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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 22, 2010 / 15 Kislev, 5771

We're Here to Make a Difference

By Mitch Albom






http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | >We had a guy in our sports department, a big hunk of man named Matt Fiorito -- bearded, bespectacled, fast with a chuckle. Matt was larger than life in many ways; when sitting in a chair, he seemed to be squatting on a throne. He loved to talk and he loved to eat and was the kind of guy in whose beard you'd expect to find the Blue Plate special. But he was always there. A fixture in the office. They say that "half of life is just showing up"?

Matt showed up.

He was there, at a desk, when I arrived 25 years ago and it feels as if he'd been there since the building opened. Matt did more than five decades in this newspaper business, the last chunk at the Free Press as a copy editor and bowling columnist. He had, when healthy, a slow gait, an ambidextrous bowling talent and a gentle, somewhat high-pitched voice, as least for a man who resembled a wizard from Middle Earth.

But Matt was more than that. Much more. He was kind and thoughtful and humble and eccentric, and he had more courage than the next 10 guys in line. He used it most recently to battle cancer, in and out of hospitals, off and on machines, wrestling the devil to an even draw.

He had his 74th birthday a week ago Friday.

He died a few hours later.

Where's everybody going?

THE GO-TO FOLKS
Doesn't every office have folks like Matt? People whose face you associate with a place? They ground the building to the earth, give you a sense of who's who, what's what, where's where. You think they will always be around, always be the voice that answers the phone. (Matt used a simple, "Sports....") And then one day, you don't hear that voice anymore, and all you have are stories.

There are a million stories about Matt Fiorito, from riding an elephant to giving his shoes to a homeless man. Family lore states that as a kid in Canada, Matt ran around the streets pretending to be a superhero named "Flag Man." Yes. "Flag Man." He'd tie the Canadian flag into a cape and look for bullies who were bothering innocent children.

Even then, I guess, he was a guy you could count on.

And that's what I just can't get past. That the guy you always counted on won't be there now. The desk is empty. The pattern is broken.

Where's everybody going?

MAKING A TRUE DIFFERENCE

Matt covered bowling for the Detroit Free Press. In between, he edited copy -- on night shifts and day shifts, weekdays, weekends. Sometimes he was one of two people in the whole office. He fielded calls, all comers. He engaged people in conversations that went longer than they were supposed to, because he seemed to find everybody fascinating.

Now and then, if I wrote a column that drew angry responses, Matt would send me an e-mail saying, "Can you please clean out your voice mailbox? They're spilling over to me." But I knew by that point he'd already answered a half-dozen, informing callers that no, I was not a lunatic and yes, he would relay the message and no, he didn't know my home address.

A few weeks back, Matt was admitted to the hospital fighting acute leukemia. I reached him via phone, had one of those "keep the chin up" talks as he lay in his bed.

The next day, he somehow managed to send me an e-mail. This is what it read:

"Hey -- I really appreciated the phone call. I'm sure I won't have any trouble staying positive, but if I do, I'll call you for a booster shot.

"As a high school dropout, I've occasionally been asked to speak to alternative-ed grads about turning things around. And I always bring up the age-old college sophomore question -- 'Why are we here?' The answer is simple, I tell them, we're here to make a difference. Somebody made a difference to you to get you this point, now your job is to go out and make a difference to someone else.

"In July, when I was felled with blood clots in my lungs -- which could have been instantly fatal -- one of the doctors said 'I guess God didn't want you yet.' (Apparently the devil didn't, either). So I figure God kept me around so I could make a difference in someone's life. So, I'm looking forward to kicking this thing and getting on with the mission.

"Best to you and your family -- Matt."

I'm sorry, I've kind of rambled here. I just don't get why we keep losing these great people, why they are there one day, pillars of our world, and gone the next. Where's everybody going? I seem to be asking that every day now.


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