The story of a good deed has spread like wildfire online since Sunday, when an anonymous do-gooder left a kind note and $40 on a woman’s windshield in a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot.
“I noticed the sticker on the back of your car,” the note read, referring to a “Half my Heart is in Afghanistan” bumper sticker. “Take your hero out to dinner when he comes home. Thank you both for serving. Him deployed and you for waiting.” It was signed “United States veteran” and “God Bless.”
The woman, Samantha Ford, a mother of two who lives outside of Boston, quickly snapped a photo of the note and the cash, and shared it on the Facebook page “Our Deployment: 101,” a sort of online support community for people affiliated with the military.
“I just thought I would share with you all what happened to me today!” Ford wrote when she posted the photo. “Came out of Dunkin’ Donuts and found this under my windshield wiper. There are no words to describe how I'm feeling right now. Tears in my eyes. I just wish I could thank whoever did this! God bless our troops and all of those who stand behind them.”
By Tuesday morning, the post had a million and a half “likes,” had inspired more than 43,000 comments, and had been shared nearly 200,000 times.
“It was crazy!!” Ford said in an email to TODAY.com, adding that she’d spoken to her boyfriend Sunday night and told him about the gesture. “He was so touched, and he said it’s people like this that make him proud to be an American Soldier. We are forever grateful and we will DEFINITELY be paying it forward! God bless our troops!”
According to TODAY.com, her deployed boyfriend, Albert DeSimone, is assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division based in Fort Stewart, Georgia.
Ford also said she hopes the photo will inspire others to appreciate the country’s military.
“They are all heroes,” she said. “I just happen to be in love with one.”
Statement walls are in. But they're no longer limited to just painting one wall a bold color: Statement walls are now going bigger and bolder with texture, patterned wallpaper or collections of art.
While statement walls have been around for quite a while, said designer Kerrie Kelly of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab in Northern California, “we have found more elements to support it and have gotten more creative in how to achieve it.”
Make the Statement
You can create a statement wall around anything. Kelly advises finding a focal point beyond your TV -- maybe the wall behind your bed in the master bedroom, as shown above in a room designed by Eric Ross Interiors, or the wall that the stove sits against in the kitchen.
A statement wall, whether it’s painted or wallpapered, is a great way to draw attention to something in your home, architecturally or otherwise.
“We have also painted the interiors of bookcases for a bit more of an unexpected statement look. Graphic bold wallpapers can be used in the same way, too,” Kelly said.
If you do end up painting a statement wall, the paint may not be enough. Try using the painted wall as a backdrop for a piece of art, framed fabric or sculpture, as designer Ross did in the photo above.
Wallpaper Is In
Wallpaper is back in a big way, especially in bold colors and patterns. If you’re nervous about wallpapering an entire room, try it in a smaller section.
“To get full impact, use a large format or graphic print on a wall, inside bookcases, or on a large piece of furniture,” said Kelly.
Think Outside the Box
Seagrass wallpaper, a wall of stacked stone, antique mirrors, rough-hewn brick, reclaimed wood and leather-faced tiles are just a few of the different ways to achieve a statement wall, says Kelly.
You can also create a statement wall with art, whether it’s a one large piece, or a cohesive collection of framed art.
A statement wall in this home is created with mirrors with the same color frame.
Want to try out a statement wall in your home? Start with paint or wallpaper or piece of art. It’s affordable, and installing it in your home can be achieved just over a weekend.
Specialty wall coverings can be a bit pricier. Product and labor all together can range from the low hundreds to thousands.
Atlanta may not be New York, Boston, or Chicago when it comes to restaurants that date back to the 1800s, but the city contains a handful of gems that trace their roots back to the 1920s. Good old Southern cooking never goes out of style, and these Atlanta-area eateries prove that day in and day out. From burgers to veggies and even some out-of-this-world desserts, Atlanta has a history of great restaurants. And with new chefs moving into the area each year, there is always a new dish to try, even if the restaurant is almost 100 years old.
1879 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta
This Atlanta institution has a history that dates all the way back to 1927. It's been at this location on Cheshire Bridge Road since 1962. Nothing has changed in the food department since the opening in 1927.
"It's fantastic," said longtime Atlantan and real estate investor Greg Boris, who knew the original owner. "It's the best fried chicken, and every day, it's fresh veggies."
As you might have guessed, Colonnade is best known for its Southern dishes. That means fried chicken, beef ribs, and chicken-fried steak. Then we hit the sides, and there are about 30 of them each day. From apple sauce to mac and cheese, and it wouldn't be a Southern favorite if it didn't have that staple, fried okra.
As is tradition in the South, a basket of yeast rolls and cornbread muffins comes with your meal. Also a tradition, the servers are well-trained and attentive, and the atmosphere is relaxing and positive.
And the Atlanta Journal Constitution just voted the Colonnade as having the best sweet tea in Atlanta.
Taking the best of Atlanta's past and incorporating it into the future is what the Colonnade does, and they do it well.
61 North Ave., Atlanta
You haven't been to Atlanta unless you've made a stop at the original Varsity located on North Avenue. For almost 90 years, The Varsity has been the one constant in Atlanta. It's a restaurant, and it's a drive-in (there aren't many of those left) that can handle up to 600 cars. It's huge, and the crowds can be huge on any given day.
It's nothing fancy, and part of the building standing today is the original structure. The food is addicting in a good sort of way. Naked dogs, burgers, onion rings, and frosted oranges -- the menu is pretty simple, but nerve-racking when it comes time to make that decision.
"We are what we are," said Gordon Muir, whose grandfather, Frank Gordy, opened the restaurant after going to school at nearby Georgia Tech. "The food hasn't changed."
"What'll ya have?" is the famous catch-phrase that you will hear all over the restaurant. You also have your order in mind when you get to the front of the line, because the Varsity kitchen is a fast-moving machine.
"In 1974, [my] dad took my brother and I to The Varsity; he had been, we hadn't, so he knew about the fast pace," explained longtime Atlanta resident Courtney Capps. "He told us to study the menu so we'd know exactly what we wanted, because we had to be ready, and he put us in line with the original 'what'll ya have, what'll ya have, what'll ya have' guy with that big growling voice."
Capps said that both he and his brother choked trying to get their orders out. In the days to come, they would practice their order so they wouldn't make that mistake again.
The Varsity is Atlanta, so show some respect, and have your order ready the next time you're asked "What'll ya have?"
Mary Mac's Tea Room
224 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta
Mary Mac's Tea Room represents the "old guard" of Atlanta's restaurants, and they do it well. Serving some of the best Southern food you'll find anywhere since 1945, Mary Mac's reputation brings in CEOs, celebrities, presidents, and visitors from all over the world each and every week.
Like The Varsity, Mary Mac's is one of those "must eat" places when in Atlanta. Unlike The Varsity, Mary Mac's offers comfort food with fresh cooked vegetables, and that includes the likes of picked beets and something called pot liquor, which apparently is the droppings from all the cooking going on in the kitchen. The servers will bring you some so you can dip your cornbread or muffin in for a special treat.
At Mary Mac's, there is a pencil on every table, and you fill out your own order. Is that tradition in the South?
"Not really," said Mary Mac's goodwill ambassador Jo Carter. "It's so if the order is incorrect, it's not the server's fault."
Mary Mac's is a landmark in Atlanta, and they do embrace the best of Southern traditions. You will be welcomed like part of the family with Southern hospitality.
1087 Green St., Roswell
Talk to the good folks of Roswell, Georgia, and they will tell you everything you need to know about Greenwood's.
"Come hungry," said one patron waiting outside the front door to Greenwood's on a recent weeknight.
"Save room for pie," offered up another.
Greenwood's sits in a building in Historic Roswell that may well date back to the time when Roswell was best known as a mill town. Its food is also a throwback to a simpler time.
"Greenwood's was doing farm-to-table before farm-to-table was cool," stated Melissa Libby of the popular Atlanta blog Atlanta Dish.
All of Greenwood's veggies are meat- and dairy-free, and they also like to support local farms and growers. Home-cooked meals like meatloaf, pork chops, and shrimp and grits are staples on the menu. Veggies like sweet potatoes, collard greens, and steamed cabbage are other can't-miss items.
Greenwood's knows they are something unique, and they appreciate all the love the city of Roswell has shown them over the years. It's really a two-way street.
"The Roswell community and the surrounding areas have been a vital part of our success," said Allison Wooten of Greenwood's. "We are humbled by the loyalty of three and four generations of families that have graciously supported us over the last three decades."
Greenwood's may not have been around as long as Colonnade or Mary Mac's, but I expect it to be, and it has the feel of 100-year-old dining establishment.
Well that didn't take long.
It's been less than a month since Chevrolet revealed the 2014 Corvette Stingray, and already one has turned up wrecked. Since the new Corvette isn't on sale yet, chances are someone at General Motors will have a sizable expense report to fill out.
Caught by a poster at Digital Corvettes, the photo was supposedly snapped recently in Arizona, with the original shooter's commentary: "Cop had just arrived. Car is in worse shape than looks. Hit guardrail on left and bounced back to rocks." Automakers often run hot-weather and handling tests in Arizona, and this copy wears the Michigan manufacturer license plates that a GM-owned prototype would carry on public roads.
While at first glance the Vette looks OK, a closer look reveals serious damage; the front wheel looks too far askew, and there's long scrapes on the side of the body and the wheels. There may have been a side air bag deployed as well, but it's hard to tell under the tinted rear glass.
It's rare but not unheard of for a factory pre-production test drive to end in a crash; at this stage of Corvette development, the engineers would be tweaking software settings or chasing down some final production issues before the launch later this year. We asked Chevy for comment, and until we hear back we're struck by what GM always warns media test drivers: "Keep it shiny side up."
UPDATE: According to Chevy spokesman Monte Doran, this was a GM test drive gone wrong: "During evaluation, the driver caught the inside tire caught the edge of the pavement during a tight corner, leading to the accident. Thankfully, no one was hurt, the car received only minor damage, and no citations were issued."
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A Pennsylvania boy is currently in a medically induced coma after a schoolyard fight with classmates who he and his family claims were bullying him.
Sixth-grader Baily O'Neil, an honors student, of Darby Township, Pa., was involved in a fight four weeks ago at the Darby Township School. He was struck several times in the face by another student; the blow fractured his nose and he fell to the ground.
His parents brought their son, who had a concussion, to the A.I. DuPont hospital in Wilmington, Del., where he was treated and released. But his father saw that something wasn't quite right with their son when they returned home.
"He was sleeping. He was moody. He wasn't himself. He was angry a little bit. He wasn't really eating," Bailey's father Rob told ABC Affiliate WPVI-TV.
Just a few days later, Bailey started having violent seizures and needed to be hospitalized again. The seizures were so bad that doctors at A.I. DuPont were forced to put Bailey in a medically induced coma nearly two weeks ago.
When contacted, A.I. DuPont Hospital was unable to provide an update to ABC News on Bailey's current condition because of privacy laws. His father is trying his best to cope.
"Every day I'm trying to stay strong for him," he told WPVI-TV. "When you get into that hospital room and you're looking at him, I would trade places in a heartbeat. It's my buddy, you know."
Southeast Delco School District Superintendent Stephen Butz told ABCNews.com the school has turned the investigation over to local police and is cooperating fully with their efforts.
"We take bullying seriously," he said. "We are very concerned about the medical condition of the student and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and students."
According to Bailey's father, the boy who struck his son was suspended for two days following the incident, but police have not filed any criminal charges in the case.