Roses to good people. Plain, pure and simply good people. An example was recently submitted to us. An elderly women fell on an East State Street sidewalk. Someone who gave only her first name – Tina – saw the fall. She promptly stopped her vehicle, rushed to assist the startled, injured woman. She called the husband of the woman and provided comfort until an ambulance arrived. The injuries included facial abrasions. The elderly couple was struck by the kindness of a stranger. They would like to personally thank her. So, Tina, if your are reading this or get word of it, please contact the editor and he will hook you up. You deserve the praise. The world needs more Tinas.

It seems that here at the paper all we can provide at times is the bad stuff going on throughout Salem and our readership region. Everything ranging from punks and their vandalism to sexual predators and their sicknesses to murderers including those of children and those of mothers of children. By the way, how many unsolved murders are we up to around here?

Then there are the drugs and related crimes. It’s an infestation, primarily given the rampant heroin abuse. Here’s a true story. The other day a lift was given to someone. Don’t ask why, just a spontaneous thing. Trying to be a nice guy and all. She was in the front of the big east end retailer and was bumming a ride into town. During the course of a half hour drive, she spoke about being broke, living here and there and about being in some kind of detox program but not able to get proper meds for that day. Something to do with a medical card screw-up. Or so she said.

We drove from one end of Fourth Street to the other end. Twice. She couldn’t remember where someone she knew lived. She was out of smokes and edgy. Then she disclosed as if discussing the weather or perhaps the surprising runs by the Indians or Pirates that she would probably be doing the needle by nightfall. With heroin. Which, she told us, is readily available in Salem and throughout our area. A simple phone call is all it usually takes. And it’s cheap. We believed that because we’ve heard it before.

You could’ve played connect the dots with all the needle marks on her arm. She surely looked the part. She had a back-up plan of sorts. So she was dropped off near a dump of a house that looked the part. She borrowed the phone and called someone who was coming to meet her. She didn’t ask for handout. But the vibe was there. None was offered. Being an admitted soft touch has its limits. An addict will run, sometimes stumble and crawl, in a singular direction – to a dealer, of course – to satisfy cravings.

She said she was virtually without family. Her mother was dead and she wanted nothing to do with her father. She is 27 years old. She looked older. Have to wonder if she will see 30. Or 28. Such is this drug addict’s life not in a large city ghetto but smack dab right here in Salem, Ohio. Sad, so sad. And it’s getting worse as written before. Just ask the cops, counselors, first responders and funeral home directors. Ask a parent who has lost a child to addiction.?Or came close to losing a child. Some of us personally can vouch for that.

You wonder what separates the Tinas from the addicts. Granted, all addicts who refuse intervention or fail at recovery are not bad people. But they are lost souls – unproductive, sometimes a burden and sometimes a danger. Many are criminals. Many hurt innocent people. Thank goodness there are so many plain, pure and simply good people. Like the person who will help an injured stranger lying on a sidewalk instead of not wanting to get involved. Roses of thank yous to every single one of you plain, pure and simply good people. You provide a balance against all of the bad stuff.