Radio interviews

I did three recent interviews for my book A Splash of Kindness: The Ripple Effect of Compassion, Courage & Kindness.

I really enjoyed doing these interviews. The radio hosts did an excellent job in drawing out the essence of the book.
Here are links to the interviews:

Stamps for Philo, Jesse, …and OWH (sort of)…


jesse owen stamp 2

jesse owens

owh jr stamp

uss constitution

Farnsworth’s commemorative stamp was issued September 21, 1983, twelve years after his death.  Jesse, who passed away in 1980, received two commemorative stamps–the first in 1990 and the second in 1998.  Holmes…Well, Oliver Wednell Holmes, Sr. never had a stamp issued in his honor.  But there was one for his son, and another for the USS Constitution, the ship his poem “Old Ironsides” helped preserve.


Chapter 6: Making Pop Proud…Lutz Long–Flash Mentor…Forever Friend

Jesse Owens and Luz Long at the Berlin Olympics, 1936
Jesse Owens and Luz Long at the Berlin Olympics, 1936


For Jesse Owens, Lutz Long was what I term a :”flash” mentor. In the book, I make the distinction between flash mentors and long-term mentors. For example, Coach Pop Riley was a long term mentor who worked with and guided Jesse for years.  Lutz Long, on the other hand, was a total stranger to Jesse, but in one brief, critical moment, gave Jesse guidance and encouragement that had positive, profound consequences.

But not only was Lutz Long a flash mentor…he was a forever friend. After the Olympics Lutz and Jesse corresponded through letters and cards.   And when Lutz lost his life fighting for a leader and a cause he didn’t support, Jesse still felt connected to the spirit of his friend.

Years later, Jesse finally had an opportunity to return to Berlin to star in a television special about the 1936 Olympics.   It was thrilling for Jesse to revisit some of the old sites where he made history as a young man. But his biggest thrill was to meet a young man who had blonde hair and an athletic build—Lutz Long’s son, Karl. For Jesse, it was almost like seeing his old friend again…

Here’s a link to the Jesse Owens television special.  I’ve cued it to the section on Lutz and Karl Long.





Chapter 5: Rows In A Field…Farnsworth in Popular Literature

carterGlen David Gold’s debut tour de force mystery/suspence novel, Carter Beats the Devil, features some real life characters such as United States President Warren G. Harding, the Marx Brothers, Harry Houdini…and the inventor of electronic television Philo Farnsworth.

Chapter 6: Making Pop Proud…Coach Riley and Jesse

Charles Riley and Jesse Owens, 1936 (Photo location: 102-28)
Charles Riley and Jesse Owens, 1936

Here are three pictures of Jesse and his beloved coach Charles “Pop” Riley.

Looking at these photos you can really see how their relationship transcended coach and athlete, and was more like a father and son relationship.

Riley inspired Jesse…Jesse inspired the world…and dedicated his life to  making Pop proud.


coach riley and jesse 2

Jesse Owens sitting with Coach Charles Riley on bleachers, 1934
Jesse Owens sitting with Coach Charles Riley on bleachers, 1934

Chapter 6: Making Pop Proud…Running on Hot Coals

penn-relays-jesse-owensOne of the things Coach Riley told Jesse was to “Run as if you’re running on hot coals.”  When I think of that, I think of someone running desperately, allowing their feet to make contact with the ground only for a millisecond, and then pushing off as forcefully as humanly possible.    Notice how Jesse’s right foot, pushing off,  is perpendicular to the ground.

Coach Riley could have said, “Don’t run flat footed,” or “Give it everything you’ve got.”  But leave to Coach Riley to conjure up the image of hot coals.  And having that image firmly planted in his consciousness kept Jesse consistently ahead of the pack.


Chapter One: Ronald’s Legacy…L.A. on his way to Europe

Here is a photo of L.A., taken by his wife.  He is at the New York harbor waiting to board the ship that will take him to Europe where he will learn  life-saving techniques specific to surgery on infants.

Because of the training he received in Vienna, he became the “go-to” doctor for the Inter-mountain West whenever a newborn needed to have a surgery.

NY Harbor 17

Chapter One, Ronald’s Legacy: Contemporary Connection

The first chapter of A Splash of Kindness is about my uncle Ronald, the uncle I never knew.

When I came upon the following story on the internet I immediately thought of Ronald.  And it just reinforced the idea that a life can be short yet still have a profound impact on others.

baby donor 2

baby donor
from the Huffington Post
May 1, 2015

The youngest-ever organ donor in the UK is reportedly a newborn baby who lived for only 100 minutes.

According to the BBC, newborn Teddy Houlston’s kidneys and heart valves were donated in the few minutes after his death. His kidneys ended up saving the life of an adult with renal failure.

“He lived and died a hero. It’s impossible to explain how proud we are of him,” his father Mike Houlston, from Cardiff, Wales, told the Daily Mirror.

Baby Teddy died last year on April 22. However, the news of his organ donation only emerged this week.

“Every donation is inspirational. It is a selfless act of heroism,” Paul Murphy of National Health Service Blood and Transplant told the Mirror. “But Teddy’s story is exceptional. He was the youngest organ donor in the UK.”

Teddy, a twin, reportedly had anencephaly, a condition in which a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull. His brother, Noah, survived and is a healthy child.
Earlier this year, The Telegraph reported that a six-day-old baby girl’s kidneys and liver cells had been donated to two different people after her 2014 death in a London hospital.

At the time, she was believed to be the youngest organ donor in the UK.
He may have only been alive for a few hours, but Teddy Houlston made a huge impact.
He may have only been alive for a few hours, but Teddy Houlston made a huge impact. (BBC/ABC News)

WTVD 11 abc news
Friday, April 24, 2015 01:15PM
Teddy Houlston may have only been alive for 100 minutes, but he’s still impacting lives today.

Jess and Mike Houlston of the United Kingdom were expecting twins when Jess was told 12 weeks into her pregnancy that Teddy, one of the babies, was terminally ill. Teddy had anencephaly, a condition that prevents the skull and brain from developing normally. Teddy was expected to either die in the womb or shortly after childbirth, according to ABC News.

“When we found out he wasn’t going to survive, it was obviously crushing, soul-destroying,” Jess said in a video for the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

Faced with the devastating news, Jess and Mike decided not to terminate the pregnancy, but to go ahead with the birth and hope that Teddy’s organs could be donated.

“It was helping us that he could go on and live through someone else,” Jess said. “It was the only positive thing that could have come out of here.”.

Teddy and his brother Noah were born on April 22, 2014. The family was able to bond with Teddy before he passed away after a few hours.

“We just wanted to meet him, we wanted to meet him alive, we knew he was never going to be coming home with us,” Jess said. “But those few minutes we had were just the most amazing few minutes that we’ll ever have.”

Teddy ended up making a big impact in his short life. His kidneys were transplanted into an adult recipient, saving that person’s life, according to the National Health Service. That officially made Teddy the youngest organ donor ever in the U.K., according to the BBC.

Now, the family hopes on what would have been Teddy’s first birthday, that their child’s story will encourage others to sign up as an organ donor.

“In telling Teddy’s story Mike and Jess demand that everyone, young and old, follows their example,” Dr. Paul Murphy, National Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said in a statement. “Put simply they say, ‘Do it for Teddy.'”

Jess and Mike are grateful for the time they had with Teddy while he was here. “”He couldn’t have done more for us,” Mike said, according to ABC News. “We just couldn’t have wished for any more, we had such precious two hours with him, that we couldn’t ever, ever forget, that we couldn’t wish for more. He was truly a hero to us.”