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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Thankful That Son Views Marriage as Equal Partnership

DEAR ABBY: Last summer, my Cadillac "died" amidst busy traffic in a rundown area of town. I had to walk quite a ways before finding a telephone to summon help. When I returned to the car, I "directed" traffic around it for at least 45 minutes.

During that time, 17 people stopped and offered to push my vehicle to the curb or phone for assistance. I thanked them all, but said help was on the way. One lady even offered to let me sit in her air-conditioned car to wait, as it was a hot day. When I refused with thanks, she handed me a cold can of pop!

Finally a nice man parked on a side street, walked back and said he wanted to help me, even though I said help was coming. He replied, "If my mother were in trouble, I would want someone to help her!" Then he got my car started and insisted on following me all the way to the Cadillac agency (at least 10 blocks). These wonderful good Samaritans all stopped during their busy day to help a stranger!

I am a 67-year-old Caucasian woman, Abby, and 16 of those 17 people who stopped were black. When my local paper chose not to print this, I hoped that you would. It is a true testament of compassion, when all we seem to read about is the bad side of life. -- ANN ALDRICH, COLUMBUS, OHIO

DEAR ANN: Thank you for pointing out that there are caring, concerned people in every neighborhood. The level of affluence has nothing to do with it, and neither does the skin color of the residents.