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Most people don’t know there are so many angels (I call them good Samaritans) around whose main job is to make sure you don’t get too comfortable and fall asleep and miss the good life. While sojourning in Florida, I was confronted by an unusual number of Samaritans.

I was taking it slow down the steep aisle of a movie house in Venice. The place was jammed for this year’s hit movie, “The Post.” The show was over, people were elbow-to-elbow in the main exit aisle. With cane in hand, I wiggled through the mass. Abruptly, a woman loudly called out to the crowd, spreading her arms like one of those school crossing guards.

“Stop, stop, stop. Wait for this man with the cane to get through.”

The mass halted. Stopped. Thankfully, I had the exit-way all to myself. I was free from the crowd-surge for a few moments. I called “thanks” to this angel. She threw me a kiss.

ON ANOTHER day, we stopped for a snack on Dearborn, the main drag of Englewood. A gaudy sign proclaimed, “The best Mexican food in town.” At midafternoon, the place was empty, brightly decorated, matching the outfit of the server. She sang a Mexican tune while taking our order, prompting a casual friendship. When we left, she insisted on opening the door for us and held my elbow going down steep balcony steps. She waved goodbye, suddenly calling to us from the balcony. She hurried to street level and our car.

“Is something wrong,” my wife nervously asked.

“No, no” she said. “I wanted to see that you backed out without getting bumped.”

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My grandpa, whose first name was given me, made the front page of the Democrat on Dec. 16, 1896. It’s shared by Jerome Dank of Bettendorf, who collects tidbits from old newspapers. Under the headline, “She threw rocks,” the story:

“Mrs. W. Patten of West Second Street, in the vicinity of Brown Street, was arrested today on a warrant issued on the information of W. Wundram. She is charged with having thrown rocks at Mr. and Mrs. Wundram, and with serious breach of the peace thereby, and some little damage to the informants. It seems to have been a hot time while it lasted. The trial of the case has been postponed until 9 o'clock. tomorrow morning.”

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Next day, the Democrat reported: “The case against Mrs. Patten of West Second Street was dismissed in police court this morning. She did not seem to have been guilty of the aggravated assault and complaints by the Wundrams in their charge and information.”

Medallions everywhere

Since I wrote that Davenport’s Putnam Museum wanted my Bob Bina medallion, other mystic Bina medallions have shown up. Art Kallenbach writes: “I found a Bina medallion about seven or eight years ago in the parking lot of a hotel in Bloomington, Minnesota. We were using a hose to clean a catch basin and the medallion got stuck in the hose. I kept it.”

From Texas, Melinda Anderson writes: “I have had a Bina medallion for years, and decided to research it. It was in my eldest sister’s effects, placed in Houston, Texas, in February 1988. I’m excited to have an artifact.”

Bina, a Davenport artist, once cast personalized medallions and hid them around the world. Even the Pyramids of Egypt. Mine was deeply imbedded in a tree and it’s now in the Putnam’s hands.

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Contact Bill Wundram at 563-383-2249 or bwundram@qctimes.com.

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