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by Abigail Van Buren

Harry Truman Made the Bucks Stop Where They Were Needed

DEAR ABBY: Please add this to your collection of "acts of kindness."

When my mother was a young girl, her mother became critically ill with a thyroid condition. Her family had no money for the operation she needed to save her life.

The physician mentioned her problem to another patient of his who happened to be a prominent local citizen.

Shortly afterward, the doctor called my grandmother to tell her that an anonymous person had agreed to pay for the surgery she needed -- no strings attached.

The operation was successful, and my grandmother enjoyed many more happy years with her growing family.

The debt of gratitude we owed her benefactor was impossible to measure. It wasn't until many years later that his identity was disclosed.

The town was Independence, Mo., and the man was Harry S. Truman. -- SUSAN CLOW, PITTSBURG, KAN.

DEAR MS. CLOW: My memories of Harry Truman are very vivid. When he defeated Thomas Dewey for president in 1948, it was such a close race, the Chicago Tribune had already printed its headline: "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN." Your story about the former president doesn't surprise me. Truman was not only very kind, he also was very modest.