- 1. Ranger reflects on 150 years of Yellowstone: Life at the park is 'never dull'
- 2. Haunted Mansion designer stops by family's Halloween display inspired by the ride
- 3. Arizona mom opens nightclub for people with disabilities
- 4. 'Bike buses' make getting to school a lot more fun
- 5. 100-year-old vet surprised with VIP trip to see his favorite football team
1. Ranger reflects on 150 years of Yellowstone: Life at the park is 'never dull'
Yellowstone National Park turned 150 this year, and rangers like Rich Jehle are stewards of the land, preserving it for today — and tomorrow. "I don't own Yellowstone," Jehle told The Christian Science Monitor. "I'm lucky, because I've been able to work here and make a career out of someplace so spectacular, and hopefully do more good than harm in the long run. But ultimately, this place doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the future, to my kids, and their kids, and the rest of the American public, and the rest of the world." Yellowstone covers 2.2 million acres across three states, and was the country's first national park. Millions of people visit every year, and Jehle — a ranger for more than three decades — said it's important to "keep a smile on your face, and treat everyone with respect and like you've never heard the question before that you got asked." He likes that his job is "never dull," and that he's part of a team that provides "the best visitor service we can so people learn to love their national parks — and hopefully get inspired to preserve them and pass them on to the next generation."
2. Haunted Mansion designer stops by family's Halloween display inspired by the ride
Hitchhiking ghosts, Madame Leota, the singing busts — one California family has brought the occupants of the Haunted Mansion to their front yard for Halloween. Mike and Dawn Stanley and their son Wyatt have spent the last 10 years putting up jaw-dropping Halloween displays at their home in Aliso Viejo, and this year, they wanted an homage to the Haunted Mansion, their favorite ride at Disneyland. "We'e always wanted to give it the respect it deserves and really go big," Mike told ABC 7 Los Angeles. Their neighbors joined in on the fun and made their own front yard displays based on the Haunted Mansion, which first opened in 1969. The street has become its own attraction, with people walking by each house to take in all the spookiness. One very special guest has also visited: Bob Gurr, one of the original designers of the Haunted Mansion. He received a special tour, plus a cake to celebrate his recent 91st birthday. "Bob Gurr gave his stamp of approval ... so if we can get his stamp of approval for how good it is, it's good," Dawn said.
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3. Arizona mom opens nightclub for people with disabilities
At Club Zeus, it's all about having fun and letting loose, no explanation necessary. This once-a-month dance party held in Tucson, Arizona, was created by Crisann Black and named after her 4-year-old son, who has autism. Black told Good Morning America that oftentimes, parents of children who have developmental delays have to explain their child's behavior, and while many people are understanding, others aren't, and that can be hard to deal with. The goal of Club Zeus — which is open to people 18 and older who have disabilities or special needs, plus their families and friends — is to have everyone feel included and welcomed. "They come in full glam and they look gorgeous and it's just incredible to see them and their confidence, and it just all shines," Black said. Being her son's advocate is "one of the greatest things," she told GMA. "Being his mom is amazing, but being there to really defend and support him is probably the best thing."
4. 'Bike buses' make getting to school a lot more fun
More and more kids are getting to school via "bike buses," relying on two wheels instead of four to get to class. A bike bus is when a group of people cycle together on a specific route, and when kids are involved, these are led by adult volunteers. Riding bikes instead of driving to school is better for the environment, gets kids moving, and clears up congestion at campuses. Devin Olson organized a bike bus in his Minneapolis neighborhood, and in the last six years, has led 11 semi-annual events. Cycling "creates connectivity between all walks of life," Olson told Today, with parents and kids getting to meet peers they ordinarily would never interact with. His first bike bus had 60 participants, and each one since has had more people. They begin at 8 a.m., and after going over safety instructions, the riders get started on a 2-mile ride. "It's nothing but laughing, yelling, and pure joy," Olson said.
5. 100-year-old vet surprised with VIP trip to see his favorite football team
After surprising his new friend, 100-year-old William Goode, with a trip to Disneyland, Isaiah Garza had another trick up his sleeve. Garza recently went viral on social media when he shared how he worked with Goode's caretaker to get the World War II veteran to Disneyland. They had never met before that, but bonded during their visit, and once Garza saw how much Goode enjoyed their day together, he wanted to give him another unforgettable experience. Garza decided to take Goode to see his favorite football team, the Los Angeles Rams, and got him onto the field where he was soon approached by a familiar face: wide receiver Cooper Kupp, Goode's favorite player. "You're really good," Goode told him. "Thank you," Kupp replied. "I hope we can put on a good show for you today." Kupp signed a custom jersey that had been made for Goode, and the centenarian was also able to try on one of the Rams' Super Bowl championship rings. At the end of the game, Goode declared, "It's one of the happiest days of my life."
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