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I love college football. No, that’s a lie. I love being in a stadium surrounded by all the fanfare that goes with college football. The actual game, I could take or leave.
There are lots of opportunities to cheer on your favorite team today. The Cobbers are hosting Jamestown College. The Dragons are traveling to Sioux Falls, S.D., to take on Augustana, and the Bison will be fighting the Ferris State Bulldogs in the Fargodome.
I’m a fan of all of our local teams, and I always hope they crush their competition, but in my heart, I’m a Wisconsin Badger. That’s where I went to school, and I have many fond memories of feeling the bleachers in Section O shake during the song “Jump Around,” because of course, we all did.
I got an email from a woman named Virginia that made me smile. It reminded me we can’t judge a book by its cover, but every once in a while we can judge our friends by the colors they wear.
“My daughter-in-law had an appointment in Jamestown. I was going to care for her four children, ages 3 to 11, here at home, but at the last minute decided to go along to shop a bit.
“About 10 miles from Jamestown, Natalie accidentally hit something that slashed her tire. There we sat with a flat. We found the jack but couldn’t find the spare. Natalie had only a few minutes before her appointment, and it was clear that even if we could find the tire we wouldn’t get it changed in time.
“A car came up behind us and stopped. In it were a young man, his girlfriend, his father and another young man.
“You can’t even imagine how kind they were. The first thing they did was help us find the spare. Then the young people insisted on taking Natalie to her appointment while the father stayed to change the tire.
“We agreed and off they went. Natalie made it to her appointment just in time.
“The father asked my name and when I told him, you should have seen his face. He said, ‘I know you! I was your son’s roommate in college. I have been at your house and had supper with your family.’ I recognized his name immediately, but after nearly 40 years we had both changed a lot.
“As we started catching up, I couldn’t believe how he had kept up with my family through the years. He knew I had lost my husband, that my son – his roommate – had died of cancer, and that a daughter lives in Montana. When he knew who we were, he looked at my 11-year-old grandson and said, ‘You look just like your dad when I knew him.’
“He got the tire changed with no trouble and the children were angels the whole time. We took off for Jamestown, and by the time we arrived Natalie was just finishing her appointment.
“These people will never know how much they helped two women and how grateful we are.
“One last thing, our new friends said they didn’t know if they would have stopped if they hadn’t seen the NDSU logo in the back window. They decided that if we were NDSU people we had to be good!
“When you look at it, you know someone had a hand in things happening as they did. I was happy to make a connection with a person who was important in my son’s life all those years ago and what an unexpected way it all happened!”
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at email@example.com. 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 an author, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Bison Men’s Head Basketball Coach Saul Phillips. Her columns run every Saturday.