I am about to rat out my fellow columnist. In a good way, of course.
Bob Lind has been writing the Neighbors column in the Fargo Forum since before I was born.
But he has been writing it for quite a while, right around 20 years in fact.
His words introduce us to the people, places and things that are right under our noses that we sometimes forget to see. He helps us solve mysteries, like Who is Olga? (Feb. 23) and charms us with delightful anecdotes like the Unexpected Valentine Moment in a fast-food parking lot (Feb. 14).
While many of us love his witty writing style, I’m certain anyone who knows Bob can truly see what lies behind each column he writes. Bob has a heart for people.
Bob was one of the first people to email me after I began writing the Kindness is Contagious column back in 2011. His words gave me confidence and confirmed that I was on the right track.
Since then, several times a year, Bob’s name will pop up in my inbox. Each email delivers the words of a professional encourager: “Nicole, nice, nice column again today. Keep those kindness things rolling!” or “Nicole, your column today was tremendous.”
The kindness of those emails means more than I could ever express. So when I read Bob’s most recent letter, I knew I had to share it as proof that what goes around, comes around.
Here’s your old fellow columnist with a yarn out of Fargo. Not seeking publicity, but when this happened, I of course thought of you.
The other day, I came home from somewhere with lots of stuff to carry into the house. But first, I decided to check to see if we had mail. I laid everything, including my car/house keys, on the trunk of my wife’s car in our garage.
I got our mail, picked up everything (I thought) I’d piled on the other car and went into our house.
A while later, my wife, Marcie, took off in her car.
Several blocks from our house, she stopped at a red light. Immediately, some guy came running up and dangled some keys outside her window. She recognized them as being my keys.
Apparently this dumb husband of Marcie’s had left my keys on her trunk. Somewhere, they’d fallen off as she was driving, and this guy had seen it, stopped, picked them up, and caught up with her at the red light to give them to her.
What a miracle they hadn’t been lost forever. And what a great guy, to go to the trouble of returning them to Marcie.
Nicole, back here in your and Saul’s town of Fargo, kindness and thoughtfulness live on.
Keep those columns coming, Nicole.”
Yep, Bob Lind is one special guy, and I’m grateful for his encouragement. I’m also glad that good guys like him catch a break once in a while when they leave their keys on their wives’ trunks.
You can find Bob Lind’s Neighbors column every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday in the Variety section of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.
Nicole J. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is a writer, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Ohio University’s men’s head basketball coach Saul Phillips. Her column runs every Saturday. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.