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This is who we are in my hometown

Since Hurricane Ivan moved through here, I've had the opportunity to hear about many acts of generosity and kindness by the people who live here.

We do like to help or neighbors in bad times.

Then on Wednesday, I was at a local shopping center helping my mom unload her buggy when I noticed the van next to her truck had a Baldwin County tag.

It was obvious this lady was buying up supplies to head on back down south.

I casually asked her if she had any damage at her home and she said that she no longer had a home in Baldwin County because of Ivan.

You could tell she was from up north and she quickly explained that she and her husband have a home in Illinois and a home in Lillian.

They were on their way down to try to salvage what they could.

She was driving a motor home and he was driving a van with a trailer loaded with tools and such on it.

At the rest area, while walking their dog, the husband tripped and fell flat on his face.

He broke some bones in his face and was in the hospital.

She told me that the people of Greenville could not have been nicer to them. She praised the ambulance driver who helped her get their motor home to the hospital and how the people at the hosptial fixed her a place to sleep so she could be near her husband.

She praised Dr. Aubrey Stabler for his fine treatment of her husband and I told her that was his way, and that I have been a patient of his for about 28 years.

One of the maintenance workers even allowed her to park their motor home at his home and hooked up the water and electricity so that she could have some familiar comforts while her husband recovered in the hospital.

She pointed out that if she had been up north somewhere, she would have been left to fend for herself and would have never been treated as kindly as she was here in Greenville.

Her name was Doris Ellawood and she confirmed what most of us know and that is how special the people of Greenville are and how much we do care.

As we were parting, I noticed Nancy Idland walking by and it hit me why it is so important for us to work with groups like the Chamber and Main Street.

We want people who live here to have a great quality of life, but we also want people who happen to stop here to know that good old-fashioned values like helping your neighbors truly do exist.

So remember Mrs. Ellawood the next time you want to complain about something here in the Camellia City.

Let's face it, we've got a gold mine here.

Jay Thomas is the managing editor of The Greenville Advocate.