If you moved out of the Fargo-Moorhead area, would you still read The Forum? I am constantly amazed by the number of people who write to me, saying they grew up in this community, have moved away, but still like to keep up on what’s happening here.

Kevin Plummer is a great example of that. He’s also a great example of a man who knows that kindness is contagious. Here’s his story:

“Nicole, I was born and raised in Moorhead but moved away when I joined the Navy. I retired after 20 years of service and now live in Paducah, Ky.

The following story always makes me smile when I tell it.

It was a Saturday night and I was in Memphis with some friends. We went out to eat on Beale Street and when we were done we wanted to go and have a drink. I told my group that I wanted to go to a place where there was a TV so I could watch some football games and catch the World Series between Texas and San Francisco.

We decided on Hooters because they had multiple TVs. Funny the women actually mentioned the place.

Once we were there I spotted four Navy sailors in their dress whites. I went over to talk to them and they told me they were in town to be the Honor Guard at the Memphis Grizzlies basketball game.

I am always proud when I see an Honor Guard of service men and women. I told them I wanted to buy them a drink, but they said they were almost done and needed to hit the road.

I was going toward the restrooms and noticed their waitress. I told her that I wanted to pay for their drinks. The total bill came in at $40.10. I always remember that number for some reason. I gave her a $50.00 and told her to keep the change. I also told her to tell the sailors that their check was already paid, but not to tell them by whom. She couldn’t keep a straight face and ended up telling them who picked up the tab.

The sailors came over when they were ready to leave and thanked me. They shook my hand with a big smile on their faces. My group didn’t know what I had done, so they were pretty surprised after the sailors left when I explained the situation.

When it was time to ask for our check, our waitress went away but came back with the manager. The manager thanked me for what I had done for the sailors and informed us that our check was taken care of by a couple who had been sitting next to us and had overheard the story.

Unfortunately, they were gone, but they left us a note that read something I will always remember, “A random act of kindness goes a long way when you put a smile on someone’s face.”

Thanks Kevin, what a fun experience! You can’t buy that kind of entertainment. I would be willing to bet there are a few other people out there who tell this exact story only through the eyes of a sailor, a manager or perhaps a person who was just sitting at a nearby table and got to witness the chain of events that happened all because one person decided to be kind.

Please, continue to share your random acts of kindness stories at nphillips15@hotmail.com. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND, 58107.


Nicole Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is the mother of three kids and the wife of Bison Men’s Head Basketball Coach Saul Phillips. Her columns run every Saturday.