Random acts of kindness, Dundalk style
Recently, I received a letter from Roy Plummer, longtime (now retired) maintenance supervisor at Dundalk High School and 2017 Dundalk Optimist Club Humanitarian of the Year and DRC Milestone Award Winner.
It immediately jumped out at me, and I knew that I wanted to share it.
“This is the Dundalk spirit I like:
Sitting at the red light at Weis [Market] on Holabird [Avenue], a construction van turning onto Delvale [Avenue] lost part of his load of concrete blocks.
I pulled up behind him to help pick up the debris; he was young and said an impatient driver made him swerve, which caused the shift.
A yellow State Highway truck pulled up behind us, lights flashing and two guys jumped out with shovels and began helping us.
They were former Dundalk High students and said they saw me and had to stop.
”Mr. Roy, I knew I would find a way to pay you back someday for all you did for me”
It only took the four of us a few minutes to clear the street. I got back in the car, and a tear ran down my face and [I] thought, ‘ Yup, that 30 years was worth it — if only for that moment’.”
Roy’s generosity is welldocumented, including in the Eagle’s own coverage of his multiple award wins this year.
But how many of us would have stopped? How many of us would have taken the time out of our busy day, when we didn’t have to?
If I’m being honest with myself, I can’t say that I would have. But maybe we should. And it’s not just this one instance. Sure, concrete blocks are heavy and not ev- eryone has the time or ability to stop and help in that scenario. But we face many similar scenarios across Dundalk daily, times when we could have showed our “Dundalk spirit,” but maybe didn’t.
Picking up a piece of trash on the ground, helping an elderly person down the stairs, saying hi to a neighbor instead of looking down at your phone.
Last week I encouraged residents to volunteer rather than just complain, and I believe that this topic naturally branches off from that.
Many people lament the loss of the Dundalk of yesteryear. But what made that Dundalk so special?
It was the friendliness, the camaraderie, the small town feel.
And, yes, there are many, many social issues — crime, drugs, etc., etc., etc — that make a return to such a time difficult.
But we can hold on to a bit of that Dundalk spirit through simple acts of kindness and caring, such as the one demonstrated by Roy.
Such as the ones demonstrated by many volunteers that run clean up groups and community organizations, rec councils and charities across the area.
Dundalk spirit is alive across the area, but it is up to us to nurture it and make it grow.
So instead of looking down at our phones, rushing from pillar to post with nary a look at the world around us, lets look up and smile, say hi, pick up that discarded soda can from the sidewalk, hold open a door for an exiting stranger and stop to chat with a neighbor we see daily but never address.
Step out from behind Facebook, set aside the vitriol and bitter pessimism and let’s nurture the Dundalk spirit right here in our community.
Opinions expressed are those of the writer and do not represent the opinion of The Dundalk Eagle or Adams Publishing Group.
Roy Plummer, holding his 2017 Humanitarian of the Year sign from the July Fourth Parade, met Gov. Larry Hogan (R) during a fundraiser for the governor at Conrad’s Ruth Villa in Middle River last weekend.
Volunteers of Clean Bread & Cheese Creek dedicate their time to making Dundalk a better — and cleaner — place.