Thumbs col­umn

The Sentinel-Record - - VIEWPOINTS - Melinda Gas­s­away Guest colum­nist

It is that time again — time to ac­knowl­edge some good deeds or not and to award the ap­pro­pri­ate up or down dig­its.

First and fore­most, we salute and give a great big

“Thumbs-up” to the many ways in which

Hot Springs and Gar­land County res­i­dents last Satur­day (Veter­ans

Day) hon­ored past and present ser­vice­men and women who have given so much to pro­tect this coun­try and its free­doms and val­ues.

Ku­dos to the veter­ans’ or­ga­ni­za­tions, the schools, busi­nesses and churches, the civic groups, the pla­toons of vol­un­teers, the home­town news­pa­per and other me­dia, for rec­og­niz­ing the sac­ri­fices and brav­ery of the men and women in our mil­i­tary.

Here is an­other well-de­served “Thumbs-up” to Arkansas State Po­lice Cpl. Bran­don Cook, who last Thurs­day night risked his life to res­cue a woman who ap­par­ently jumped from the south shore bridge on Cen­tral Av­enue.

As re­ported in the Nov. 11 edi­tion of The Sen­tinel-Record, Cook and a state po­lice sergeant were sent to the scene af­ter there were re­ports that a woman was ob­served dan­gling her feet off the west side of the bridge. Told that she had jumped, Cook then saw the woman float­ing and un­re­spon­sive in the lake. Af­ter calls to her went unan­swered, he dove into the cold waters, se­cured her by a col­lar and swam with her to a boat dock east of the bridge.

Cook main­tained he was only do­ing his duty as a sworn state trooper, but the pub­lic is grate­ful for his quick think­ing and res­o­lute ac­tions.

Mean­while, a Hot Springs woman sends out a “Thumbs-up” to the driver who re­cently alerted her to the pres­ence of a deer near the road­way.

In an email sub­mis­sion, the woman wrote, “On the evening of Sun­day, Nov. 5, just about dusk, I ven­tured over to the Jewish Rest at the corner of Sum­mer and Al­bert Pike as I had heard the col­ors of a par­tic­u­lar tree there were just stun­ning and in­deed they were. I spent a lit­tle longer than I should have in the ceme­tery — tak­ing pic­tures and re­flect­ing on all of the old friends there.

“I de­cided to go over West Moun­tain to see if the trees in Whit­ting­ton Park might be adorned in their fall splen­dor. I was trav­el­ing a lit­tle faster than I should have, as the time change hadn’t re­ally sunk in yet and dark was quickly ap­proach­ing. About halfway over the moun­tain, I met three cars creep­ing up the hill.

“Since the tem­per­a­ture was in the up­per 70s, I had my win­dow down and as I passed the first ve­hi­cle, I heard the lady drive yell, ‘Deer!’ I didn’t know ex­actly what she meant, but I slowed down and in no time, a deer leaped from the woods and on to the road, run­ning across right in front of my car. My thanks to the kind lady who was think­ing of more than her­self — the deer is still walk­ing and I am still driv­ing. The fall leaves in Whit­ting­ton Park are lovely, but I need to leave the house a lit­tle sooner these days.”

On the other hand, this writer gives a “Thumbs-down” to the driver who on Fri­day, Nov. 10, was pro­ceed­ing at a vir­tual snail’s pace down West St. Louis.

Wait­ing to turn left onto St. Louis from Phillips Street, I stayed put be­cause the auto was trav­el­ing so very slowly it oc­curred to me that there might be car prob­lems or per­haps the per­son be­hind the wheel was look­ing for a cer­tain house.

When the driver reached my van­tage point, I saw that it was a woman and she was talk­ing on the tele­phone, seem­ingly obliv­i­ous to the grow­ing line of cars be­hind her.

A dis­tracted mo­torist? For sure.

Cheers and a “Thumbs-up” to the Na­tional Park Col­lege Nighthawks for be­ing pic­tured on the front page of The Sen­tinel-Record last Sun­day as they took on the Wil­liams Bap­tist bas­ket­ball team dur­ing play at the NPC Wellness Cen­ter gym­na­sium. The Nighthawks won their sec­ond game of the year, 111-76.

Best wishes to the Nighthawks dur­ing the rest of this sea­son.

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