. Others went to their favorite tattoo artist. "For some people, it's almost like therapy," said Mike Curtin, the manager and head piercer of South Side Tattoo in Howell, New Jersey. "I have several clients that are in some form of recovery, and they move to body art as a way of getting a fix. Like, 'I need that something that I used to do whatever for, let me go get a tattoo instead.' " By Nicole Rosenthal for Howell Patch
Doing The Right Thing
The noise about 60 inmates made near Atlanta wasn’t the sound of a jail uprising. Rather, they wanted to alert jail staff after a deputy slipped from his chair, split his head open and started to bleed. The racket revived the deputy somewhat, and he hit a button that released three inmates from their cells. They helped the bleeding deputy until medical help arrived, telling reporters it was the right thing to do. Lots of people “have strong opinions about law enforcement officers and criminals,” the deputy said later, “but this incident clearly illustrates the potential goodness found in both." By Jim Massara for Dacula Patch
Out-Of-This-World Naming Rights
When NASA sent its next rover to Mars on Thursday, it carried a piece of Burke, Virginia, with it. Lake Braddock Secondary School student Alexander Mather had earlier won a contest to name the rover “Perseverance.” Another student, 11th grader Vaneeza Rupani, came up with the name “Ingenuity” for the Mars helicopter. By Emily Leayman for Burke Patch
The Good Samaritan Of Reading
“Hello!” read the thick bookmark in a book that a New Jersey woman found left next to her mailbox. The note from a mystery good Samaritan known only as “The Bookworm” had a singular request: "If you choose not to read the book, PLEASE DO NOT THROW THE BOOK OUT, pass it on! I want this to be a fun experience for everyone. Once you have read the book you may keep it or pass it on to one of your neighbors with a message of your own!" By Josh Bakan for Lacey Patch
Backyard Makeover Starts With A Haircut
When Stephanie Ebert began cutting Lenny Kobilca's hair last summer after he suffered a spinal cord injury in a bicycle accident that forced him to use a wheelchair, she began thinking of how she and others could do something to do something to help his family. She knew just what to do when she noticed Kobilca’s mother and sister admiring the shade-giving pergola in her backyard. She rallied her neighbors for a backyard makeover for the Kobilca family. It happens this weekend. By Jeff Arnold for Palos Patch
Mask Up In Style
A St. Petersburg, Florida, sculptor wanted to create a community project of self-expression and integrity to benefit artists struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. The result is a display of eclectic and even eccentric masks from St. Pete artists of all ages. The eye-catching works of arts are available for purchase, stylishly spreading the word that wearing masks helps stem the spread of the virus. By Skyla Luckey for St. Pete Patch