On a day filled with the sad news of a fatal school shooting and a tragic Wauwatosa train accident that left an 11-year-old dead, I did hear one uplifting story Monday.
Maybe you've already heard about Medford's Matt Razink, who lost his lower left arm in a work accident almost six years ago. Last week he was on Anderson Cooper's eponymous TV show to get a prosthetic arm that was handmade for him by Advanced Arm Dynamics.
The arm uses the body's own electrical impulses to control what appears to be a fully functional hand.
The moment the arm was strapped on, Razink – who moments earlier told Cooper he missed playing catch with his son Dustin – was able to control the fingers. It's pretty amazing to see.
"Just to be able to have a functional hand that looks like a hand is awesome," Razink told Cooper.
The technology was developed for wounded soldiers and Razink is the first civilian to receive the prosthetic.
You can see a video of the segment here.
Also on the emotional episode, Cooper gave Razink basket full of Brewers swag, including an autographed ball that Matt was immediately able to grasp.
And live on camera from Maryvale, Ariz., Brew Crew hurlers John Axford and Randy Wolf invited Razink and his family to Spring Training – thanks to Southwest Airlines and Double Tree Hilton in Phoenix – and suggested he start warming up to throw out the first pitch at Miller Park on June 3.
Wolf said, "it'd be my pleasure if I could catch you. From one lefty to another."
"I'm very up for that," said Razink. "I'll be practicing. I'll put my long johns on and start practicing."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.