No good deed goes unnoticed.
Just ask Jim Hutcherson of Uniontown.
Tammy Hutcherson, Jim's wife, filled me in on the recent out-of-the-blue thank-you that came his way with a persistent knock on the door.
First, a little background.
Jim Hutcherson, who works for UPS, was traveling the Ohio Turnpike on a cold January night when he witnessed a van slowly veering off a rumble strip and down a 500-foot ravine near a bridge. Nobody else was around.
So Jim pulled over, called 911 and dropped down the ravine to see that the van had flipped on its side and the driver was hanging from his seat belt. The man's name was John.
''Jim said he tried to get him out but couldn't. So he talked to the man until EMS arrived,'' Tammy Hutcherson said. ''I think they ended up using the Jaws of Life to get him out. . . . Jim was with the man until they put John on a gurney. . . .
''Jim told me about it when he came home. Jim gave his information — as a witness — to the Highway Patrol. But he never heard what happened to the man. He always wondered how he was doing.''
The mystery was happily solved Tuesday morning with a knock on the Hutchersons' door.
''Yesterday, Jim calls me at work. Says: 'You will never believe who just showed up at the door.' ''
It was John Courtney, 56, whose last name Jim never knew. Courtney had driven from his home in Boardman to deliver a letter to Jim.
''Are you Jim Hutcherson, the man who saved my life?'' Courtney asked.
Jim, 45, a father of three, invited the stranger into his home and the two chatted for an hour.
Before Courtney left, he presented a check for $100 to Jim, saying he would be pleased if he would use it to take his wife out for a nice dinner.
Here's the letter I persuaded the Hutchersons to let me reprint, with the hope it might carry a lesson for the rest of us:
''Thanks for saving my life. Yes, literally saving my life.
''It was a bitter cold Thursday night around midnight on the Ohio Turnpike near the large bridge when I had my auto accident. Apparently, you were behind me in traffic. Many people witness accidents and continue on their way with only the brief thought or prayer that the people involved are OK. But NOT you. You stopped, notified authorities and climbed down a steep ravine to give me comfort until the rescue workers arrived. I'm not sure how long you stayed but I do know I am indebted to you. Many say that I would have frozen to death or for that matter might still be there in the ravine today. It must have been at a remote spot.
''I suffered a half dozen broken ribs, a smashed shoulder, and a few broken collar bones in addition to some cuts and bruises. I spent the following month or so sitting up straight in a chair and then did another month of rehab out West. I just got my reports identifying you as a witness. I often think how different things might have been if you just drove away.
''Please accept the enclosed gift as a small token of my appreciation and know that no act of kindness goes unrewarded in our circle of life. I'm sure the good Lord will shine upon you. Many, many thanks again.''
Signed, ''A friend forever, John T. Courtney.''