April 23, 2009

paladin \PAL-uh-din\,

1. A knight-errant; a distinguished champion of a medieval king or prince; as, the paladins of Charlemagne.
2. A champion of a cause.

I didn't find too many knights wandering the streets downtown for today's word of the day. Instead, I met one of the nicest people in Raleigh: Miss Carol.

Miss Carol apparently runs a hot dog stand on Fayetteville Street. (For those foreigners among you, Fayetteville Street is Raleigh's main strip during the day, with offices and restaurants and stuff. But at night it's fairly dead with the exception of a few little bars.) The side of her cart reads, "The Hot Dog Lady," and if she wasn't the most kind person alive, I might have inserted a dirty joke here.

I told Miss Carol that today's word of the day is paladin, and asked her what her cause would be. "Just being the best person I can be," she said. "Helping everyone get through their day."

And within the 45 seconds it took to introduce myself and take a photo, she was helping someone on the street get into the bank adjacent to her hot dog stand. That's her in the photo telling him what buttons to press to get in. And when it didn't work, she left her post to go around to the window and find someone to help.

At least four people said "Hello, Miss Carol," on their way by. Evidently she's had some effect on the people that pass her cart every morning simply by standing on the same corner, day after day, being sweet.

How refreshing; what better cause could there be?

Anyway, if you happen to see any knights roaming the streets, or even someone championing a cause, send me your paladin photos in an email so I can include them with Miss Carol. Happy Thursday!

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