We get a lot of unsolicited mail here in the newsroom. It’s less these days because much of it comes through email. A lot of it goes straight into the trash — the newsletter for a small nonprofit on the other side of the country, trash; the annual meeting notice for the obscure trade association for those who handle powder coatings, that’s trash too.


But every once in a while something catches my eye. Most recently it was a small, white book, “Carnegie Hero Fund Commission: 2015-2016 Annual Reports.” The book is filled with the stories of hundreds of men and women who committed individual acts of bravery and selflessness.


And since we all need some inspiration every now and then, here are some samples of the stories contained in the book, including one from here in Texas:


Isbel Jimenez saved Jeannette Marshall from a burning home on Sept. 15, 2015 in Breckenridge. Marshall was in the home when a fire broke out. Jimenez saw the flames from his nearby home and rushed to help. Flames blocked the front door so he used a board to access a small window five feet off the ground. Through the heat and smoke he found Marshall unresponsive on the floor. He handed her out the window to two waiting police officers and escaped to safety. Both were treated for smoke inhalation and recovered.


In Lakeville, Massachusetts, William Driscoll was driving a pickup truck on a two-lane highway when the SUV in front of him went into the opposite lane. Thinking that the driver must be driving distracted, Driscoll sped up to drive alongside the SUV only to see the driver slumped over. Other vehicles were coming down the road in the SUV’s lane, so Driscoll used his truck to take it off the road onto the shoulder and stop it against the guide rail. The driver of the SUV was unresponsive and pronounced dead at the hospital, presumably from a medical condition unrelated to the crash, but Driscoll’s actions prevented a high-speed head-on collision.


It always seems that people’s true colors show when they don’t have time to think about it. I hope these stories were a reminder of the goodness of humanity.



Happy birthday Thursday to Becky McCarn, Wanda Graves and Ronald Luper, all of Sherman; Jennifer Brown of McKinney; and Yette McKee of Dallas.