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choir boy note found in church pew

A choir boy's note was found in church pew, 125 years after its creation.

The date was August 11, 1897. William Elliott’s 14th birthday was fast approaching, which meant the days he spent singing in the church choir of the Sunderland Orphanage would soon be over.

William took a pencil and scribbled some words onto the back of a sermon paper, then hastily stuck it away inside a church pew. Now, 125 years later, his moving letter has been discovered.

The church was undergoing renovation in an effort to transform it into an event space called Seventeen Nineteen, when Master Craftsman Stevie Hardy found the note, which he sent to conservation specialist Matt Parsons.

It would take months to arduously clean off the years of accumulated grime, made up mostly of wax polish, dust and dirt, and specks of black paint. But eventually, the paper was successfully restored.

Here’s what William’s letter said:


Dear friend, whoever finds this paper think of William Elliott who had two months and two weeks and four days on the 11 of August 1897. Whoever you are that finds this paper don’t tear it up or throw it away…”

“Keep it in remembrance of me, W Elliott… I was the leading boy of this choir…”

“I love you if you love me.

Touched by the boy’s sweet message, Seventeen Nineteen posted the story to its Facebook page and went on a mission to find out more about William. Where were his parents? And whatever happened to him?

Their research indicated that William was one of 50 orphaned sons of seafaring men who lived at the Sunderland orphanage. His father, Thomas Duncan Elliot, was a chief officer who tragically washed overboard while sailing on a ship called the Skyros.

William’s mother was Sarah Elliott, a widow left with four young children, who had worked as a dressmaker to make ends meet following Thomas’ death. Prior to the father’s untimely end, that family had been financially comfortable.

William had been accepted into the orphanage in 1892, and then discharged on his 14th birthday, October 29, 1897. Though no information on him could be found after 1901, William most likely escaped a life at sea in exchange for work with a local solicitor due to his exceptional literacy and numeracy skills. Whether or not he continued to sing remains a mystery.

“His letter has touched us all,” said Tracey Mienie, Seventeen Nineteen’s center manager. “He was clearly very aware that his time at the orphanage – and in the choir – was ending and I think apprehension at what his future may hold comes across in his words.”

The letter inspired Seventeen Nineteen to launch a project called “Dear Friend,” where people can write in to receive a handcrafted letter kit along with a copy of William’s letter, then send their own personal response back.

As for William’s original note written more than a century ago, the leading choir boy got his wish. His letter has been framed and hung over the pew in which it was found. He will indeed be remembered, in the very way he had hoped for … with love.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

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It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

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melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

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This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

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As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

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american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

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Terrible dates might not always be fun in the moment, but they can be just as important as the good ones. They can teach us a lot about ourselves and what qualities we want in a partner. And at the very least, they can teach us to embrace social clumsiness with a sense of humor.

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share a “funny or embarrassing first date story” for his ever popular #Hashtags segment. The best part—some of these awful first dates ended in marriage. There’s hope for us all.

Below, find 15 stories that are truly the best of the worst. How do some of your first dates compare?

1. "After a nice dinner, she invited me to her house. On the way up, inside the elevator, I decided to push the button to stop between floors and give her a kiss... She had a phobia of closed spaces and she smacked my face as a reflex, two punches after we were kissing and laughing.” – @PanqueAlgarvio

2. “His jeans were so tight he couldn’t sit down. Stood at a bar stool the whole time.” – @onlyintheozarks

3. “Waiting 4 my date when an older couple asked me for a ride. my date came up and said sure! We drove them home & they asked us to come in. Date said “sure”. I pulled him back & asked why he wanted to hang w/strangers. He said ‘sh@t! YOU DON'T KNOW THEM!?’ We bolted!” – @natashaham75

facebook dating

Talk about a fashion faux pas.

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4. “Before the date, we had been chatting about books we liked and I talked about a great book I just read. We went on the date. I loaned her the book. She ghosted me.” – @thenextbarstool

5. “The worst first date I ever had was when my date locked his keys in the car and I had a curfew so he had to break his car window out to get me home on time. Didn’t think I’d ever see him again but we wound up married.” – @csleblan

6. “First date movie ‘Basic Instinct’ not realizing how suggestive it was. We just thought it was a mystery thriller! We left the movie discussing how each character could have actually murdered someone. We're married now.” – @Southrnbell_Amy

black people meet

There are worse first date movies tbh.

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7. “First date with my ex husband was a double date with his parents. The preview for ‘Speed Racer’ came on, and she leaned over me to say to her son, ‘You know what your dad's nickname in the bedroom is?’" – @theostoria

8. “A friend asked me on a double date as a blind date with his date's friend. I went to the bathroom and came back just in time to hear my date say to her friend, ‘why do I get the ugly one?’ I said good night to all three and headed home, leaving her w/the bill.” – @StevenTrustum

9. “He loved cheese. I was subjected to a 2 hour conversation/lecture about cheese, and why cottage cheese is not cheese!” – @Optimist_Eeyore

bumble

I'd like to see this two-hour cheese lecture.

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10. “He took me to an Asian fish market. We walked around looking at live & dead fish for a while. I don’t like seeing dead animals & I don’t eat seafood. Then we sat on a curb & he pulled out a ziplock bag of pineapple for us to share. I don’t like pineapple.” – @markayhali

11. “My cousin set up a first date for me with a family friend. During a break from dinner, Mr. Man follows me into the ladies’ room, comes up close and says in a low voice, ‘I shave my butt.’ Can’t remember what I said in response but the evening ended abruptly.” – @carli_zarzana

12. “I once took out my high school crush to a sports bar and ordered the spiciest wings there in an attempt to impress her. Not only was she not impressed. The next morning I woke up with heartburn.” –@Dmonster38

tindr conversation starters

Talk about a hot date.

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13. “My date showed up with his bestie and girlfriend, and they talked through dinner about people I don’t know. Walking to the car, he gave me a wedgie because he thought he hadn’t been paying enough attention to me.” – @surrealDazey


14. “I was taking my date home and was pulled over by the police for speeding. When the cop came to my car, she jumped out and told him she had to get home. She walked home and I never heard from her again. I'm not sure who's #WorstFirstDate it was mine or hers!” – @eastriverbear

15. “After an evening of dancing with a first date, leaving the dance hall, I had to take a quick pee break. Rushing out to the parking lot, I see a lady, I grab her and swoop her around, and plant a big wet kiss on the lips. She was another guy's wife. Oops!” – @seadogskamore

date you

Only Gomez could have gotten away with it.

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