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Articles by: Darrell Fusaro

  • Op-Eds

    The Voice of an Italian American Superhero



    “When we make a beginning we get out of our own way and allow the angels to come in and do their job.  They can speak to us now and it makes them happy.  It makes God happy.”  –Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

     


    LOS ANGELES, CA, I was taking my two dogs, Mr. French and Gabby, for their regular afternoon walk when I was alerted by the dull ping sound from my iPhone.  I received an e-mail.  The subject line read, “We’ve got a problem and we need your help!”  It was i-Italy headquarters in Rome, Italy.

     

    The message continued,  "(Can you please) read the attached text with the best of your warm, emotional and sexy voice and send it back to me ASAP?”

     

    I was flattered. “OK.  No Problem. I’ll have it to you by tonight.”

     

    The attached text they were referring to in their request was a short biography.  It highlighted the accomplishments of the legendary Italian American college basketball coach Lou Carnesecca.  This was the first hurdle.  If my narration was considered acceptable then six more biographies of Italian American superheroes for me to narrate would follow.  

     

    These narrated biographies were to be used in short video documentaries to honor this year’s National Italian American Foundation’s award recipients.  They would be played at the 2016 NIAF Distinguished Awards gala as the dramatic introduction for each one of this year’s honorees.  

     

    In a nutshell, I would be responsible for recording and editing each voice over, and emailing them to the i-Italy offices in New York City.  There a video editor would produce them with music and imagery.  This entire process had to be completed in time for the event that was to take place in just two weeks.

     

    “Two weeks?  This is insanity.  What did I just agree to?  Now they’re counting on me.  How am I going to pull this off?  Ever hear the sound of your voice?  Oh boy, I'm not a professional voice over artist.  What makes them think I’m able to pull this off?   I don’t have a decent soundproof booth to do this in.  Is the microphone I use for my podcast good enough for something like this?”  

     

    This wasn’t the first time my mind has panicked and attempted to paralyze me, or have me retreat, by raising objections to my stepping out boldly.  However, the fact that I had said yes and backed myself into a corner was instrumental in propelling me forward.  With no time to spare I felt compelled to just take President Theodore Roosevelt’s advice, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

     

    While the voice in my head nagged on about my inadequate sound booth, I grabbed three couch cushions and put them on my workbench behind my laptop and microphone.  Then I brought in Gabby's dog bed, stood it up on a chair about a foot and a half behind where I’d be standing during the recording.  Seeing my makeshift soundproof sandwich come together so effortlessly was encouraging.

     

    I printed the script and noticed just seven words into it was an Italian name I was unfamiliar with, “Pontremoli”, a town in Italy.  “Oh no.”  I thought to myself, “You can’t afford to assume you know how to pronounce this.  These are serious Italian Americans.”  As I continued to scan the script line by line I noticed more places, names, and phrases I wasn’t familiar with.  My concern rose and my confidence dropped.  “This is going to be a nightmare!”   

     

    Then an angel whispered in my ear, “They (those requesting my help) have faith in you.  They’re confident in your ability.  Why not join your supporters?”  I decided to agree and, as soon as I did, I was able to resist the urge to stand in my own shadow.  Besides, it seemed ridiculous to be the only fool in the audience heckling me.  Moving forward, I Googled, “How to pronounce Pontremoli?” and got the answer.  (I came to rely on PronounceNames.com throughout the next two weeks). 

     

    Now confident enough to start recording I began reading the script aloud.  As I began to tell Lou Carnesecca’s story into the microphone I could see the imagery of his life playing like a movie in my mind.  I felt the love that had been packed into each stage of his life flow through me.  This was the moment I began to notice what sounded like the voice of a professional narrator, not my own, coming through the headset.  I was amazed by my ability that, up until this moment, I had been unaware of. 

     

    Later that evening my wife, Lori, overheard me playing back what I had recorded and edited.  “Is that you?  I thought you were watching a show online.  Wow, you have a sexy voice, when you’re not your normal silly self.”  She said.

     
    “…the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.  All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.”  –Goethe

     

    I sent Lou's audio file off to New York and Rome for approval and 24 hrs later I got the thumbs up.  Day by day each new biography arrived with Divine timing.  I received them while Lori was at work and in between the sounds of construction on the house next door, jet airline traffic, helicopters, the squawking of crows and our neighborhood landscaper's gas powered leaf blower and mower.

    I got into a routine.  As soon as I received a script I yanked the three cushions off the couch and placed them on my workbench in the garage, and then set up the microphone in front of them.  Next, I gently pulled the dog bed out from under Gabby and Mr. French and propped it up on a chair in front of the microphone with just enough space for me to fit in between.  I printed up the script, pressed the record button and read out loud into the mic.



     



    Over the course of the next two weeks I got to enjoy experiencing the life stories of Lou Carnesecca, Joseph Guccione, Arthur Mirante, Michael Inserra, Frank Bisignano, Justice Marie Garibaldi, and baseball hero Mike Piazza.  Each time I hit the record button and began, the warm and wonderful feeling you get when brag about an old friend you love and admire would take over.  I surrendered to that feeling and was granted ability beyond my experience to highlight the lives of these Italian American Superheroes.

     

    Whenever an opportunity that seems to be outside your realm of experience presents itself it is an indicator that, incredible as it may seem, you indeed possess the talent and ability for it.  Just say yes – you will be thrilled at discovering what you are capable of, and as Thoreau states, “…meet with a success unexpected in common hours.“





    Remarkably, the day after the NIAF Distinguished Awards gala I received another call for help and was driven to a professional recording studio in Pasadena, CA.  This time the request came from Marijuana Anonymous who was in need of my voice for six public service announcements.





    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug?, co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast and a contributing columnist for i-Italy Magazine.

  • Op-Eds

    The Five Most Valuable Things They Don't Teach in Art School


    The other day a young artist asked me, “How do you do it?”  Having been in her shoes myself, I understood what she meant by her question and I had an answer.  The answer was ready, and is ALWAYS ready because I must remind myself of it daily.  The answer is, let it be easy.


    The key to getting started is to lower the bar.  This may seem outrageous to some who believe that great accomplishments come at great sacrifice and perfection.  That erroneous belief has killed off more creative endeavors than death itself.  There is only one sacrifice to make and that is the one of talking yourself out of getting started. 


    Never argue against what may seem like a silly idea.  Allow yourself to get carried away by the angel of inspiration.  Take the tiniest step in the direction of your desire and your enthusiasm will compel you to continue.   Emerson explains the hunch as Divine guidance to which we all have access.  There’s no special training required to receive this guidance since it continuously flows into us, “everyman is an inlet.”  You only need to trust your intuition and by taking action you will be surprised with proof that, “we are wiser than we know.” 


    "But what if you have so many inspired ideas that you don’t know where to begin and you’re stuck?" she asked. 

     

    I told her to start simply and shared the story of exactly how I do it as an example.  Coincidentally, I began when I was the same age as her, some thirty years ago.  I told her how I allowed doubt and reason to convince me leave art school and join the Coast Guard.  After enlistment I was assigned to the Honolulu Police Department as a military liaison.  The desire to create followed me there, I couldn’t shake it and it began to gnaw at me.  I could have easily made excuses such as, I had no time, no place to create, no decent art supplies, etc.  Instead I kept it simple. 


    In 1985 we used an ink roller to fingerprint at the police department.   One day during a break I had the silly idea to ink up my fingers and randomly place my fingerprints onto blank 3 x 5 cards.  The intention was to transform the fingerprints with my pen into little people interacting with one another.  I allowed the impromptu arrangement of the fingerprints inspire the circumstances I’d put these little characters in.


    After they were done, I’d write a friend’s address on the back and mail it off as a postcard.  This motive fueled me to continue to make more and send more.  It became a creative habit. 


    When I was transferred to the prosecuting attorney’s office, without access to fingerprinting, I was challenged to create characters from scratch.  Now my postcards had new characters to surprise my friends with. 


    Whenever I’d hear the thought, “You’re not doing anything legit with your cartoons.”  I would dismiss it with, “Yes I am.  I’m having fun and the Universe is arranging things on my behalf.  All I need to do is to keep enjoying what I’m doing.”  And I did.


    I was having fun and gaining confidence.  Not long after, I was asked to contribute illustrations to be used in the U.S. Coast Guard’s local newsletter.  I still continued to make postcards for friends.  A recurring character I created and enjoyed drawing on these postcards was a happy-go-lucky surfer I named, “Poki.”  I could never have foreseen that Poki would become the 14th Coast Guard District’s cartoon mascot in print ads.   At the end of my enlistment I applied and was accepted back into art school.  Incredibly, I received a merit scholarship based on these examples in my portfolio.


    Today there are five simple principles that I rely on to knock out resistance and propel me forward.  You can remember them with this silly slogan, “It’s a simple system that KILLS!”  Using the word K-I-L-L-S as the acronym for the following:

     
    Keep it simple.  Let yourself off the hook.  You do not need to wait until you have the right pen, brush, pad, or canvas to get started.  Simply put, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." –Theodore Roosevelt

    Inspire others.  The best way to get into the creative current is to make something simple for a friend.  If you’re an artist make a postcard, if you’re a musician sing a ridiculous song as your voicemail message to a friend.  That’s what I do.  This gets me in the habit of enjoying creative freedom without the negative commentary of my critical mind. 

    Lower the bar.  Self-imposed perfection is stifling, relax your demands and your creative spirit will soar.  “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” –G.K. Chesterton

    Let it be easy.  What you desire to do is possible.  Give yourself permission to let it be easy.  “How would I be doing this differently if I were willing to let it be easy?” –Alan Cohen

    Swim with the current.  I’ve learned to never argue with a hunch.  Go with it, they’ll take you places more remarkable than reason would allow.  “Don’t be afraid of silly ideas.” –Paul Arden 


    Listen to your creative leads.  Trust to your intuition; don’t let reason slip you a roofie.  Let it be easy: there’s no virtue in fighting against simplicity.  Hunches always lead you to the creative current that will carry you to better-than-expected outcomes: swim with the current.


    Each morning I start out by making a silly little drawing on a 4” x 6” piece of cardstock.  Then I write a friend’s address on the back on the back of it and mail it to them as a postcard.  It lifts me up and drops me into the positive flow of life.




    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug?, co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast and a contributing columnist for i-Italy Magazine.

  • Op-Eds

    Why Are There Chicks at Easter?





    "
    I often get asked why I give out Peeps at Easter."
    said the Easter Bunny, "Well, I do it as a reminder that inside every angry old bird is a neglected little Peep.  Aim your love at the little Peep and watch the angry old bird cheer-up and sing.  Happy Easter."



    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast

  • LA VIGNETTA. Have You Ever Tried Spiritual Sunbathing?


    “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, it’s laying hold of His highest willingness.” –Richard C. Trench



    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that the Universe is conspiring on your behalf?  Imagine having the confidence that all things at all times are being constantly arranged for your highest good.  The truth is they are.  You do not need to coerce anyone, including God, to ensure that circumstances will work out for the best. 


    I enjoy how prayer is defined in The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James, “Prayer is the general name for that attitude of open and earnest expectancy.”  That’s faith in a nutshell: the enthusiasm felt when we’re convinced something good is about to happen.


    Choosing to believe that the Universe is conspiring on my behalf stirs up my enthusiasm.  When I’m happy and expectant of good things on the inside, I begin seeing evidence of this attitude being reflected back to me in my circumstances.  However, steering my will away from pushing and shoving to achieve what I believe will make me happy, and toward trusting that God’s got my back isn’t something I’ve only had to do once and it’s done forever.  I need to be willing to take the time to enjoy a little daily spiritual sunbathing.


    Spiritual sunbathing is taking a break from finding fault.  It is a mini mental vacation from my concerns.  During this time I choose to believe in positive outcomes.  Instead of worrying about what I don’t want to happen, I decide to imagine what I would love to happen.  I’ve found that visualizing in this way, rather than imagining the worst and my struggling to overcome situations, to be much more productive because it elevates my consciousness.  My intuition, that connection to Divine guidance is strengthened and I'm open receive hunches. 


    Not long ago I took a trip to New York City.  An old friend from Los Angeles had moved there a year earlier.  We thought it’d be great to see one another while I was in town.  She was an event planner and her days had her busy bouncing all over the city.  It became clear that trying to arrange a set time and place to meet would be impossible.  So we both cast the burden and were grateful to have reconnected even if just by phone.

     

    The next day after enjoying a little spiritual sunbathing in my hotel room at Gramercy Park, I had the inspiration to go for a walk in the city, to roam free without any preconceived destination.  When I stepped out of the lobby and on to the street I thought I’d head toward Union Square.  It made perfect sense since my old art studio was located there and I thought it’d be nice to reminisce.  But I got a hunch to go in the opposite direction and walk north on Irving Place.  Since I learned to never argue with a hunch, I did an about-face, waited for the light and when it turned green I crossed. 


    Just as I stepped up onto the sidewalk on the other side of the street, I heard the beeping of a motorcycle horn.  Waiting at the light was a blonde in a helmet on a scooter.  She was waving in my direction.  I was convinced this was for the young good-looking guys seated there at the outdoor café.  Before I had a chance to move on, the light changed, she drove over, stopped at the curb and took off her helmet, I nearly collapsed.  It was my friend.  We were both blown away by the coincidence and enjoyed how Divine timing scheduled our meeting. 


    Hunches are angels saying, “Just do it!”  Spiritual sunbathing keeps my ears open so I can hear them when they do.


    “Whether I’m consciously aware of it or not, my life is continually guided step-by-step toward my best and highest good.

     
    I begin by stilling my mind then trusting in divine wisdom to see me through any seeming obstacle.  Resting in a comfortable position, I close my eyes. With deliberation, I shut out the outside world.  Like a fog lifting, my mind clears, and I tune in to God’s message for me.  I remain open to divine direction.

     
    With a willingness to listen, I now hear the still, small voice within.  This divine whisper of encouragement guides me on my spiritual journey.  Through sacred listening, I gain clarity to take inspired action. I am blessed.” –Guidance, Daily Word Magazine, March 17, 2016





    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast

  • Op-Eds

    LA VIGNETTA. Have You Ever Tried Spiritual Sunbathing?


    “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, it’s laying hold of His highest willingness.” –Richard C. Trench



    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that the Universe is conspiring on your behalf?  Imagine having the confidence that all things at all times are being constantly arranged for your highest good.  The truth is they are.  You do not need to coerce anyone, including God, to ensure that circumstances will work out for the best. 


    I enjoy how prayer is defined in The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James, “Prayer is the general name for that attitude of open and earnest expectancy.”  That’s faith in a nutshell: the enthusiasm felt when we’re convinced something good is about to happen.


    Choosing to believe that the Universe is conspiring on my behalf stirs up my enthusiasm.  When I’m happy and expectant of good things on the inside, I begin seeing evidence of this attitude being reflected back to me in my circumstances.  However, steering my will away from pushing and shoving to achieve what I believe will make me happy, and toward trusting that God’s got my back isn’t something I’ve only had to do once and it’s done forever.  I need to be willing to take the time to enjoy a little daily spiritual sunbathing.


    Spiritual sunbathing is taking a break from finding fault.  It is a mini mental vacation from my concerns.  During this time I choose to believe in positive outcomes.  Instead of worrying about what I don’t want to happen, I decide to imagine what I would love to happen.  I’ve found that visualizing in this way, rather than imagining the worst and my struggling to overcome situations, to be much more productive because it elevates my consciousness.  My intuition, that connection to Divine guidance is strengthened and I'm open receive hunches. 


    Not long ago I took a trip to New York City.  An old friend from Los Angeles had moved there a year earlier.  We thought it’d be great to see one another while I was in town.  She was an event planner and her days had her busy bouncing all over the city.  It became clear that trying to arrange a set time and place to meet would be impossible.  So we both cast the burden and were grateful to have reconnected even if just by phone.

     

    The next day after enjoying a little spiritual sunbathing in my hotel room at Gramercy Park, I had the inspiration to go for a walk in the city, to roam free without any preconceived destination.  When I stepped out of the lobby and on to the street I thought I’d head toward Union Square.  It made perfect sense since my old art studio was located there and I thought it’d be nice to reminisce.  But I got a hunch to go in the opposite direction and walk north on Irving Place.  Since I learned to never argue with a hunch, I did an about-face, waited for the light and when it turned green I crossed. 


    Just as I stepped up onto the sidewalk on the other side of the street, I heard the beeping of a motorcycle horn.  Waiting at the light was a blonde in a helmet on a scooter.  She was waving in my direction.  I was convinced this was for the young good-looking guys seated there at the outdoor café.  Before I had a chance to move on, the light changed, she drove over, stopped at the curb and took off her helmet, I nearly collapsed.  It was my friend.  We were both blown away by the coincidence and enjoyed how Divine timing scheduled our meeting. 


    Hunches are angels saying, “Just do it!”  Spiritual sunbathing keeps my ears open so I can hear them when they do.


    “Whether I’m consciously aware of it or not, my life is continually guided step-by-step toward my best and highest good.

     
    I begin by stilling my mind then trusting in divine wisdom to see me through any seeming obstacle.  Resting in a comfortable position, I close my eyes. With deliberation, I shut out the outside world.  Like a fog lifting, my mind clears, and I tune in to God’s message for me.  I remain open to divine direction.

     
    With a willingness to listen, I now hear the still, small voice within.  This divine whisper of encouragement guides me on my spiritual journey.  Through sacred listening, I gain clarity to take inspired action. I am blessed.” –Guidance, Daily Word Magazine, March 17, 2016





    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast

  • Op-Eds

    The Good You Seek Is Seeking You



    It’s literally true: the good you seek is seeking you.  The Rabbi of Berdichev saw a man running down the street.  He asked the man, "Why are you hurrying so?"


    "I'm rushing to find my livelihood," the man answered.


    "And how do you know," the rabbi asked, "that your livelihood is running ahead of you?  Maybe it's behind you, and all you need to do is stop running and it will catch up to you." 


    Early in my enlistment I was having a horrible go at it in the United States Coast Guard.  Right after I finished telling my friend Mike how much I dreaded what punishment I might receive for my most recent drunken debacle, he asked me this question.  “When was the last time you woke up in the morning and were kind and loving to yourself?” 


    “Never.” I said.  I had no idea how much my life was about to change for the better.  He continued and said that the most important thing I can do each day is to practice what he referred to as a “morning routine”.  He suggested that I start immediately.  Each morning upon awakening, before putting on my uniform, even before showering, I was to enjoy a few minutes with my morning coffee in positive contemplation.  This was to be done by reading a few pages from inspirational books he recommended, saying a few familiar prayers, and mediating on all that’s good in my life at the moment.


    “Life isn’t about jumping out of bed and racing into your miserable day.  I promise that if you do this consistently for thirty days (and it only takes seven minutes, I timed it just for you), you will be amazed at how much your life will transform for the better.  But if you can’t wake up just seven minutes earlier to be kind and loving to Darrell, there is nothing anybody can do to help you.” he said.


    I wanted to believe what he said was true so I committed to it.  That was over thirty years ago.  Since I began the morning routine, what he said about my life transforming for the better was true, and continues to be true right up to this day.  I’ve learned from personal experience that it's a psychological, spiritual, and material reality that how we feel about ourselves in the morning determines what we can expect to experience throughout our day.


    Thanks to Mike, I enjoy all the fun without the struggle.  My morning routine has made getting up in the morning something I look forward to.  Begin each day being kind to yourself and enjoy how friendly life is.  The good you seek is seeking you.

     
    “For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” –Lily Tomlin




    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast

  • Life & People

    Hollywood Photographer Shares New View of Venice



    “Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” –Pablo Picasso

    When I interviewed photographer Charles Christopher near his home in California, I asked him what it is about Italy that makes it so attractive to most Americans.  “Everything.” he said.

     

    Charles works in Hollywood as a motion picture and TV still photographer.  Just a few years ago he was going through a challenging time in his life when his father gave him a gift.  The gift was a new camera, and with it the suggestion by his father to get out and do what you love.  Ironically, Charles had been dreaming of Venice, Italy.  He was there as a young boy with his mother and sister years ago. 

     

    When they arrived in Venice, his mother and sister were exhausted from traveling and spent most of their two days relaxing in the hotel room.  Charles was out and about roaming the maze of Venice’s alleys and bridges on his own.  The mysterious stone buildings and waterways ignited his imagination.  He even claimed one of the bridges he often visited as his very own.  He felt like a prince.  

     

    As he grew older, this magical place of his childhood adventure would often visit his thoughts whenever he needed a lift.  Now armed with a new camera and the assurance of his father’s suggestion, he returned to Venice. 

     

    The adult Charles rented an apartment on one of the canals.  It was winter and the solitude was just what he had hoped for.  There were very few tourists.  As he walked over the old bridges and through stone corridors, the sound of echoing footsteps and Italian voices rekindled his childhood excitement.  He allowed himself to be guided by his heart and would take a picture of what fascinated him in the moment.  None of them were the typical pictures of familiar Venice landmarks.

     

    One day he set out to locate the bridge of his childhood.  He searched by memory and self-determination, convinced he knew exactly where it must be.  Walking up and down alleys, back and forth along the canal, he looked everywhere he believed it should be.  He never found it.  At the day’s end Charles gave up.  He let it all go and made a right turn to head back to his apartment.  This led him to another canal crossing.  He soon realized he was stepping on to his bridge.  It was a little old bridge behind the Opera house.


    The bridge from Charles Christopher's childhood in the distance on the right.



     
    When he returned to the states he shared his photographs online.  Not long after, editor JoAnn Locktov, founder of Bella Figura Communications, discovered Charles’ provocative photos and contacted him about creating a book together.  It became a reality – Dream Of Venice.

     

    Turning the pages of Dream Of Venice gives you the feeling of exploring Venice on a whim, allowing intuition to be your guide.  Because this picture book is a convenient size, as well as, lightweight and durable, I can enjoy it anywhere.  Every time I open it up I feel like I’m in Venice, and every time I put it down I daydream of taking myself there. 





     Dream Of Venice is available on Amazon and a portion of the proceeds from each book will be donated to Save Venice Inc. to support vital art and architecture restorations in Venice.








    –Darrell Fusaro


    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast


  • Op-Eds

    Your Valentine's Italian



    One of the inspirational books I look forward to reading during my morning routine is Alan Cohen's "A Deep Breath of Life."  In it he shares the story of St. Valentine and I feel compelled to share it with you. 


    "The legend of St. Valentine goes back to the early days of Christianity when Christians were being persecuted by the Romans.  One Christian, Valentinus, was tried as a heretic and sentenced to death.  In prison, Valentinus befriended a guard who respected his wisdom, and soon the guard brought his seven-year-old blind daughter Julia, to Valentinus for lessons.
      Daily, the two talked of important things, and Julia developed a deep love and respect for her mentor. One day Julia asked him, “Valentinus, do you think I will ever be able to see?”

    Valentinus thought for a moment and answered, “With love in your heart and belief in God, anything is possible, Julia.”

    At that moment, Julia was overtaken with a flash of light, and suddenly her eyesight was restored. “Valentinus, I can see!” the child shouted.

    “Praise be to God,” he humbly answered.

    The next day when Julia came to visit Valentinus, he was gone.  He had been taken to his execution.  Julia found this note:


    My Dear Julia,


    Although we shall never see each other again, know that I will always love you. You are very dear to me. I will stay unseen by your side, and I will live in your heart. I believe in you.


    ~Your Valentine
    "




    What a wonderful surprise to discover that the legend of St. Valentine is not limited to romantic love.  It's a clear example that love given in the form of kindness has a tremendous effect upon the lives of others.  Every time we perform a kind act, even as gentle as a smile, we set off an chain reaction for good that travels from one to another.  This ripple effect will make it's way, and be felt, around the globe.  Valentine's Day gives all of us the opportunity to share our kindness freely, without embarrassment.  Whenever we greet others with a smile and a “Happy Valentine's Day!” we’re contributing to a better world.  Now that’s amore!



    According to Our Lady of Rosary Library:  "Valentinus’ sentence was carried out on, February 14, 270 A.D., near a gate that was later named Porta Valentini in his memory.   He was buried at what is now the Church of Praxedes in Rome.   It is said that Julia planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave.   Today, the almond tree remains a symbol of abiding love and friendship.   On each February 14, Saint Valentine's Day, messages of affection and love are exchanged around the world."


    “Your smile is your logo, your personality is you business card, how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.” –Unknown



    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast

  • If You Want a Treat, Press Play


    Here's a dog treat that will make your tail wag.  When Best Friends pulled Blanca from a Los Angeles shelter, she was filthy. They wasted no time in arranging an extreme makeover, transforming her into a dog that no one would overlook.  Press play and enjoy this 100% true feel good movie in under a minute. 


    Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. A leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as lifesaving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country. Since its founding in 1984, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in American shelters from 17 million per year to about 4 million. By continuing to build effective initiatives that reduce the number of animals entering shelters and increase the number who find homes, Best Friends and its nationwide network of members and partners are working to Save Them All®.






    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast

  • Op-Eds

    If You Want a Treat, Press Play


    Here's a dog treat that will make your tail wag.  When Best Friends pulled Blanca from a Los Angeles shelter, she was filthy. They wasted no time in arranging an extreme makeover, transforming her into a dog that no one would overlook.  Press play and enjoy this 100% true feel good movie in under a minute. 


    Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. A leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as lifesaving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country. Since its founding in 1984, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in American shelters from 17 million per year to about 4 million. By continuing to build effective initiatives that reduce the number of animals entering shelters and increase the number who find homes, Best Friends and its nationwide network of members and partners are working to Save Them All®.






    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast

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