Do you know the good Samaritans?

Published 12:45 am Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My car was smoking under the hood. I stopped by Dale’s Place on the way home, and there was a man there, who was nameless to me, but he was mechanic. He checked my car and the water receptacle had a hole in it, and the water and anti-freeze kept going to the ground.

He said that he could and would fix it, that he knew who I was, where I lived. He told me how much money he needed and he said try to make it to the house, and I will be by and fix it. Sure enough, he was brought by the house and he installed the part.

The date was Friday morning, Sept. 26, 2009, and I now know the name of the good Samaritan to be John Henderson. That same evening, he met his death. Darryl Grennell, Adams County Supervisor, wrote an excellent article in The Natchez Democrat on Oct. 2.

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I thought about it, and just like I did not know John Henderson by name, there are so many other Samaritans in our community who we take for granted. They are truly the unsung heroes and they are the nameless. When you have a need, great or small, you can call on them and they will find a way to get to you and help you.

Even if someone has to drop them off or bring them (John Henderson did not have a car), or if they come to you on a bicycle bringing a lawn mower or weed eater, a broom and tray, help to take the trash out, or if they are walking on feet to change your tire or just help out.

No, no, often times we do not know their names, but when we have a need, we know just about where to go and look for them. They don’t ask for much. They don’t demand much, but respect.

John Henderson was a man who knew my name, where I lived, there for me when I needed him.

I only wish that I could have been there for him when he needed someone.

My thinking, take no person for granted. Take the time to know who is and who is not your neighbor. If they have taken the time to find out who you are, the very least you could do, would be to find out who they are.

John Henderson, at one time, just a man who would see me, wave and smile. One who when I called on him found the time to be a good Samaritan. And now, he’s gone. But I will never forget the name nor the deed.

John Henderson, may you rest in peace.

Dr. George F. West Jr.

Natchez resident