Share Newspaper With Elderly Neighbors

TUESDAY, NOV. 4, 1997

Dear Ann Landers: Shortly after I moved into my apartment six months ago, I began to find a few dollar bills in my mailbox about once a month. I was baffled by this until I awoke earlier than usual one morning and found my elderly neighbor stuffing two dollars into my mail slot.

When I asked him what in the world he was doing, he explained, with a good bit of embarrassment, that he could no longer afford to buy a newspaper and had been reading mine, refolding it and putting it back. I handed him his money, and from that day on, I left my newspaper in front of his door when I was through with it.

Please, Ann, suggest to your readers that they offer to share their paper with elderly neighbors who may be on a tight budget. - Baton Rouge, La.

Dear B.R.: What a splendid idea! Bless you and many thanks.

Dear Ann Landers: I would like to respond to that “sick worker” who simply could not afford to stay home because she needed all of her paycheck.

My cousin, “Joy,” worked in a large office. One of her co-workers came in with a terrible cold and flu. The co-worker said she felt lousy but she simply could not stay home because her pay would have been docked. Joy caught the cold, which resulted in flu and then pneumonia. One lung collapsed, and she never really recovered.

Many years ago, when my son was in nursery school, one mother sent her toddler to school even though she knew the child was ill. She said she couldn’t miss work and wasn’t able to find anyone to stay with the boy. It turned out to be polio.

Thousands of people die from the flu every year. Please urge your readers to stay home if they are ill. No paycheck is worth threatening the lives of fellow workers. I spent most of my work years in management. If employees knowingly came to work sick, I would fire them. They have no right to endanger the lives of others. - La Mesa, Calif.

Dear Calif.: I hope your letter is taken seriously by all office workers and by the mothers of young children. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write.

Meanwhile, dear readers, you can take a shot that will inoculate you against the flu. Don’t wait for an epidemic. Get one now.

Dear Ann Landers: I am sending you an article from the Portland Oregonian about an unbelievable verdict. I guess money still talks. Here’s the piece:

“A hit-and-run driver who was traced through a piece of a broken headlight from his Rolls-Royce pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of an 11-year-old boy. He was given five years’ probation.

“The driver, age 70 and a retired industrialist, could have gotten 15 years in prison. The judge ordered him to perform 20 hours of community service a week, some of it with organizations that fight drunk driving, and to donate $20,000 to anti-drunk driving groups.

“The 11-year-old boy was walking home from a video store in Scottsdale when he was hit by the industrialist’s Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. The man was leaving a restaurant where he had eaten dinner and had mixed drinks.”

I hope you will run this in your column. - Arizona Reader

Dear Arizona: My reaction was the same as yours. Outrageous. My heart goes out to the parents of that child. How tragic.

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