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You Know The Stereotypes About Old, Conservative White Guys? Yeah, Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover.

Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist from the Washington Post, carried a heavy secret: He lived in the U.S. undocumented for most of his life. His grandparents brought him to this country legally at age 5, but he never got proper legal status. Jose came out in the national news, and then he decided to make a documentary about his journey and his fight to get rational immigration reform on the books in the United States.That's when he met a self-proclaimed "hardcore Republican" farmer named Lawrence. Lawrence has a very different perspective from much of his party when it comes to immigration. Here's why.


Jose received a handwritten letter in the mail recently. It was from Lawrence and postmarked March 27, 2014, from Birmingham, Ala. It reads:

Dear Jose:


I realize that you have your story, and I have had some part in it. This, however, is something that I haven’t had the opportunity to tell you. You might say that this is part of my side of the story.

I could put more feeling in this orally. Perhaps on occasion will arise when I can do so. I used part of what I’m going to tell you, when I recently met with my U.S. Representative.

Please excuse my handwriting, punctuation, and spelling. This is the best that an old red-neck farm boy from Cullman County, Alabama can do.

If any of this is of any value to you, feel free to use it.

What follows is that part:

When I start to leave Paco’s and Madai’s (Paco’s wife) house after visiting them, or they start to leave my house after visiting me; their children are saying, “bye bye papa, bye bye papa.” Finally one day, I asked Paco: “Paco, what are your children saying, what do they mean they tell me bye bye papa.”

He said they are saying “bye bye abuelo,” or to translate, “bye bye grandfather.” This made me feel ever so great. My heart was filled with joy knowing that they thought of me in this way.

Paco told me a video his dad sent up from Guatamala, recently. The video was about his dad’s 73rd birthday and the celebration that they had for him. In the video he told me hello, of course, but that’s not really what I want to get at.

Paco told me that as their four children watched the video; they asked him: “Who is this man?” He said the told them:” That’s your abuelo, your grandfather.” He said they then asked him, “Como Papa?” To translate: “Like Papa?”

“Like Papa,” this too made me proud that they would make such a comparison. Joy filled my heart once more.

And then, suddenly, my joy turned to sadness, and my eyes filled with tears.

I had realized that Paco’s children don’t know their own grandfather. All they’ve got is a poor substitute.

They don’t know the joy that they can bring to a grandfather and the joy he can bring to them. They don’t know the pleasure that’s shared by sitting on that grandfather’s knee and talking to him.

I ask: Why can’t Paco take their children to Guatamala to visit an aging grandfather; and then return here to his home in the U.S.? Why can’t Madai take their children to Guatamala to visit an aging grandmother; and then return here to her home in the U.S.? Why can’t you, Jose, return to the Philippines to visit an aging mother; and return here to your home in the U.S.?

The hour grows late. The hour grows late for Paco’s dad, for Madai’s mom, for your mom, and yes even for me. Enough of the delay, it’s time for results.

The cause we share it not a right or left cause. It’s a right or wrong cause. It’s a cause in which you and I agree.

I have to end with a question. My Latino friends, my Latino family: How could I not be for them in the struggle?

However, there’s one thing further that I will say. You and I may be poles apart politically. We may be poles apart on life style. We may be poles apart on religion. We may be poles apart on other facets of life.

Always remember, though, that we’re together on something far more important than the differences we have. We’re united in friendship.

I’ve taken enough of your time. Thanks for letting me share a part of my side of the story.

May God be with you.

Lawrence

If Lawrence can be this reasonable, surely more people can. They should hear his story.

That first car is a rite of passage into adulthood. Specifically, the hard-earned lesson of expectations versus reality. Though some of us are blessed with Teslas at 17, most teenagers receive a car that’s been … let’s say previously loved. And that’s probably a good thing, considering nearly half of first-year drivers end up in wrecks. Might as well get the dings on the lemon, right?

Of course, wrecks aside, buying a used car might end up costing more in the long run after needing repairs, breaking down and just a general slew of unexpected surprises. But hey, at least we can all look back and laugh.

My first car, for example, was a hand-me-down Toyota of some sort from my mother. I don’t recall the specific model, but I definitely remember getting into a fender bender within the first week of having it. She had forgotten to get the brakes fixed … isn’t that a fun story?

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share their own worst car experiences. Some of them make my brake fiasco look like cakewalk (or cakedrive, in this case). Either way, these responses might make us all feel a little less alone. Or at the very least, give us a chuckle.

Here are 22 responses with the most horsepower:

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Bird-watching is in focus on a new National Geographic show.

You may remember the name Christian Cooper, but if you don't, this will jog your memory. In summer 2020, Cooper made the national news when a white woman, Amy Cooper (no relation), called the police, falsely accusing him of threatening her. Christian Cooper was out in the early morning at Central Park doing what he does often: bird-watching. It's a longtime hobby that, thanks to that unfortunate exposure, he's now taking to the next level and sharing with the world. Cooper recently finished filming six episodes of "Extraordinary Birder" for National Geographic.

"Whether braving stormy seas in Alaska for puffins, trekking into rainforests in Puerto Rico for parrots, or scaling a bridge in Manhattan for a peregrine falcon, he does whatever it takes to learn about these extraordinary feathered creatures and show us the remarkable world in the sky above," National Geographic wrote in a press release announcing its new slate of personality-driven exploration and adventure themed storytelling.

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TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

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