Some of the stories I enjoy most involve random acts of kindness. Since I started doing this column in 1979, there hasn’t been a day when I haven’t had several of them in the hopper.
Here’s one from Sarah Stravinska, our correspondent in the Natchitoches Parish community of Chestnut:
“Summers and weekends during my high school days I waited tables in a small sandwich shop.
“An old man would come in almost every day, order the same thing and never leave a tip.
“The other waitresses didn’t want to serve him, even if we weren’t busy when he came in.
“I figured the poor guy was on limited income and couldn’t afford to tip, so I took care of him, and even chatted with him about my career plans.
“When I was about to graduate and leave for New York that man handed me a shoebox wrapped in newspaper. He told me to open it at home.
“Inside was a note telling me how he appreciated my kindness despite the fact that he had never tipped me, so here was a dollar tip for each of those times.
“There were 375 single dollar bills in that box!”
Watchplants in bloom
After a reader told of an Australian friend who put up a “Beware of the Agapanthus” sign, I heard from self-identified “plant nerd” Danna Spayde:
“I thought that a note to the unwary might be in order.
“The beautiful but fearsome agapanthus lilies on guard at hundreds — probably thousands — of homes in Baton Rouge are currently in full bloom.
“Be on the lookout for the lilies with tall stems topped by a cluster of blue flowers — some light blue and some darker, but all truly beautiful.”
And Donna Gremillion, of Zachary, sent over a photo of one of the lilies in bloom — and it is indeed a scary sight …
Dawn Strickland says, “My basset hound, Mocha, has appointed herself a bird rescue expediter.
“She has alternated very gently carrying a baby bird in her mouth to the back door with placing a baby bird on a path in the back yard which is frequently used.
“I have taken these birds, which are much too young to fly, to the LSU Vet School.
“I would like to express my appreciation to the staff at the LSU Vet School for their vital role in supervising these wildlife babies until they are old enough to be out on their own.”
(My spouse, Lady Katherine, agrees with you, Dawn. She found a baby dove in our yard and brought it out to the school. She was so impressed with their kindness toward the helpless bird that she became a donor, too, in a small way help them take care of other creatures.)
Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, says Fred Frey’s story about tossing folded papers during his newsboy days reminded him of this tale:
“I used a four-corner flap fold when I delivered Advocates in the ’40s — worked wonders on empty Lily milk bottles on doorsteps.
“Jim Jackson (now a retired OB-GYN in Thibodaux) had the paper route south of LSU, and I had the campus and north to Cole’s Florist.”
(Dan says his only problem was collecting for the paper from the fraternity guys.)
You have until Sunday to vote in a “Life Moving Forward” contest that could result in a wheelchair-accessible van for Mitchell Bourgeois, of Zachary.
He has been a quadriplegic since a motorcycle accident in 1992. He has 268,000 miles on his 2001 Dodge Caravan, so a new vehicle would be nice.
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association is putting on the contest. You can vote once a day at http://www.nmeda.com/mobility-awareness-month/heroes/louisiana/zachary/1870/mitchell-bourgeois.
If you have some leisure time, you might consider the 70 or so non-credit courses offered by LSU’s Student Union.
The Summer Leisure Classes teach you calligraphy, dance, fiber arts, photography, etc.
New classes include archery, blogging, bonsai, decorating, and my favorite, sabre fencing.
Visit http://www.lsu.edu/leisureclasses or call (225) 578-5119.
Circle Civitan Club sponsors a luau dance and spaghetti dinner from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at the American Legion on South Wooddale for folks with developmental disabilities. Call Linda at (225) 243-4985.
Jockeying for position
Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, says he laughed when he heard a radio reporter say a congressional committee would hear about underwear bomb plots at a BRIEFing:
“Then I began to wonder: Was California’s Sen. Barbara BOXER present?”
The bottom line
Joe Guilbeau, of Plaquemine, tells of the health club that specialized in one floor exercise.
It involved sitting on a mat and rolling from side to side, to reduce the hips.
The exercise was very effective — because, as we all know, a rolling stern gathers no mass.
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.