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‘Special delivery’ another great thing about city

On my list of least favorite things to do, washing clothes rankspretty much at the top.

Since I’ve never bothered to get a washer and dryer for myapartment, my options are to take advantage of the facilities whenI return to Vicksburg to see Dad and my other relatives or to go toa local laundromat. The laundromat was the case recently as Iprepared to go back to Vicksburg for my 20-year high school reunionlast weekend.

When I do my laundry locally, I try to do so as quickly aspossible.

To pass the time, I usually bring along a magazine or myPlayStation Portable. It’s typically an anonymous affair, but notalways.

While we certainly don’t court it, working in the media comeswith it a certain amount of attention. After all, we’re seen atmany major news events around town and columns like this one getour pictures in the paper.

As I was waiting on the washer to finish, a fellow customer wasreading The DAILY LEADER and thought she recognized me. I confirmedher conclusion that I worked for the newspaper.

Over the din and rumbling of the machines, Mrs. Brown and Ispoke off and on as we went about our chores at hand. It wastypical talk for the setting – the weather (hot) or which coin-opmachines work the best – and a nice way to make the minutes goby.

With plans to go to Vicksburg (and thus use of the “free” familymachines there), I had already pared my laundry basket to just theessentials. While I enjoyed talking with Mrs. Brown, I was still inno mood to hang around the laundromat any longer than absolutelynecessary.

As soon as my clothes had reached a sufficient level of dryness,I was out the door and on my way home. Once at home, it was time topair up the socks and put them and other items in their properplace.

As you may expect, one brown sock came home all by his lonesome.Thinking it was no big deal and that his partner would turn up withthe next load, I set the sock aside and began planning for what Iwould wear to my class reunion.

Despite some initial reluctance about going to the reunion (Iwasn’t a part of the “in” crowd in high school and the 10-yeargathering wasn’t the greatest experience either), I had a prettygood time last weekend. I got to spend some time with a few oldfriends who hadn’t made it to the 10-year reunion and also visitedwith some friends I hadn’t seen since then.

Throughout the weekend, I trumpeted Brookhaven as a great townthat reminds me of the Vicksburg I knew growing up. You know, theVicksburg that was known more for its charm and history than forits being home to floating casinos.

Going from reunion event to reunion event, washing clothes wasthe furthest thing from my mind.

I hadn’t even bothered to take any of the clothes that didn’tget washed here back to Vicksburg with me. I wouldn’t have had timeto tackle them anyway.

My trip to the laundromat came back to mind Monday.

I’ll say now that there are some advantages to living in a townthe size of Brookhaven and working at the newspaper.

A friend from Magnolia sent me letter, addressed only as “MattColeman, Brookhaven, MS,” and it arrived safe and sound. Also, theUPS man delivers my packages to the newspaper office if a signatureis required.

But I was surprised to find a puffy envelope in my officemailbox Monday afternoon.

In the envelope was the missing brown sock that I had left inthe dryer in my haste to leave the laundromat. Written on theoutside the envelope was a note from Mrs. Brown that she found thesock, wanted to return it and that she enjoyed talking with me.

I’m not using Mrs. Brown’s full name because she wasn’t seekingany publicity through her kind action. She was doing a good deedfor someone she could help and that’s what mattered to her.

I, however, want to say “thank you” to Mrs. Brown for herthoughtfulness.

Remember at the reunion I told my former classmates about what agreat town Brookhaven is? The next time I have to make thatargument, the story of my “special delivery” from Mrs. Brown willbe another piece of evidence I use to prove my case.

Write to Matt Coleman at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven MS 39602,or send e-mail to mcoleman@dailyleader.com.