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December 13, 2020 3:12 pm

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CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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December 13, 2020 3:12 pm

Jim Axelrod talks with "Humans of New York" photographer Brandon Stanton about his book of international portraits. Erin Moriarty reports on an Indiana town where dozens of children have fallen ill with cancer. Mark Phillips looks at the controversy over the hit Netflix series "The Crown." Tracy Smith goes behind the scenes of Chadwick Boseman's last film, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." Faith Salie investigates the decades-long appeal of teenage sleuth Nancy Drew. Techno Claus (a.k.a. David Pogue) offers recommendations for tech gifts for the holidays; and we look at the history of Hanukkah, the "Festival of Lights." Lee Cowan guest hosts this week's "CBS Sunday Morning."

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Jane Pauley is off today. I'm Lee Cowan, and this is Sunday Morning. We're in uncharted waters this holiday season.

Our gatherings are a mix of celebration and social distancing. So we thought we'd offer you a portrait of us, the photo album of humans of the world, taken by a photographer driven by one very powerful idea. Then, for the record, we're going to visit with Jose Feliciano, the singer-songwriter behind what's become a classic Christmas song.

He'll be talking with Kellefisane. The Christmas classic Feliz Navidad is turning 50 and turning up everywhere. What does the song mean now? That there is a part of being Latin that we all can share. It's a song that everybody can enjoy. Later on Sunday Morning, singer-songwriter Jose Feliciano. We're taking some time out this morning with Denzel Washington, the Oscar-winning actor behind a star-studded new movie about a pioneering figure in American music.

He's in conversation with Tracey Smith. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is a play that became a movie with lots of Oscar buzz, and the film's producer says the world could use both. Was there something in you that said this shouldn't just be for people who can pay to go see it on Broadway? I'd like to say that. Can I, can I steal that? Yeah, sure. Denzel and Ma Rainey coming up this Sunday Morning.

Erin Moriarty reports from an Indiana town plagued by childhood cancers. Mark Phillips wonders how TV's The Crown is playing with the real British royals. Steve Hartman catches up with his favorite secret Santa. Plus we light the fourth candle on the menorah and more on this Sunday Morning, the 13th of December, 2020.

We'll be back in a moment. A man who started out as a New York City street photographer and later traveled the world has now created a portrait of us. Photos helping to make our globe feel just a little bit smaller. Jim Axelrod shows us a gallery of his work.

Far more unites us than separates us, I will say that. What a decade it's been for Brandon Stanton. You started this what about 10 years ago? Almost exactly November 4th, 2010 was when I moved to New York.

Is there any way I can take your photograph? Just fired from his finance job in Chicago, Brandon had an idea. And I just wanted to try to make a living being an artist.

That's all I wanted to do was pay my rent and create all day long. Timed perfectly with the rise of social media, his blog, Humans of New York, shared his experiences with New Yorkers he'd approach on the street. How are you guys? And asked to take their picture. I might photograph you while you're thinking too. Pairing the snapshot with the subject's own words, often describing a struggle, he elevated random encounters into something of an art form.

What would you say your greatest struggle is right now? What surprised you about Molly as you've gotten to know her better? It wasn't necessarily the photography itself that was interesting people, it was meeting a stranger. His fearlessness let us get to know the widow mourning her husband, a blue-collar worker wishing he'd gone to college, a young woman reeling from a breakup with her fiance. When you sit down there with somebody on the street even if you're a stranger and they don't know who you are and you go to that place you've seen a part of them that nobody else has seen before and it's extremely powerful.

God you guys look great. As the Facebook world of carefully curated images was taking hold, here was a hunt for the honest and unscripted. Everyone's worried about their brand and we're obsessed with the glossy and the celebrity and here is a chronicle of real and normal.

Weakness, doubt, struggle, the opposite of everything that we broadcast every single day which is accomplishment, pride, ego. As the blog's popularity exploded, leading to a best-selling book and turning them into one of Time magazine's 30 under 30 changing the world. Brandon wanted to know if what worked in New York traveled. And now I'm looking at the cover of a book Humans of Paris, Saint Petersburg, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Santiago, Karachi, Buenos Aires and it goes on and on.

Was the idea always in there? No, well I mean is a foreigner with a camera not only going to be able to stop people randomly but have any sort of meaningful and substance conversation with these people that would somehow provide the same sort of depth and nuance that my work in New York provided. His new book, Humans, documents eight years of trips to more than 40 countries to answer that question. I would give my soul if I could fix her brain, said this father in Iraq about his disabled daughter. The longer I do it the more pain that's waiting if I stop, the addict with a needle in his arm told him in Pakistan. On the day I watched my father die, this is the skirt I was wearing, said the survivor of genocide in Rwanda.

One thing that's indivisible and that everybody feels the same way is pain and what causes pain in people's lives is different in every single aspect but if you're looking across the world at somebody in a village in Africa who just lost their mother and they are expressing that in a very real and authentic way I don't care how different the details are the pain is the same and you can feel it and you connect with that person. Wherever he is Brandon Stanton's work rests on a foundation of connection. He looked at my outfit he said I like it and then he goes can I interview you?

Just ask Stephanie Johnson, a 76-year-old New Yorker whose life as an adult dancer known as Tanqueray, Stanton detailed in a 32-part Instagram post, a story she'd never fully told anyone before. I mean I was telling him everything you know that happened to me uh you know my mother put me in prison oh nobody knows that I just talked that I kept talking and talking and talking. Do you think it was because he was just listening and listening and listening?

Maybe probably yeah probably and he's good looking why wouldn't you talk to him? From the criminal in Madrid bemoaning I should have invested the money I stole to the construction workers celebrating a park he built in Sao Paulo when they opened the gates and the children came running in I started to cry is the indisputable gorgeously photographed proof that Brandon Stanton figured out how to cross borders. You shrink the world? Hopefully a little. Even in a COVID world where his patented approach of walking up to random people and unmasked faces is on hold. I haven't taken a photo in months and the blog's more popular than it's ever been before.

Stanton is thriving. I've got an inbox with 20,000 stories submitted from around the world and I'm interviewing these people you know over video conference and it's it's all about constructing the story now. Which is a good lesson for all of us the power found in sharing our struggles is sustaining if we'll just give it a try. I think what's happened in the past six months has kind of been a double-edged sword and that it's it's made my work more difficult to do but it's also created more of a demand for it. You know this is a book of me traveling the world talking to random strangers it's two things that you can't do anymore you can't travel. We need connection more than ever.

Yeah and you know it's doing better than it ever has and I think the reason being is because people need it more than they ever have. The Crown is one of Netflix's most popular shows but does anyone in Britain who actually wears a crown watch and if so what does the queen think? Our reality check comes from Mark Phillips. And which part of the palace are we supposed to be in here? This is so this is the corridor with the royal bedrooms.

You can get a pretty good sense of what the inside of Buckingham Palace might look like when you cruise around the set of The Crown with its creator Peter Morgan. There's another dressing room there is the queen. Ah the queen's bath. The queen's bath.

Good goodness me. It's not the real bathroom of course it may not even be an accurate copy as the private apartments of the royal residences are private. It's an imagined bathroom and that is the point of the controversy now swirling around this hugely popular show which is now pulling back the curtain on the period of modern British royal history the family may most want to forget. This is the imagined story of the doomed marriage of Charles and Diana and some important people are very unhappy with the way it's being told. I'm sorry we haven't missed.

We have. It tells how Charles runs into the teenage Diana just when he's being pressured to find a suitably aristocratic young and innocent bride. Yes yes. And a wife. It shows how Camilla Parker Bowles, Charles already married and long time love interest encouraged his search for a convenient mate. Like this new one. I'm Diana Spencer.

My chief at the bill. Don't say that. And it revels in how Diana nailed her audition with the royals during a weekend at Balmoral their Scottish estate. She's a triumph. In the history of Balmoral, no one has ever passed a test with such flying colors. Oh wow.

Rave reviews from the whole ghastly poly bureau. It's very seductive. You believe that what you're seeing is the real thing. Except says Penny Junor, author of the book of well-sourced books on the royals. The crown isn't the real thing at all. That is what is so deceptive about it because we recognize those people and we know the events happened. He's filling in the dots for us. It's as though, you know, we're looking behind the palace doors and seeing what the conversations that took place.

And of course those conversations didn't take place. And the characters are not those horrible people that we have, you know, that we see. I'm so sorry, my cat. That's all right.

Let the cat watch the frame. It's a time for being catty, Penny Junor says, because she doesn't buy the producer's line that the audience knows it's not watching a history show. You know, they are the counter arguments that this is drama, that it's build the story, that it's not a drama, that it's drama, that it's build as drama, that everybody knows it's drama and it's not trying to be history. But I think that people will, you know, people abroad, people in America, young people in Britain who don't know the history will very probably regard this as the truth, as a historical record.

And the truth is more complicated. Some of the show is history, like Charles's fateful aside at his and Diana's engagement interview. Diana is painted as a victim and Charles and Camilla are painted as villains. They were all victims. Diana, yes, was a victim, but not of the marriage. She was a victim of her terribly unhappy childhood. Charles was a victim of his childhood and his situation, unable to marry a woman he loved. And Camilla was a victim.

She was locked in a marriage with a man who was serially unfaithful to her. It so happens our visit to the crown set with Peter Morgan took place while this series was being filmed and when questions about royal sensitivities were already being asked. Do they react to what is it? Do you hear from them? Oh, that's not the way it happened or that or whatever. Look, anecdotally, you hear things and I make, I've made a habit of not believing a word I'm told. I've never had a conversation. The only conversation I would trust would be one like this in a private audience with the queen. And since that's never going to happen, I don't, I really don't worry about it.

715 take two. The producers have had cause to worry since, not just royal authors, but the royal friendly press and the government cabinet minister have demanded that the show run a warning saying it shouldn't be taken as historic fact. Even one of the actors, Helena Bonham Carter, who plays the queen's wayward sister, Princess Margaret, has gone public saying a disclaimer might be a good idea no matter what the show's declared intention. It's not a straight, it's a drama, it's not a documentary, it's not like, oh, they're, um, you know, um, just regurgitating exactly what happened to them. There's a lot of license to make a good drama. Each year, each episode is a drama into itself.

Her Majesty is unavailable at the moment. Except that now the whole series has become a drama, not just about the royals, but about itself. How did a picture-perfect American town become the setting for a rash of unsettling childhood cancers? That's the question Aaron Moriarty set out to answer. It's been hard on all of us.

It's changed us for a lot of ways. I don't even know how to describe them. It's just one thing after another. Every year or month, there's another kid.

Something very strange seems to be happening in Johnson County, Indiana. I was 10 when I was diagnosed and I have thyroid cancer, leukemia, and I was 11. Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma when I was eight. Acute lymphastic leukemia, and I was 10 at the time. A lot of children are getting sick and it started long before the pandemic. It's scary. You don't know what the future holds for your child.

You don't know if you will outlive your child. Any of you been to funerals? Oh yes, we went to three. An 18-month-old, an eight-year-old, and Caleb, he had just turned 18. This is where we had three brain tumors and one leukemia. Carrie Reinhart and Stacy Davidson started tracking the cases in 2015.

So far, they have found over 70 cases in Johnson County alone, which is above the national average. More striking, many of the children with cancer seem to live in or near the county seat in the town of Franklin, which looks much as it did in 1940 when Life magazine put it on the map with this pictorial ode to small town life. This charming queue of people, turn-of-the-century town, and it's very cozy and feels homey right off the bat. Reinhart came here in 1995 for college and never left. It was the perfect place to raise her three children, Emma, Sophie, and Sam.

Do it again. Emma was an eighth grader at Franklin Middle School. She was a swimmer.

She was an avid movie fan, a reader. But in late 2014, Emma began having headaches and nausea. An eye exam revealed swelling in an optic nerve. Emma had a brain tumor. Unusual in children, isn't it? Less than three percent of pediatric brain tumors are glioblastomas.

It's incredibly rare. Stacey Davidson didn't live in Franklin, but her 10-year-old stepson Zane did. The same year Emma got sick, Zane complained of leg pain and went in for blood tests. Zane was diagnosed with leukemia. When the doctor came in, Zane's question was, why did I get this?

Why me? And the doctor said, just bad luck. But Davidson and Reinhart began to wonder, what are the odds of so much bad luck? When parents went in search for a cause, this 15-acre commercial site on the north side of town became an obvious suspect. More than 30 years ago, after chemicals were dumped and leaked here, the EPA did order a cleanup.

But something along the way went wrong, terribly wrong. The EPA dropped the ball. Their job is to protect the common good, the environmental health of the common people. More than 35 years ago, environmental engineer John Mundell was part of an independent team that discovered contemporary chemicals. The site had a long history of manufacturing, first by Bendix, then by Amphenol. Most alarming, the presence of two chemicals, trichloroethylene, or TCE, and tetrachloroethylene, PCE, both used as degreasers in electronics manufacturing and by dry cleaners, and both known as carcinogens. How bad was the contamination back in 1984? Very significant levels in the groundwater, enough that we knew from there that some kind of active remediation would be necessary to bring the site back to usable condition. Even after the EPA required a cleanup, it took more than 10 years for a system called a pump and treat to be used. The EPA required a cleanup. It took more than 10 years for a system called a pump and treat, which cleans contaminated groundwater of toxins to be installed. The EPA declined an on-camera interview, but in an email stated it took no further action because based on agency standards at the time, contamination levels in groundwater did not present an unacceptable risk. The groundwater makes a plume and it migrates. But that decision, says John Mundell, allowed dangerous volatile chemicals to move off-site, along the sewer lines, and into the neighborhood. What makes this all so insidious is the fact that when this water contained the chemicals comes down here, how it gets into the home is through vapor. It's not really the water, it's the vapor comes up. That's correct. It goes unnoticed.

And so, and that can happen and it has happened over decades. This is where the pump and treat is. This is where I lived. Many of the sick children, says Carrie Reinhart, live within a half mile of the former Amphenol site. I drove by that pump and treat probably a million times in the 20 years I lived in Franklin.

No clue what it was. Looks like a little shed. I mean, there's nothing that makes you think, oh, this is a contaminated site. Be careful. With the numbers of sick children seemingly on the rise, Reinhart and Davidson became alarmed by a paper trail of documents showing ongoing problems with the cleanup. I am doing everything in my power to support these agencies.

Early on, they asked for help from Franklin's mayor, the state's environmental agency, and the federal EPA. We were hopeful that the agencies would take heat and take notice and say, okay, we'll take it from here. Okay, we got this. We're going to move fast.

We're going to figure it out. And that definitely wasn't the case. The data that we've collected in all of these different situations demonstrates no specific environmental concern that is widespread over the city of Franklin. And health officials told the mothers that with so many different types of cancer and no direct link between the contamination and the children's illnesses, Franklin didn't qualify under federal guidelines as an official cancer cluster. That meant no investigation into what was making the kids sick. No one told me that my kids were being exposed. No one told my neighbors we were being exposed. So the mothers founded a non-profit advocacy group, If It Was Your Child, and kept pushing for action. Collect over here where the signs are waving.

We love Franklin! But the town was divided. Some privately feared that talk of contamination might damage the city's image and its property values. My own children were told this is something your mom does to get attention. My husband received a phone call early on. They said, do you know what your wife is doing? There was a local health official who looked straight in the eye in an official meeting as we sat there with a hydrogeologist and two cancer cluster specialists and said, did you girls go all Erin Brockovich out there?

Okay, it's a mess. But their efforts did get the attention of environmental activists. And in 2018, the New Jersey non-profit Edison Wetlands Association hired John Mundell to return to Franklin to test homes adjacent to the former Amphenol site, the very site he thought had been cleaned up some 30 years ago. So we tested 30 homes. The results of the tests Mundell conducted in the summer of 2018 and again in February of 2019 are worrisome. About one-third of the 30 homes had detections of TCE and PCE. Do you think there's reason to be concerned even if there's no direct scientific link? Absolutely, because the levels that we are looking at are compared to a level that the EPA says can cause a concern. You would not want people to be exposed for long periods of time to the things that we found. The EPA has finally orchestrated a new cleanup in Franklin, starting with the sewer system leading away from the contaminated site. In the email to CBS News, officials admit that the off-site levels exceed the current vapor intrusion protective standards.

Amphenol has agreed to investigate and pay for any further cleanup. But as for Kerry Reinhardt's daughter, Emma, the tumor in her brain couldn't be treated. What was the prognosis? What did they tell you? I never asked. I didn't have to.

Glios are relentless. Hi. In December 2014, Indiana's Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Emma's lifelong wish to visit Paris. There's a great picture. There's this great picture of Emma sitting there eating these crepes high as a kite on her painkillers probably and just so happy, just so happy. It was by far the most spectacular way you could, like you couldn't dream up a better way to spend the last few days of your kid's life because it was everything she wanted and more.

Three days after they got home, Emma died. Other Franklin kids were more fortunate. We have talked about it before and like we just understand like what each other's went through.

Stacey Davidson's stepson, Zane, has been cancer-free since 2017. And you feel great? I feel great for now. When you say that, so do you always feel like it's hanging over your head?

I don't feel it is so much, but it's always a thought in my mind. Athena for two and a half years and Carly for almost nine years. Lena is working towards remission. My mom and dad, they're always nervous about my sisters and I'm always nervous for them because if it happened to me, it could happen to anybody. Carrie Reinhardt and other mothers are now suing Amphenol for dumping dangerous chemicals and failing to warn residents of the danger.

The company denies responsibility for causing the children's illnesses. They are a small band of determined parents, says Stacey Davidson, who may be changing the lives of children beyond the borders of Franklin, Indiana. You have all these small pockets of cities and counties that are starting to have increase in cancers and increase in other things and pediatric cancer. That's what's so frustrating is that Franklin's not rare.

This is the Takeout with Major Garrett. This week, Stephen Law, ally of Mitch McConnell and one of Washington's biggest midterm money men. List for me the two Senate races where you think Republicans have the best chance of taking a Democratic seat away. Nevada, New Hampshire. Not Georgia. Well, Georgia's right up there, but New Hampshire is a surprise.

In New Hampshire, people really just kind of don't like Maggie Hassan. For more from this week's conversation, follow the Takeout with Major Garrett on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. After a year that's seen more than its fair share of darkness, time to celebrate light. With each passing night, with each new Hanukkah flame, the more the darkness begins to fade. That light symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and righteousness over the wicked.

Comforts we could all use during this especially bleak winter. Every one of the people who we loved and who has perished, it was a light to this world. They are living through each and every single one of us. Hanukkah is not the oldest Jewish holiday, but it's been around for over 2,000 years, ever since the Jews rebelled against the Syrian Greek empire and took back their temple in Jerusalem.

It's an epic tale of resilience and rededication, says Susan Bronstein, senior curator emeritus at the Jewish Museum in New York. When they went to sanctify the temple and they made a new menorah, they only found enough sanctified oil to burn for one day. But it miraculously burned for eight. Today that miracle is celebrated with traditional potato pancakes called latkes, fried in oil, as well as impossibly delicious round jelly donuts. All while playing with the whirling dervish that is the dreidel. I like to watch how the dreidel spins.

I like getting chocolate when I win. For Rabbi Eliyahu Safran, who, by the way, has an impressive dreidel collection he showed us a few years back, Hanukkah's eight nights are a reminder of the power of hope. Every single moment, every single breath of air that we can breathe during a lifetime, there are miracles happening around us.

Little ones, medium-sized ones, and real big ones. This year, the celebrations are smaller, pretty much a family affair now, mostly at home, where the light is perhaps the warmest. In the midst of such a chaotic and uncertain time, the simple act of lighting a candle shows us how a good deed or an act of kindness, however small, can shine a beam of light in all directions.

This season, no matter our faith, it falls on all of us to help clear away the darkness, making room for the light we all desperately need. Denzel Washington recently took time out from starring in movies to produce a few, based on a series of plays. His latest offering, the story of an early giant of the blues.

He's in conversation this morning with Tracy Smith. My bell rang this morning, didn't know which way to go. Before Billy, before Ella, there was Ma.

My bell rang this morning, didn't know which way to go. This is Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, a new Netflix film inspired by the true life story of the blues legend. And like Ma herself, the movie is big, bawdy, and, spoiler alert, the music alone is worth the price of admission.

The story is one of talent marred by tragedy, but it's also one of those rare times when the story behind the scenes is just as compelling and every bit as tragic. You know, you're always messing with somebody. You stay out of my way about what I do and say.

I'm my own person, just let me alone. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is the film adaptation of an August Wilson play, one of 10 plays in his American century cycle. Wilson wrote a play for each decade of the 20th century, each one a mirror of the black experience at the time, like Ma Rainey set in the 20s, The Piano Lesson in the 30s, and his Pulitzer Prize-winning Fences in the 1950s. You ain't been around here all day on a Saturday. Ain't none of your chores done. Now you come telling me you done quit your job?

Now, Oscar winner Denzel Washington, who directed and starred in the movie version of Fences, is bringing all 10 of Wilson's century cycle plays to the big screen as a producer. Was there something in you that said people need to see this, this shouldn't just be for people who can pay to go see it on Broadway? I'd like to say that. Can I, can I steal it?

Yeah, sure. You know, it's not just for people. I was saying to myself, this is the other day, it's funny you say that. I was sitting there with my wife and getting, you know, this is not just. No, I'm glad to be able to do that. I would think that this might seem a little overwhelming. I mean, this is, this could take your entire life to do this.

What's left for me to do professionally? This is perfect. It's not hard. It's a joy. It's an opportunity. It's a privilege to shepherd this material. You know, pressure not on me, pressures on the filmmakers. You know, I can blame them. I know you're right. I knew it.

At first Viola Davis, who won a Tony and an Oscar for her work in Fences, didn't think she could sing well enough to play Ma Rainey. But as with any August Wilson play, They don't care nothing about me. The true power is in the spoken word. All they want is my voice. I think that he captures our humor as black people. He captures our humor, our vulnerability, our tragedies, our trauma, and he humanizes us and he allows us to talk. White folk don't understand about the blues. Their head come out, but they don't know how it got there. They don't understand that that's life's way of talking. August Wilson, who died of cancer 15 years ago at age 60, was a master of language, who could capture the soul of human emotion in just a sentence or two.

I'm doing something urban, and you can go up there and you can tell a sturd event too. What you all say don't count with me, you understand? Ma listen to her heart. Ma listen to the voice inside her.

That's what count with Ma. How would you describe August Wilson? Oh my gosh. Power. Courage.

Magnificence. Wilson's widow, Constanza Romero, remembers him as a genius who could, at times, be a handful to live with. What was it like being married to essentially a Shakespeare? Well, it wasn't always easy.

You know, I think that Mrs. Shakespeare, probably didn't have the best time. You know, it's living with somebody who is always working, always had ideas. He always wanted to talk about them. He would drink tons of coffee and his brain was just, you know, ticking and going at 100 miles an hour. Everything about you has blessed this experience.

So thank you so much. Tony winning director George C. Wolfe says interpreting Wilson's life is a bit intimidating. What was the biggest risk taking this on for you? It's a brilliant piece and a celebrated work. If I did it badly or we did it badly, everybody would go, you did it badly. He also says one of the high points was working with Chadwick Boseman, who came to fame in the title role of 2018's Marvel Comics blockbuster Black Panther. You helped pay for his schooling part of it. And he said that there wouldn't have been a Black Panther if it wasn't for Denzel Washington. There are always those that came before.

There wouldn't be a Denzel without a Sidney or a Sidney without a James Edwards or James Edwards without whoever the guy was back then. It's our job to pass the baton and share what we know. And it's my job. That's the way I look at it. Can't take it with you.

So all you can do is leave it here. If my daddy had a note, I was going to turn out like this. He would have named me Gabriel. In Ma Rainey, Boseman plays a very different role as a talented and tormented musician. But on this set, he was kind of a superhero, too. At the same time he was shooting the movie, he was also battling colon cancer. I feel deeply, deeply blessed that I was a part of his journey in working on this film.

I truly feel that way. And it sounds just from the way you talk about it, like he really gave until he could not give any more. And then he gave some more. And then he gave some more.

Y'all back up and leave, let me alone. It's fascinating that nobody knew that. Well, credit to him, you know, he kept it to himself. It was nobody's business. He was there to deliver and he delivered.

You don't need nobody messing with him about the way. Certain members of his team knew his wife was there or they weren't even married yet. I used to watch how she took care of him. And I actually said to him, I said, man, you need to put a ring on that finger because she kept her eye on him and she watched him.

I'm like, man, she loves that guy. You know, but I didn't know what we know now. We now know it would be his final film. Chadwick Boseman passed away August 28th at the age of 43. I mean, he's so young, so talented.

How do you wrap your mind around that? He did all he could do with what he was given. And he left it here for us to enjoy. Chad will live forever. Period.

This would be an empty world without the blues. It seems like August Wilson will live forever, too, with Denzel Washington's help. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is on just about every Oscar predictions list. And there are eight other films yet to come. Is preserving August Wilson's legacy now part of your legacy? I don't know about all that. I'm just here to take care of this man's work, put the best actors and directors around it and make the movies.

By the time you have a legacy, you're usually not here anymore. Right. Some. So I don't know.

I don't even think of it that way. I'm busy. I'm not sitting around looking at what I'm doing. I'm doing it. Tis the season for Secret Santa needed more these days than ever.

Steve Hartman has been watching him on his rounds. For a brief moment, I felt bad for Kimberly Davis, not because she has to clean a COVID ward. She loves her job at Houston Methodist. I felt bad for Kimberly because I lied to Kimberly. They told you I was doing a story about a woman who was a woman. Because I lied to Kimberly. They told you I was doing a story about essential workers, right?

Correct. We're not doing a story about essential workers. Truth be told, I had to lie to everyone I spoke to for this story. And when they discovered my real intent, I'm sorry, I'm at a loss. Most were speechless.

Lips a quiver, many in tears. My partner in this joyful deception was an anonymous, wealthy businessman known to me only as Secret Santa. In a normal year, Secret Santa personally hands out hundreds of $100 bills to random strangers. But this year, the novel coronavirus called for a novel sleigh ride. So he mailed packages to carefully selected essential workers across the nation.

And inside that is a sealed envelope that says do not open until instructed to do so by Steve Hartman at CBS. His targets included Ashton Dooley, a sanitation worker from Sarasota, Florida, whose brand new bride has cancer. She let me shave her head that first time. That's when I knew I wanted to marry her. Elgin Thrower, a security guard from Kansas City with a special needs son and a dream to be a police officer.

In law enforcement, I can make a difference. And Danielle Dip, a waitress from Pittsburgh, who's way behind on rent. It has been a pretty bad year. But somehow, somewhere, something's going to work out. On that note, I'd like to introduce somebody to you. Okay. Hi, this is Secret Santa. Danielle's bad year was about to get a whole lot better. Open up that sealed envelope.

Okay. Everyone's bad year was about to get a whole lot better. Oh, my gosh, there's money in there, you guys. In the coming weeks, Secret Santa will give away about $100,000 total to total strangers. Oh, my God. And that's to help make your Christmas just a little bit better.

Oh, my God, I can't believe this. But of course, the money isn't the real gift here. Thank you. You know, kindness, when freely given, with no expectation in return, is, in fact, unconditional love.

And that's really what we're giving them. And what does it feel like to receive such a gift? Well, sometimes being speechless. I'm sorry. Says it all. Are you okay?

I'm sorry. It's possible there's no case cold enough for intrepid detective Nancy Drew, who's now 90 years young. And it's no mystery why Faith Salie is among her many fans. This year, Nancy Drew turned 90. That's right, 90 years of twists and turns, 600 books worth, some published by Simon & Schuster, a Viacom fan, and many others. And I want you to promise that you'll keep out of it.

All right, Dad, I promise. Video games. It looks like the painting is missing. And TV shows, like this one on the CW, co-owned by ViacomCBS. Tiffany died of natural causes. Natural causes.

Like what, some rare untreated disease? It's not some theory for you to pick apart, Nancy. The family's been through enough as it is. It's no wonder that Kennedy McMahon, who plays the new Nancy Drew, approached the role with trepidation. It's very nerve-wracking. It's like, I just have to trust whatever my instincts are. Because I know who this character is for myself, because I've grown up with her. I think about all the girls for the past 90 years growing up looking at these covers and what they were inspired to become. Yes, yes. I mean, so many different women.

We have police detectives, we have lawyers, we have doctors. Jennifer? Jennifer is a very good woman. Jen Fisher is the president of the Nancy Drew Sleuths, a fan club. She says Nancy has always been ahead of her time.

Very sophisticated for an 18-year-old. You know, that was what was so appealing, I think. Because Nancy would often best the local police force and solve cases they couldn't solve. The girl gumshoe breezed into print in 1930. She was the creation of children's publishing magnate Ed Blaise. The creation of children's publishing magnate Edward Stradamire, who then, plot twist, passed away days after the first books were published.

So, who then, you might wonder, is Carolyn Keene? There have been numerous ghostwriters, men and women, over the years that have written under that pseudonym. Fisher says there were ghostwriters, and then there was Mildred Benson. Millie was a real-life Nancy Drew. She was 24 when she wrote the first Nancy Drew book.

Benson wrote 23 of the first 30 books. So Mildred's Nancy was very similar to Mildred, kind of out there in the world, a little more rough and tumble than the later Nancy. The later Nancy? That's right, you just heard a clue that your great-grandmother's Nancy was not the Nancy of the 50s and 60s and 70s. That later Nancy Drew was the work of the daughter of Edward Stradamire, Harriet Adams, who treated Nancy like family. Harriet felt like she was a daughter, and was very protective of the character. And she had a list of things that Nancy would never do, right?

Yes. She would not speed, kiss, very little kissing, definitely not getting married. I don't go searching in the dark anymore, not after the darkness found me.

McMahon's Nancy Drew is thoroughly modern, but maybe the secret of the 90-year-old Nancy is that she never gets old. There's something about mystery and a really all-consuming story that, A, is a really nice escape for people, and is just pure entertainment, and that is a beautiful way to go. And that is a beautiful, wonderful, important thing, especially in times when things are rocky in society, for whatever reason. We leave you this Sunday morning at Lake Byron in South Dakota, where tis the season for geese to migrate south. I'm Lee Cowan. Thanks for joining us. We hope you'll be back when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning. Be well, stay safe, and enjoy the rest of your weekend. See you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-28 21:44:21 / 2023-01-28 22:01:10 / 17

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