Quincy native Bob Havens, 87, has been on TV somewhere in the country every Saturday night for more than half a century. From playing jazz in the clubs on New Orleans' famed Bourbon Street to becoming a fixture on the Lawrence Welk Show, playing the trombone with Welk's band each week for a national audience, music and chance encounters drove Havens' career.
Jonathan Van Ness' role on Netflix's "Queer Eye" reboot has thrust him into a national spotlight, a far cry from his Midwest roots. Van Ness recently recapped the whirlwind journey that took him from being one of the few openly-gay kids in Quincy to being the "flamboyant" grooming expert on a Netflix show able to be streamed by the service's 100 million subscribers in 190 countries.
Gerome Crayton, a former drug dealer, went from cooking crack cocaine and selling it on the streets to cooking comfort food and selling it through the catering service he started. "I got a second chance," he said. "With the right care and unconditional love, anybody can rebound."
John Weilandich has been lucky to walk away with his life on more than one occasion. The St. Louis native-turned-rural Palmyra farmer was drafted into Vietnam shortly after he graduated from college. He spent a year in Vietnam and was wounded in the leg by shrapnel. Now 71, Weilandich's first check-up since his time in the Army was two years ago. His doctor heard a heart murmur, and an ultrasound revealed he needed surgery to have a heart valve replaced.
Dr. Javeed Khan's path to Quincy began in a city of 10 million on the other side of the world. Born in Bangalore, India, the country's third largest city, Khan's parents reinforced, essentially from birth, the importance of education and the need to become either a doctor or an engineer.
Anissa Sadeghi's connection to animals is ineffable - something, she said, you either have or you don't have - but she describes it as a deep compassion. Animal rescue has forced Sadeghi to make some tough choices. It has pulled her away from some milestones in her children's lives. She justified the sacrifices by staying focused on the end result and on the values she hoped her children would later emulate.
Maj. Andy Miller Jr. is a fifth-generation Salvation Army officer, but his journey into the position was winding.
The eldest of four siblings -- one year older than his sister who didn't play much and five years older than his brother -- Jim Duvendack spent hours shooting hoops by himself at his family's rural Brown County home.
Pat Heinecke's first few months as director of the Community for Christ Assistance Center in Camp Point have been chaotic. The center has a thrift store, food pantry and offers emergency rent and utility assistance. Heinecke - a retired school administer - oversees all of it.