A Night In South Georgia

It was seven at night, the middle of April, a two-lane highway. On the radio: Glen Campbell’s “Gentle On My Mind” played while I nodded off behind the wheel. I don’t remember how exactly it happened, but it did.

Then, a loud boom.

It sounded like a baseball bat smashed the hood of my truck. The last sight I recalled was a tree limb stabbing through the windshield.

The man who found me was enormous. He wore camouflage with an orange cap. He helped me into his big vehicle. Then he said, “Tell me your name, son.”

All I could answer was, “G-G-Glen Campbell.”

His single-wide was located deep within the thicket of South Georgia. His wife fed me pot roast, potatoes, and carrots. Their nine-year-old daughter asked questions like, “Why is there a black spot on your forehead?”

To which I answered, “It’s not black, it’s purple.”

I showered in their mud room. I wore borrowed pajama’s, ten sizes too big, and slept in their spare bed.

The next morning, they fed me sausage and hash browns until I was sick.

At the table, the nine-year-old asked, “Are you married?”


“Do you want to get married?”

“Someday, I suppose.”

“To me?”

“Is that a proposal?”

She wrinkled her nose. “What’s that?”

“It’s when a boy asks a girl, ‘Will you marry me?'”

“Of course I’ll marry you, but I’ll tell you upfront, I’m hyphenating my last name.”

When my cousin arrived to pick me up, the man’s wife handed me a plate of cookies. She said, “I’m glad Phillip found you when he did, or else you’d have been out there all night, nobody comes down these roads.”

“You know,” she went on. “He actually thought you might be an angel.”

“Me?” That was the pot calling the kettle purple.

She nodded. “Phillip thinks God sends people to test us. To see if we put others first.”


I’m about as far from being an angel as one can get without carrying a pitchfork. Real angels, you see, aren’t like me. They’re strong, kind, selfless.

Some are invisible.

Others go by the name Phillip.