Good Samaritan delivers papers to his elderly neighbors' doorsteps

Apr. 04, 2013 @ 04:56 PM

As a former college basketball coach, Bill Leatherman knows a thing or two about assists.
So do about a dozen of Leatherman’s neighbors, thanks to a simple, random act of kindness the High Point man performs every morning as he’s walking his dog.
Leatherman, who lives in the Huttons Lake neighborhood off Skeet Club Road, picks up his neighbors’ morning newspapers — either from their paper box or at the edge of their driveway — and delivers them directly to their front door.
“It’s nothing, really — I just pick it up and put it at their doorstep,” says Leatherman, who retired from coaching at Bridgewater College in Virginia five years ago and moved to High Point. “My mom always told me to do nice things for good people.”
He began making the special deliveries a couple of years ago, after observing an elderly neighbor struggle to pick up his paper at the end of the driveway.
“He almost fell over,” Leatherman recalls. “I would hate for one of these nice people to fall and get hurt. I’m 73 myself — and I consider myself a young 73 — but when I wake up in the morning, I’m still an old stiff, so I can imagine what it would be like for some of my neighbors who are in their 80s.”
Leatherman’s beagle, Shiloh, knows the routine.
“He even knows which driveways to go up,” Leatherman says. “He’s pretty smart — he knows exactly where we’re going.”
While Leatherman doesn’t consider his good deed any big deal, his neighbors feel otherwise.
“It’s a very kind gesture,” says Jessie Simril. “We have several widows and elderly people in our neighborhood, and he takes care of every one of us. And he does it summer, winter, rain or snow.”
Simril occasionally returns the favor by purchasing some dog treats for Shiloh.
Leatherman’s next-door neighbor, 82-year-old Jack Parsons, also appreciates the gesture.
“He does it every day,” Parsons says. “In fact, if my paper’s not there, I have to check on Bill to make sure he’s all right.”
For his part, Leatherman hopes his kindness will be contagious.
“Maybe,” he says, “someone will see this and do the same thing for their neighbors.” | 888-3579