On a clear winter's night in December 1860, Eliza Lucy Irion Neilson of Columbus sat down with a notebook and began writing her life story. One hundred and fifty-three years later, those who have come after her have a firsthand account of the ordinary and extraordinary world of the American South during and after the American Civil War.
A hand-pieced quilt has effectively stitched together the lives of one area woman and quilters aged 9 to 90 in rural Nebraska and South Dakota. When a vacationing Donna Egger Grant happened to purchase a few raffle tickets in June for a quilt displayed at the Niobrara Lodge in Valentine, Neb., she "never dreamed" she would actually win it.
Rufus Beason eats breakfast almost every morning at Hardee's in North Columbus with a group of other retired men. One particular morning, Beason saw Columbus Police Department Patrol Officer Canyon Boykin come into the restaurant. He has known Boykin for years; the policeman is a longtime friend of Beason's grandson.
The gifts are small -- a stuffed animal, pencils, a pretty hair clip, bar of soap or tiny model car. But they deliver a powerful message. One that says, "You are not forgotten. Someone cares." To a little girl in an orphanage in Rwanda, or a boy living in a Peruvian village hut, or in any of more than 100 other underserved countries, the modest gifts can make a difference.
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