Courtesy is something that is rare these days, but we can all make a difference in our world if we will practice a few courteous tips. First and foremost, it’s always proper to say please and thank you. Say it to everyone, no matter what. Showing an attitude of gratitude can change your life.

Next, let the small things go. The small irritants that people sometimes do unwittingly, or even wittingly, don't always have to be followed by a rant or a lecture. Just act like Elsa and let it go!

Try holding the door for someone. What I've found is that the more I hold doors for others, the more others do so for me. It's like paying it forward, this little bit of good mood.

Got a full load in your grocery cart, but the person behind only has one or two items? Let them go first. It's only taking up a little of your time and lets that person out much quicker.

Compliment a stranger. Don't make up something. Look for something you genuinely like about them and compliment that. An insincere compliment is worse than none at all and a simple compliment can really give that person a boost to their day.

In short, it's the random acts of kindness that really show courtesy to our fellow human beings. Just live by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you are courteous to your fellow humans, they just might be courteous to you. What a world that would be!

It was a terrific Saturday with the John Henry Celebration & Leeds Fall Festival. Weather was perfect and all of the events, activities and entertainment were absolutely awesome. Kids and adults tried their hand at the High Striker to see what it was like to drive steel. The John Henry play, “Listen To that Cold Steel Ring,” and the John Henry Disney Legends movie continued the legend forward. This was the first John Henry Celebration in several years and it brought back the story of John Henry, an African-American railroad man, who is believed to have entered a winning contest against a steam drill and saved hundreds of jobs as the company he worked for blasted tunnels through mountains south of Leeds in the 1880s. Entertainment included Erica Ryleigh, Brooks & Stegall, Gabriel N. Akins, Charity Bowden, Birmingham Youth Fellowship Choir, Children’s Joy, roaming street musicians and a professional storyteller, Elizabeth Vander Kamp. The historic stagecoach was on display. Special guests included Guy Hubbs, Alabama 200 author and speaker who donated an autographed copy of his book, “Searching for Freedom after the Civil War: Klansman, Carpetbagger, Scalawag, and Freedman” (2015) to the library, as well as Branko Medenica, famous sculptor and artist of the John Henry statue rendering. Parkway and 9th Street were filled with street vendors and a great collection of antique cars from the Dixie Vintage Automobile Club. Car show awards went to Doug and Shelley Hamilton and J.D. Hamilton for being winners of John Henry Steel Driving Man for their 1989 VW Vanagan Scooby Doo Mystery Machine, Larry Moore – Best of Show with his 1952 Ford F2 pickup, Dale Barkhage – Chairman’s Choice, Wilbur Lehand – Best Original, Wilbur Holiday – Oldest Vehicle with his 1926 Model T Touring Sedan, Bill Armstrong – Best General Motors, Gary Anderson – Best Ford, John Krauser – Best Studebaker and John Sylvester – Best of Truck.

Hold the Fort 5k winners from Saturday’s race included Top Male Finisher, Sean Walroth. Top Female Finisher was Emily Courington. Male 20-29: 1st Place – Ricky Soto. Male 30-39: 1st Place – Garrett Hudson, 2nd Place – Jesse Pendergrass and 3rd place – Brice Jackson. Male 40-49: 1st Place – Jason Spruiell, 2nd Place – Adam Pruitt and 3rd Place – Josh Hardin. Male 50-59: 1st Place – Jason Osga, 2nd Place – David Simpson and 3rd Place – Danny Williams. Male 60 and over: 1st Place – Mark Targe and 2nd Place – Chuck Mauldin. Female 12 and under: 1st Place F. Hardin, 2nd Place – H. Fermin and 3rd Place – V. Yang. Female 20-29: 1st Place – Dara Lewis, 2nd Place – Angela O’Neil and 3rd Place – Katie Creasy. Female 30-39: 1st Place – Erin Hardin, 2nd Place - Victoria Vaughan and 3rd Place – Rosemary Porter. Female 40-49: 1st Place – Heather McInnish. Female 50-59: 1st Place Barbara Pitts and 2nd Place – Angela McClintock.

The 28th Annual Whistle Stop Festival is scheduled for this Saturday, Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Shops of Grand River. The festival will be in the parking lot behind Nike and VF Outlet. A great day is planned with many festivities including plenty of family fun, arts and crafts, great food and much more. There is no admission and this event is sponsored by the City of Leeds and the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. For more information, please visit www.thewhistlestopfestival.com.

The Shepherd Supply Mission 5th Annual Celebrity Roast Fundraiser is scheduled for 5 p.m. this Sunday, Sept. 29 at Moody Civic Center. The guest of honor this year is Marie Manning. This event is $75 and includes dinner. Silent auction will begin at 4 p.m. Proceeds will benefit Shepherd Supply Mission. For more information, please contact Dawn Ellard at 205-369-5876 or Jennifer Monday at 205-441-2340 and visit www.shepherdsupplymission.com.

Moody Kiwanis Club is scheduled to meet at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at Moody City Hall.

Leeds Police and Fire Departments will host National Night Out on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Meet up at Leeds Memorial Park from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to support your local first responders and help promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. There will be free food, fun for the kids, giveaways and more. Come out and meet your local law enforcement and firefighters! Learn more about National Night Out at www.NATW.org.

Steve Sink Edward Jones will host a Social Security Seminar on Tuesday, Oct. 1 from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Moody Civic Center. This event is open to the public and you are welcome to bring a guest, but seating is limited so please RSVP as soon as possible by calling 205-352-3778.

The Leeds Arts Council is excited to bring tribute artist Jason Petty presenting “Hank Williams – The Lonesome Tour” to the Leeds Theatre & Arts Center on Thursday, October 3 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. Due to the popularity of this show, reservations are recommended so call 205-699-1892 for tickets.

Leeds Downtown Tailgating event is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 4. Storefronts are encouraged to decorate for homecoming. Food trucks will be on the Parkway and everyone is encouraged to come downtown, hang out, enjoy some food and watch the homecoming parade together. For more information, please contact Sandra McGuire at 205-699-5001.

Thought for the Week: “Random acts of kindness could change someone else’s life as well as your own.”

I truly appreciate each of you who read my column and I really love sharing news so please send your Leeds and Moody news to me at leedsmoodynews@gmail.com.

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