John Howell Column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 22, 2009

John Howell Sr.

Cold weather, good Samaritans and file photos

To borrow a column introduction from the late, great Gayle Denley, “This and that about this and that:”

I saw Mike Pinkston Monday morning prior to his returning home to Anchorage. He was returning after a month-plus visit to his native environs. Mike and his wife, Rita, moved to Alaska some years ago and acclimated.

At least that’s what must have happened, because his parting words were that he was looking forward to getting home so he could get warm. “I’ll take 10 degrees in Anchorage to 30 degrees in Batesville any time,” Pinkston said.

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I remembered that Mike and Rita had sent me by e-mail last January photos of their snow-covered environment. I dug back into my old e-mails and found them. They’re on page 5A.


Last Friday a man I had not met before came to the newspaper office. He exuded a persona that suggested that he was on a positive mission. He looked like the kind of guy you want to meet and hear his story.

John “Monty” Horne’s mission, he told me, was to place a card of thanks advertisement in this newspaper. His wife, Virginia is head of the pharmacy at Tri-Lakes, he told me. She commutes daily from Oxford,  and Thursday morning about 6 a.m. she was westbound just this side of the county line when her tire went flat.

As she pulled over three men in separate vehicles stopped, got out and went to work changing his wife’s tire. They worked quickly, used one of their own jacks when they found hers to be malfunctioning and soon had her on her way, refusing both payment and the sausages and biscuits she purchased nearby from Crossroads Grocery.

And then they drove away, Horne said, before they could get names or any other information, but they think the men were from Panola County. Elsewhere in this issue (page 2A) you’ll find his thanks to the “unknown gentlemen who stopped and fixed my wife’s flat tire.”

I told him he was probably right about those guys being from Panola County. There are a lot of “Good Samaritans” hereabouts.