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Good reads

  1. What to tell your relatives when they ask why you're still single

    Human Interest

    By Maggie MK Hess

    It's the holidays! Your relatives have been waiting 12 long months to ask you: (a) what the deal is with millennials anyway, (b) how to fix their printers, and (c) why you're denying them happiness by refusing to find love.
  2. Turkey Day table talk: Five mostly noncontroversial stories to share over green bean casserole

    Human Interest

    Office pods are starting to empty, gone are the cans of cream of mushroom soup on grocery shelves everywhere. I can already smell my grandmother's signature sticky cinnamon buns baking all the way in Indiana.

    Angel, a 12-year-old shelter dog with a bucket list, got to cross off having a grouper sandwich from her list. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  3. Friends finish odyssey to make sure UF remembers a Vietnam War hero

    Human Interest

    GAINESVILLE — The old men met after sun up Saturday in the parking lot of an abandoned Mexican restaurant on the south side of town. They shook hands and hugged and climbed aboard a bus, careful not to fall.

    Capt. William Edward Taylor speaks to his men in Vietnam in 1966. Taylor was killed in August of that year and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross posthumously. [Picasa]
  4. 'Good Cemeterian' volunteers to restore veterans' headstones

    Human Interest


    At the Lutz Cemetery, Andrew Lumish kneeled in the grass over a World War II veteran's grave. Under a gray sky, he used a soft bristle brush to scrub the headstone.

    Andrew Lumish, 45, kneels over World War II veteran Harry R. Littleton’s headstone in the Lutz Cemetery to restore it.
  5. Fate works its magic in reuniting two orphaned sisters from South Korea

    Human Interest

    SARASOTA — When the police pulled 5-year-old Pok-nam Shin out of school, the little girl who now goes by Holly Hoyle O'Brien asked the only question that mattered: Where's my daddy?

    Visa photos of half-sisters Holly Hoyle O’Brien , left, and Meagan Hughes for their adoptions out of a South Korean orphanage to two American families.
  6. Homosassa woman feels the sway of her native Cuba

    Human Interest

    Ingrid Ricci's view of Cuba is a complex one, formed during three different periods over more than half a century.

    Ingrid Ricci, left, and her cousin Ermalita Alameda pass a government building with Fidel Castro's image while touring the streets by foot in Santiago de Cuba. [Photo by Amber Sigman]
  7. Sun City Center couple's dance of life now moves to different rhythm

    Human Interest

    In a small room at Palm Garden nursing home in Sun City Center, two souls draw closer.

    John Breslin, a World War II vet, looks at photos from his service on the submarine USS Cavalla. He enlisted in the Naval Reserve at 17, met Rita Hughes, 14, during training in 1943 and wrote her after he went to sea.
  8. Dark places breed Gulfport woman's Halloween haunts

    Human Interest

    "I'm no Mary Poppins," Amy Slone says.

    If Poppins was obsessive-compulsive about a holiday, it would be Christmas. Slone hates Christmas. She has self-diagnosed OHD — Obsessive Halloween Disorder. Months before Halloween, she begins turning her Gulfport home — front to back, top to bottom — into …

    Amy Slone, sufferer of self-diagnosed Obsessive Halloween Disorder, has for the past 10 years built a haunted house at her Gulfport home. This year’s theme: post-nuclear apocalypse clown terror.
  9. Interview: 'Keep Moving' an important lesson for and from Dick Van Dyke

    Human Interest

    At age 89, Dick Van Dyke is a genuinely happy fella, peppering his speech with laughter like so much punctuation.

    Dick Van Dyke says of this photo with his wife, Arlene: “One of my favorite pictures — we look like a couple of screwball detectives in love.”
  10. Merl Reagle transformed modern culture into puzzle wit

    Human Interest

    Merl Reagle was a breakfast guy.

    Everybody thinks of him as a word guy, which he certainly was, but the word was coffee. Decaf. Merl didn't require artificial stimulants. His mind worked, near as I could tell, with the relentlessness of a hydroelectric dam. He transformed the torrent of modern culture into …