We're thankful this week for both outstanding people who live in our midst and for Regular Joes doing outstanding things.
To be honest, we're not sure what the difference between the two is. Maybe we're all Regular Joes. (Or we're all Clark Kent.)
We're starting to get excited for the Summer Olympics.
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Part of what is fueling our enthusiasm has to be the series of stories Craig Craker has been churning out on the Tri-City Herald sports pages.
It's fun to watch the games, and it's fun to cheer for your team. But Craker has brought us pages of intriguing backstories -- some of former athletes and some of future hopefuls.
We have especially loved the stories of athletes who have ties to the Tri-Cities, which is surprisingly many. Who knew there are so many of the elite among us?
On a broader scale, we really don't know much about many of the people around us.
We're thankful to live where we can rub shoulders with athletes, scientists, leaders and all-around good people.
Pastor to bike across U.S.
One of those good people you likely wouldn't recognize as he speeds past you on the bike path (or maybe you're speeding past him), is Eric Shadle.
You would think that "hardcore cyclist" would be the perfect way to describe someone who is planning to pedal across the country. (Especially someone who had open-heart surgery just a few months ago.)
But he describes himself as quite the opposite.
However, he does appear to be hardcore about his position on the Tri-Cities Diaper Board, a group that provides diapers to families that can't afford them. So far, they've collected and distributed 150,000 diapers.
He hopes his ride will raise enough money to buy 1 million diapers.
Athlete or not, we admire this guy's drive.
Parade grand Marshal
Pasco's Neal Smiley also has to fall into the category of one guy making a difference -- one community board, commission or club at a time.
The parade organizers put him at the front of the parade this year, and that's a little out of his comfort range. But his presence reminds us of the workers behind the scenes who pull together the events we enjoy and the causes we support in the Mid-Columbia.
It seems like this summer we've had more than our share of motorcycle fatalities, drownings and fires -- and it's only July.
We could, and likely will, dedicate this space one day soon to encouraging summer safety, but today we're thankful for those teams that are first on the scene.
We appreciate firefighters, paramedics, police and the dive and rescue teams. These people have a physically challenging and emotionally draining job.
We hate getting a speeding ticket, but we really do appreciate what our emergency workers do.