Introduction. My friend and muse, Mike Lueth, has shared with us another beautiful story that will touch us all, deeply. Thank-you, Mike, and God bless you.

Angels Among Us,
by Mike Lueth

My nephew, Scott, and I were deep in the northern Wisconsin woods hunting deer. It was a cloudy Thanksgiving Day back in 1981. Our extended family had gathered at my wife’s family lake house in Rhinelander to spend the holiday.   

It was Scott who suggested a foray into the forest behind the house.  He brought his rifle and I a camera.  It was late afternoon and the temperature had already maxed out in the mid-twenties.  After a couple of hours with no luck, we decided to head back to the house for the feast.

Pretty soon we realized we were lost. Every hill looked like the last one and moss grows on ALL sides of the trees in a dense forest. The low sun was blocked by the clouds and trees, so we couldn’t use that as our guide.

Before we took off I had looked, in vain, for my father-in-law’s compass, but it was Scott who insisted we wouldn’t need it.  We did our best to keep moving in a straight line. However, all we saw were more of the same woods.

After an hour or so, I made the decision we would try to get to one more ridge and find a way out.  If not, we would have to hunker down, gather firewood and make a rough camp before it got too dark.  There were no cell phones back then.

I threw up a quick prayer

Which way Lord?

I got a definite sense of which way to go and we set off for a ridge up ahead on our right. When we got to the top, we found a logging trail— and not only a logging trail, but the END of a logging trail. We now had a way out.

But to where? We walked through the darkness on the gravel road until we came to a fork in the trail. Again, I implored

Which way Lord?

‘Left,’ jumped into my head.

So, we went left. It was now pitch black and the temperature had dropped into the teens.   The only thing keeping us barely warm was our quickly moving legs.

After another half hour of walking we heard a car and saw headlights approaching.   We flagged the car down and, thankfully, it stopped.   There was an elderly man behind the wheel of a 1968 Chevy Impala. 

He asked us the obvious question,

What are you boys doing way out here in the pitch dark? 

I explained our situation and he offered us a ride back to the house.  We later figured out the place this kind stranger picked us up was over eight miles from where we entered the woods.

As we headed back to civilization, I asked our benefactor why he happened to be driving down this logging road. I could have added, but didn’t, “in the pitch dark.”

He said he’d been out most of the day doing errands, visiting friends, and was heading back home.  

I then got this real strong feeling that I should check on my deer stand and blinds down this road you boys were walking on.

At night. That is how he just happened upon us.

Needless to say, our family was very relieved when we got back to the house. After it turned dark, my wife Joyce became worried. She went to our Jeep and began sending blasts from the deafening truck airhorn I had installed. Scott and I never heard it. We were miles away.

Was it coincidence that man in the 1968 Chevy Impala just happened to be driving down that particular fork of the logging road on Thanksgiving evening?

I think not.

Alabama and Helen Keller

I got goosebumps when I read Mike’s story.

I, too, don’t believe in coincidences.

And a song immediately popped into my head.  One I loved but had not heard or thought of in many years.

I sent it to Mike.

Do you remember this 1993 song from Alabama?

Mike got right back to me.

I’ve never heard that song before, but it pretty much describes our experience: the “Old Man” up above and the old man in the ’68 Impala.

1968 Chevy Impala

All the beautiful lyrics from Angels Among Us are at the end of this post.  Here are a few that jumped out in front of me.

Mama couldn’t see him,
But he was standing there.

Now ain’t it kind of funny
At the dark end of the road
Someone lights the way
With a single ray of hope

I did a little more digging and found something pretty darn interesting.

Turns out the chorus of Angels Among Us is a famous quote of Helen Keller’s. Ms. Keller was born in Alabama in 1880.  She contracted an unknown disease at nineteen months and was rendered deaf and blind. 

This remarkable woman, inspiration to so many, pushed on and at age 24 she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Radcliffe College of Harvard University.  Helen Keller [click for link to her Wiki Page] went on to become world famous as an author, lecturer and political activist. 

Ms. Keller was touched by angels.  Among them was Anne Sullivan, herself visually impaired, who became Helen’s teacher starting at age 7. They remained close for over fifty years.  And her friend, Mark Twain, persuaded the then head of Standard Oil to pay for Helen’s education at Radcliffe.

Helen Keller age 8 (L) with Anne Sullivan

Mike Lueth and Scott were touched by angels.

Who are yours?

Angels Among Us
By Don Goodman and Becky Hobbs

I was walking home from school
On a cold winter day,
Took a short cut through the woods
And I lost my way.

It was getting late, and I was scared and alone.
Then a kind old man took my hand, and led me home.
Mama couldn’t see him,
But he was standing there,
And I knew in my heart
He was the answer to my prayer.

Oh, I believe there are Angels Among Us,
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with a light of love.

When life held troubled times
And had me down on my knees
There’s always been someone
To come along and comfort me

A kind word from a stranger
To lend a helping hand
A phone call from a friend
Just to say I understand

Now ain’t it kind of funny
At the dark end of the road
Someone lights the way with just a single ray of hope.

Oh, I believe there are Angels Among Us,
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with a light of love.

They wear so many faces,
Show up in the strangest places
And grace us with their mercies in our time of need.

Oh, I believe there are Angels Among Us,
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with a light of love.

To guide us with a light of love


2 responses to “ANGELS AMONG US”

  1. Kay Weiss says:

    Casey, I so loved this. It came on the perfect day as last night, we marked the anniversary of Michael’s death by saying Yahrzeit, the Jewish prayer for the dead. It’s recited by loved ones on the Jewish calendar’s equivalent of someone’s death. The English calendar date is April 2nd. So, today I read this. You, dear man, might be one of those angels.

    • Casey Gauntt says:

      Dear Kay, blessings upon Michael, you, Gary and your entire family. I’m so grateful the story arrived at the right time for you. Warmest regards, Casey

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Author Bios

Write Me Something Beautiful Authors - Casey and Jimmy Gauntt

Casey Gauntt

is a retired attorney and former senior executive of a major San Diego real estate company. He lives in Solana Beach, California, with his wife, Hilary. Casey grew up in Itasca, Illinois, graduated Lake Park High School in 1968, and received B.S., JD and MBA degrees from the University of Southern California.

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Jimmy Gauntt

was born and raised in Solana Beach and graduated from Torrey Pines High School in 2002.   A prestigious Trustee Scholar at the University of Southern California, he majored in English and Spanish. He authored six plays, five screenplays, and a multitude of poems and short stories. Beginning in 2010, the USC English Department annually bestows the Jimmy Gauntt Memorial Award—aka “The Jimmy”—to the top graduates in English.  Jimmy passed over to the other side in 2008 at age 24.

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