I recently took my 9- month-old grandson into a fast food restaurant to change his diaper. As it turns out, there was no changing table in the ladies room, so I had to change him outside the restaurant. Then I took him back to the ladies room so that I could wash my hands. A young lady came in with her daughter and without hesitation started handing me paper towels to dry my hands. She was a lifesaver, and it shows that there are people who just want to help and do good. A total stranger brightened my day, and set a beautiful example for her daughter.

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This goes back a ways but was the most memorable act of kindness I remember. It was 1968 and I was coming home from Viet-Nam. We were all warned about the probable negative reception we'd receive so were prepared to avoid any confrontations. I'd sent a telegram to my wife with my arrival time in Chicago at 6:00 AM on a Sunday morning. Upon my arrival, there was no one to meet me. (Turned out her landlord didn't tell her about the telegram, fearing it was bad news.) So, I figured, 'Okay, I know the way to my mother-in-law's place.' I'll just go to her house and call my wife from there. I hauled my loaded seabag and duffle out to the downtown shuttle and arrived in front of the Palmer House around 7:00. You've probably seen those post-apocalyptic movies where the only movement in the big city is a lonely newspaper page blowing down the street. I hiked to the Randolph Street Station (now Millennium Station) down the stairs and through the long tunnel to the station. On the ticket window is a sign, "Due to Transit Union Strike, all services are suspended until further notice." Since it was deserted, no one heard my scream. Packing up again, I returned to the street. I was not looking forward to a nearly 20-mile schlep to Mom's. Then a cab came around the corner and pulled over, "Need a ride?" After tossing my gear in the trunk, I got the standard "Where to, Buddy?" I gave him my wife's address on the South Side and the driver turned to me, "Sorry, I can't go that far. We're restricted to downtown. I can take you as far my area goes. I can call ahead and have a South Side cab meet us and take you the rest of the way." I agreed and we headed out. He asked where I was coming from, I held my breath and said Viet-Nam. He was interested; turned out he had a cousin over there. We talked about the war, the people and their culture, and what was really going on there. Before I knew it, we pulled over to the curb. I figured this was as far as he could go and looked around for my next cab. Instead, I was greeted by my wife, standing at the curb. I looked at the driver and he said he didn't think anyone would report him. I got out, hugged and kissed my bride while he emptied the trunk. As I reached for my wallet, he held up his hand. "It's on me, my Friend. Welcome home."
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