Clarksdale Samaritans – A Place Where Perfect Strangers Wave At You

Magical Madge and Clarksdale Samaritan Jessica "Weechee" Harper in McDonalds in Clarksdale.

Magical Madge and Clarksdale Samaritan Jessica “Weechee” Harper in McDonalds in Clarksdale.

(Clarksdale, Mississippi) 

My wallet was found? I didn’t even know it was lost!

The day started with a personal commitment and challenge to let thankfulness temper all my thoughts. Was it even possible to walk through my entire day with a grateful attitude and would this exercise enable me to see the Light of Jesus shining on all my circumstances?

How often my personal thoughts fought for attention but how thankful I was when I noticed and got back to my task of having a thankful heart, in everything I did that day.

It was around 8:30pm, Monday, March 25, 2013. After a long day at work, I locked up the DB Gift Shop and headed to Corner Grocery for a snack. While standing at the counter waiting to check out, I gave thanks for the two men in the store, one behind the counter and the other by the door. I said to myself, “Thank you for letting me be a part of their lives. Thank you that I have this store where I can encounter many different people in this community of Clarksdale that I love so much. Thank you, God, for all who come and go in this unique spot in my town. I am so grateful that I can shop here.” 

Carl "Carleon" Fields, "Magical "Madge Marley Howell, Henry "Mr. Garfield" Smith at Corner Grocery

Carl “Carleon” Fields, “Magical “Madge Marley Howell, Henry “Mr. Garfield” Smith at Corner Grocery

It went on and on like that, my inner dialogue with my maker. Aloud I said “Thank you” and “Goodnight” while one of the men kindly opened the door for me when I left. Soon after arriving home, I received a phone call on my cell. I did not recognize the number so I didn’t answer it. 

They called again. This time, I answered it. On the other end was a sweet voice who introduced herself as Jessica Harper. She said, “I have your wallet.” 

I recall, walking in to Corner Grocery with only my wallet in hand. Unbeknownst to me, apparently the wallet fell on to the pavement as I was getting into my car, thanking God the whole time.

Jessica and Henry, the man by the door, saw the abandoned wallet at the same time and reached for it. Jessica retrieved it and told Henry she would contact me.

Magical Madge and Good Samaritan Jessica Harper in McDonalds in Clarksdale.

Magical Madge and Good Samaritan Jessica Harper in McDonalds in Clarksdale.


I had several credits cards and some cash in the wallet but no phone number. Somehow she knew I belonged to Martha Jane Howell, my mother-in-law, and called her to get my phone number.

I ended up at McDonald’s where Jessica and I met and she returned my wallet to me. Next I went back to Corner Grocery to thank Henry and Carl. My friend and local policeman Rip Woodward was in the store and kindly took our photograph.

God was all up in this series of events. My heart was so full and thankful, I about busted. It was something tiny but it felt huge. Life is so much better when I include our creator in all that I say and do. I can feel Him smiling and helping me.

Tourists are all the time telling Billy and me how friendly Clarksdale is and I agree with them. Everywhere I go I speak to people I encounter and they speak back to me. Whether I am driving down the road or walking through a store, they speak and I speak. Sometimes it’s only a nod of the head but there is always an acknowledgement. And I like to wave at people and they wave back!

Recently I met a couple from Toronto, Canada at Larry’s Hot Tamales on Sunflower Avenue and we had a long discussion about the friendliness of Clarksdale. This blessed me. This blessed them. This blessed Larry.

Tourists from Toronto with Larry at his Hot Tamale shop in Clarksdale.

Tourists from Toronto with Larry at his Hot Tamale shop in Clarksdale.

Luke tells us in Chapter 10, verse 33, that a Good Samaritan is a charitable or helpful person. Clarksdale is filled with Good Samaritans. Goodness can overcome the darkness so let yours out! And while you’re at it, invite Jesus to do it with you!

Jessica, Henry and Carl: Clarksdale Samaritans
Jessica “Weechee” Harper was born in Clarksdale. She is an Assistant Teacher at Clarksdale High School in the Math Lab.
Henry “Mr. Garfield” Smith was born in Clarksdale. Henry promotes Step Shows in the Mississippi Delta.
Carl “Carleon” Fields was born in Bolivar but has lived in Clarksdale since the early ’80’s. If I am not mistaken, Carleon nicknamed Jessica “Weechee!”

I will close with a passage from today’s Jesus Calling. Just think what our world would be like if we all lived this way.

From JESUS CALLING by Sarah Young

April 1
I AM CALLING YOU to a life of constant communion with Me. Basic training includes learning to live above your circumstances, even while interacting on that cluttered plane of life. You yearn for a simplified lifestyle, so that your communication with Me can be uninterrupted. But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world. Accept each day just as it comes, and find Me in the midst of it all.

Talk with Me about every aspect of your day, including your feelings. Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day Do not let your to-do list (written or mental) become an idol directing your life. Instead, ask My Spirit to guide you moment by moment. He will keep you close to Me.

Pray continually.
-1 Thessalonians 5:17

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
-Proverbs 3:6

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