May 20 • 11:40 AM

Making connections, enjoying the flow

February 06, 2008
Conduit. A channel that connects things—that allows things to flow.

Sometimes, it is me. The other day Nedra Beal, secretary of the Almont American Legion Auxiliary comes into the office to pass along a story. While we're up at the front counter, she mentions something that makes me feel like a conduit, and that feeling is a beautiful thing.

Christie Wentworth (center) with daughter Eva and Eva’s friend Joe Rettell are all smiles upon receiving gift from anonymous reader. photo by Catherine Minolli.

"After your story, an anonymous donor gave $50 toward our pocket flag project," Nedra grins.

"Wow, that's awesome," I say. And it is.

I'd written about the Auxiliary's project that involves folding tiny American flags military style and sending them along with a note to soldiers serving in Iraq, giving the soldiers a bit of home to carry in their breast pockets and letting them know that they're thought of and appreciated.

Through the paper the story flows into the heart of a reader who contributes to the good of the project—to the good of the world, as far as I'm concerned. Tipping the scales on the side of the pronoiac universe—helping insure that it is indeed a benevolent place loaded with blessings at every turn.

And as if to confirm that notion, I'm blessed again with being a conduit, a channel that connects things, that allows things to flow.

Lindsay Wentworth
A front page story featuring the good deeds of the Wentworth sisters—Eva, 13, and Lindsay, 14, and their friend Joe Rettell, 15, captured the eye of yet another anonymous reader.

The story, which appeared in the Jan. 9 issue, related the New Year's Eve experience the teens encountered while out shoveling snow at the Wentworth's home on Hunter Lane in Dryden late in the evening.

They heard cries for help coming from around the corner. They ran to investigate and discovered Lois Pawlaczyk—a retired government transportation agency worker who'd just moved back to Dryden from Nevada in September—had slipped on her snowy driveway and couldn't get up.

The reason she couldn't get up was her ankle was broken. The teens actually saw bone protruding from skin.

Though they were admittedly "freaked out," they got past their fears and went into action. Joe removed his coat and placed it around Lois. Lindsay and Eva ran for Lois' purse and a blanket and to call 911. The teens stayed with Lois until EMS arrived, and after that they held a blanket over Lois to keep snow from falling on her while emergency medical technicians stablized her injury.

Lois ended up requiring surgery to repair the break, but from her hospital bed she expressed her gratitude to the teens, saying they were a "Godsend."

The teens say they just did what comes naturally— they were glad they were outside and able to help.

So is the anonymous reader, who contacted our office after reading the story.

The reader was touched by the quick thinking of the teens, and heartened by a story that told of good deeds done by young people.

The reader says that the story was refreshing and uplifting in a world where the news is usually filled with stories of teens behaving badly. The reader felt compelled to do something nice for the young people who had done something nice for someone else. It is a beautiful concept, and I get to be the conduit.

Carrying sealed envelopes addressed to Lindsay and Eva and their mom and to Joe and his mom, I stop by the Wentworths' home. Inside, everyone is surprised to receive a personal letter and gift cards to a local department store.

"I wanted to send you a little treat and I hope you accept it and enjoy it," the reader wrote.

The surprise on the kids' faces was only matched by the surprise of Eva and Lindsay's mom, Christie.

"This is so nice," she says. "It wasn't necessary at all, but it's so wonderful. Thank you very much," she says.

Eva agrees. "It's extremely nice and very unexpected," she grins. "Thank you very much."

Joe feels the same way. He's glad things worked out for the neighbor and appreciates that someone took time to reward them for their deed.

"This is just wonderful," Christie sums up the day. "I'm so proud of these kids, and I'm deeply appreciative that someone notices there are still good teens around."

So do we. Conduit. It's a beautiful thing.

Email Catherine at

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