NEW BOSTON — A letter carrier in New Boston was hailed as a heroine Friday for saving the life of an elderly man who hadn't picked up his mail for a couple days.
Ann Comer was just starting her deliveries in New Boston when she noticed a mail box belonging to Jim Waite, one of her customers in the 900 block of Cottage Road, still had mail in it from a couple days ago.
"That wasn't normal for him to do," she said. "He always picks up his mail."
Bothered by it, Ms. Comer walked across the street to speak to neighbors John and Alice Butler. Next, the Butlers and Ms. Comer noticed the man's next door neighbor, Marilyn Masengarb hanging clothes out to dry.
Together, they tried calling and walking around the house knocking on doors and windows.
They contacted New Boston Police Chief Mike DeFrieze, who then called Kenny Whitmire, a nephew of Mr. Waite's. Mr. Whitmire had a key to the house.
After gaining access to the house, Chief DeFrieze found Mr. Waite lying on the floor and arranged for him to be taken to the hospital by ambulance.
"I'd say our mail lady saved his life," Ms. Masengarb said. "I'm glad she noticed. As hot as it has gotten, another day may have been too late. Ann's certainly a heroine of mine."
"I'm glad I was paying attention," Ms. Comer said. "I'm relieved and happy he's OK."
Ms. Masengarb added that it gives her an added sense of security knowing people such as "our mail lady Ann" pay such close attention.
Late Friday afternoon, Mercer County Hospital chief operating officer Myron Higgins said Mr. Waite was in good, stable condition.
Ms. Comer was quick to talk about an earlier, similar incident involving a co-worker a few months ago. A letter carrier colleague named Roger Andress came to the rescue of a man on a roof of a home just outside Joy. The man had broken his ankle.
"Roger took a blanket up to him and waited for ambulance crews to arrive," Ms. Comer said. "I mentioned at the time that I hoped I would be aware enough as a carrier to be able to do something like that. Now I know I was."
She hopes people hearing about potential postal service cuts remember that letter carriers do a lot more than just deliver the mail.
"We have a lot of loyal employees," she said, "who do a lot of good things."
Today is Friday, May 24, the 144th day of 2013. There are 221 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: A military escort will be at the square at 9 a.m. tomorrow forthe funeral of Lieut. Joseph Eaton. The county judge is absent in Chicago, which willaccount for his not being in the procession. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Rock Island's City Council last night appropriated $95,000 forexpenses for the 1888 and 1889 fiscal year. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Mrs. F.W. Reimers last night was re-elected president of the RockIsland Musical Club at a meeting in the New Harper Hotel. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Seven members of Boy Scout Troop 21 got their Eagle badges lastnight. They were Ralph Hurt, Robert Nelson, Howard Schersten, Cecil Nelson, RobertFryxell, Clarence Stone and Rollin Hurt. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Mayor Morris Muhleman has resorted to a form letter in an effort toanswer objections to the wheel tax increase. "It was my hope that I could, in some way,restore the faith of the citizens in our city. In order to do this I knew I must face the factthat I would become very unpopular."All they are trying to do is protect the citizensproperty and build their town. 1988 -- 25 years ago: RICCA, the Rock Island County Council on Addictions, inconjunction with the Quad City Downs, will hold its annual "Night at the Races" June 2.The benefit "Night at the Races" will raise funds locally to assist in maintaining the twohalfway houses, New Hope Lodge (for women) and Beacon House (for men).