Monday, October 22, 2018

The 450-mile pizza delivery and other inspiring homework

Every Sunday night, for the past several years, Max has worked on a current events report for school. Usually, we visit DOGO News or, more recently, news websites for Orlando (where Max would like to move). Last night, he didn't see anything he liked on either. So we hit CNN, where Max was into an article involving pizza. It was an incredible story you may have heard about.

Julie and Rich Morgan, of Indianapolis, used to live in Battle Creek, Michigan, where they were fond of Steve's Pizza. They decided to take a trip to Steve's in honor of Julie's birthday, but in early October they found out that Rich's cancer had grown and he didn't have long to live. Julie's dad called Steve's, hoping they would text Rich to say sorry he couldn't make it. 

The 18-year-old grandson of the founder of the pizzeria, Dalton Shaffer, took the call. He asked what kind of pizza the couple liked. Then he drove 225 miles to deliver two pies and returned right home. Julie wrote a note of gratitude on her Facebook page. CNN's article had a sad update: Rich Morgan died on Saturday, after a two-year battle with cancer. 

It used to be that I'd read the stories to Max, summarizing to help him understand them. Every Sunday night, I'd get anxious about his comprehension. Now, though, he asks questions and we have discussions. "Where is Michigan?" he asked, and I showed him on a map. We talked about how nice it was for the guy to drive all that way to make someone happy. We agreed that many people love pizza (including Max). And then, we talked a bit about death and what it means. Max noted it can happen if you're really sick.

Current events isn't just homework lately—well, to me, anyway. It's heartening to see Max's interest and curiosity expanding. It makes me aware that he may be approaching sixteen—sixteen!!!—but he's got a whole lot of progress left in him. Articles about pizza and people doing good in this world sure help.

Photo: Flickr/Jenn Durfey


  1. That's exciting! I have read a few good articles recently about parents of youth with disabilities helping them register to vote and discussing election-related issues. What are you anticipating along these lines? Will he be eligible by age to vote in 2020? If he cast his vote in Orlando, Florida it would certainly not be wasted!

    1. I am planning to take Max with me to vote on Election Day! He won't be eligible by 2020, he'll be just shy of 18. His understanding of politics is growing. Also: He particularly appreciated Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live.

  2. “in early October they found out that Steve's cancer had grown and he didn't have long to live. Julie's dad called Steve's, hoping they would text Rich to say sorry he couldn't make it.“

    I think this is supposed to say that Rich’s cancer had grown, not Steve’s.

  3. I'm from MI! But I'm several hundred miles north of Battle Creek. You guys should visit! Look me up if your ever in Chippewa County!


Thanks for sharing!

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