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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Kindness of strangers

Do unto others as you would have them do until you.

Two complete strangers, who I will probably never see again and whose names I did not get, showed that kind of special kindness to me last weekend.

On Thursday evening, I lost my cell phone. I was frantic. I thought I had dropped it into my purse, but at the end of a long evening, I realized it was missing.

Husband Paul L. Schuetze and I were searching the house and the car when I decided to dial the cell phone number. A last resort.


But as soon as I hung up the land phone at home, it rang.

"Are you calling about your phone?" asked the man on the other end and speaking with a heavy accent.

"Yes," I answered tenuously.

"I found it in the middle of the street. By the science center. Close to the railroad tracks. Close to the water," said the man, who came to Shreveport from New Orleans, via North Carolina.

"I went to the casino for two hours. I thought someone would call about the phone, but no one did," he continued.

All that made sense. I had probably placed it on the car seat and it fell out when I alighted at Sci-Port.

"I am at a hotel at 907 Louisiana," he said, "Can you pick it up?"

Just come pick it up. He said nothing about wanting a reward. Nothing.

"I am sitting on a bench. I will have it at the curb for you."

"I’ll be there," I answered, incredulously.

With a reward in my hand, and Paul driving, we headed to what, in my youth, was the Jefferson Hotel, now Jefferson Apartments.

(And, Paul, who did not grow up here, declared: "There is no hotel on Louisiana." "Yes, there is," I answered.)

Driving South on Line Avenue, we turned left onto Fairfield Avenue and then left on Louisiana.

As we approached the apartments, we saw the man standing on the curb, his arm outreached and my cell phone in his hand!

I handed him the reward — worth every penny to me — waved to his pals sitting on the bench in the hotel. And we were on our way.

The second experience was not quite as dramatic, but certainly appreciated
I parked in the public lot just behind the high rise parking at Shreveport Convention Center.

As I started the two block walk to the center for Trends & Traditions, I heard a beep behind me. "Want a ride?" said a man in the cart heading for the center.

"Sure," I replied.

And we were off.

As we bumped along, he told me that he was going to surprise his fiancee with a surprise candlelight dinner on the Red River. As soon as he got off work.

I kind of think he just wanted to share the excitement with me.

I thank both strangers. I hope the first does well with his interrupted life and the second had a wonderful evening.

Do you have any kindness-of-humans stories to exchange? I’d love to hear them.


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