Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Monday, May 18, 2009

A Hero Close to Home

"CNN's Heroes" confers fame on so-called ordinary people reaching out to help others in extraordinary ways, this weekend a 57-year-old suburban single mother named Pam Koner who, inspired by a newspaper picture of a hungry child, started a network of 600 sponsors to provide families in 13 communities across the country with over 800,000 meals and counting.

My admiration for Pam Koner is intensified by knowing her since childhood as the daughter of close friends--Marvin Koner, a brilliant photographer (his picture of Martin Luther King and his family is on the wall next to me as I write this), and his widow Silvia, a large-hearted woman with a gift for caring and friendship who, when I turned 50, gave me my first party on the birthday I shared with her husband.

The news about Pam is a temptation to revive the old saying about the apple not falling far from the tree in an era that recalls the Great Depression, when the unemployed were reduced to selling apples on street corners to survive.

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