Day 83: Paula Miles


Dear Paula,

I’m not certain if everyone does this, or even if it’s good or bad, but at some point a few years ago I realized a subconscious pattern where I’d file away certain thoughts, and even create categories about the people I’ve known.

Paula Miles (left) and Linda Hinton.

There’s a small file for the troublemakers, a special file for the mentors, one for the people whom I really need to do something nice for some day, and another that I just call “the good people.” There are dozens more files actually, but you get the idea.

During the times I’ve reflected on you and Rick, you’ve both always been at the front of “the good people” file. It may not sound like much, but it’s one of my favorite, most treasured files.

This all came to mind a few days ago when you volunteered to send a letter of support for something I’d asked about, and shown an interest in pursuing. You went out of your way in doing something really nice, and it was such a kind gesture. We live in a time when that kind of thing should really be more appreciated. Some people have a better understanding than others that the mission field begins right outside our front door.  I’ve always seen you and Rick as two people who get that.

Well, I do declare…

So many great things in Arkansas have been set in motion with your help – treasured histories helping us recall our connections to Ernest Hemingway and Johnny Cash, the Southern Tenant Farmers movement, Lakeport Plantation, and the Sultana tragedy.  The low-key role you’ve played in so many things is the true indication of a pure servant’s heart.

Thank you for all the big things, and for all the small things. Your gesture toward me a few days ago may seem small to you, but it was a big deal to me.

Thanks for being one of the “good people.”

Your friend,

Steve Watkins

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