Dying TV ancher feels ‘the presence of Christ in the room’

I came across a story on CNN.com about a former TV sports anchor named Nick Charles.

I used to watch him and his partner Fred Hickman when CNN had a sports new network that competed with ESPN (before ESPN began solidifying its modern-day sports monopoly).

Can’t say that I knew anything about Charles. So I was surprised to see a photo of him looking old and weak and…sick.

It turns out that he found out in 2009 that he had incurable bladder cancer. He was given 4 to 20 months to live and is now at 21 months.

I point out the article because Charles talks a lot about mortality, lessons learned, family and a return to faith during the ’90s — thanks to his third wife.

He feels a strong divine presence in his life. He says of Jesus, “One time, he sat right with me on the bed.”

It’s a moving story with a few curveballs, including Charles ongoing friendship with Mike Tyson, who comes across as a real good guy and friend at crunchtime.

There is a section in the story where Charles talks about what his last week of life is likely to be like. Read it.

30 Mosques, 30 days, 12,000 miles

A colleague of mine here at LoHud/Journal News, Aman Ali, is becoming something of a star outside the newsroom.

He and a friend, both 20-something Muslims, are driving to 30 mosques in 30 different states during the month of Ramadan.

They’re blogging about it.

And they’re getting a lot of media attention, especially from CNN.

CNN did a nice report at the start of the trip. When Aman (that’s him) and his buddy, Bassam Tariq, got to Georgia, a CNN reporter and cameraman joined the roadtrip for a few days.

Their lengthy report, by Wayne Drash, is up on CNN.com. It’s quite good and you should check it out.

Aman, only 25 and already a good reporter, is a real interesting guy. He’s a stand-up comedian and seems to know everything about pop culture and what’s in the news.

He was born in Columbus, Ohio, and would break just about every Muslim stereotype.

He’s a funny dude.

Of course, this is quite a time to be making his trip — when the whole country is squabbling over the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero and a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment is coming to the surface.

After a cold reception from a mosque in Mobile, Ala., Aman says: “I feel Muslims in this country are making a lot of progress. And things like that, as we make 10 steps forward, that just knocks us back 20 steps.”

Today is day 18 of their trip. Yesterday, they were in Santa Ana, Calif. I’m not sure where they are today. Yet.

By the way, they expect to travel about 12,000 miles by the end of Ramadan.