October 07, 2013

Mr. Linny Boyette

A dream came true for me on July 18, 2012.  My husband took us to New York City to celebrate my birthday and it was a wonderful trip.  
I had a lengthy list of things I wanted to do and I was so thrilled to have done them all by the time we came home. I've been a Today Show fan for years and I wanted to be "one of those people" who went to the show and watched it live. I wanted to see Al Roker and Matt Lauer and be a part of the fun.  I did all that and more.  

For years, my husband Paul and I would watch the show and look for Today Show super-fan, Mr. Linny Boyette. He would be there in the audience, each and every day without fail in exactly the same spot.  The cameraman always seemed to make a point of catching Linny and Linny would point at the camera confidently, as if to say, "Patti, you can leave for work now". 

For the last six or so years, once I saw Linny, I'd put my shoes on and head to school. It was weird...just one of those things you start doing and then you don't stop.  So if Linny came on at 7:05 or 7:30, I'd grab my gear, kiss the dogs and Paul, and then make my way to work.   

I got to meet Linny last summer, as part of my list of "must do these things" in NYC. It was such a treat to meet him and tell him how I don't leave for school until I see him on TV. He was so gracious and kind, posing for photo after photo with me and the other fans. And what really touched me was that he genuinely seemed interested in what I was saying. Word is, he has more fans than all of the Today Show hosts put together!   

Linny passed away over the weekend and I wanted to take a moment to celebrate him and share my story with you. Meeting him was a dream of mine, part of a special birthday that I'll never forget.  

All of the stuffies in our classroom are named after special people in my life. Of course, after actually meeting Linny, I named the newest stuffy, a very friendly looking shark, "Linny". He's one of our most popular pets. 

It is the season of gratitude and I couldn't be more grateful for the many blessings in my life; one of them being that memorable trip with my husband Paul. I hope that by reading this, my students know that we all make a difference in even our smallest gestures. I hope my students know that they have the capacity to be like Linny each and every day. I know they say "don't sweat the small stuff" but isn't it funny how sometimes it's the small things that make the most profound difference? Three minutes of his time made a great day even better for me. And the photo? I'll treasure it always. I bet there are countless stories about Linny being shared today. I wonder if he knew how much happiness he brought to so many people.   

What a difference a kind heart and a generous spirit can make. 

Thank you Linny.  


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