This week, we have a story sent in by one of our long time fans and friends Julie, who had a crazy encounter while working as a mail carrier in Blacksburg, Virginia, back in 2002.
So, I was delivering mail. This was in approximately 2002 or so? I can’t remember which year exactly but somewhere in the early 2000s. Anyway, I was carrying mail on a downtown route. The route was divided into different sections called walks and loops. On that particular loop, I would park at what was, at the time a bookstore, for Virginia Tech. It was located on the corner right across Main Street from the church building that now houses Cabo [Fish Taco]. That particular loop would loop down Main Street, then I’d cross Main Street and go up Roanoke Street a block, then go right for a block down Church Street, then right onto Lee Street for a block back down to Main Street. Basically, I would make a big loop behind where Cabo is, then come down Lee Street, and the Cabo building was the last stop for that loop.
Back then, in the back part of the parking lot of the now Cabo Fish Taco, kinda in between Cabo and what is now the Blacksburg Tavern, there was a tiny little building that once housed a taxi company, but in the early 2000s served as an office to the bar that was where Cabo is now. On the front of this little building, by the front door, was where the mailbox for the lady and her business was located.
The lady that ran the bar had three big old guard dogs. They were quite protective of the little office building. I had made it a habit to look at the parking lot as I was walking down Lee Street approaching the business to see if the dogs were out. If they were, then I’d know not to go onto the property to avoid the dogs. That particular summer Saturday, I came down to Lee as usual, took a look to see if the beasts were out and didn’t see any of them anywhere. Seeing that the coast was clear, I walked across the parking lot behind the old church building, walked up the two concrete steps up to the tiny porch on the tiny building, placed the mail that day for the bar into their mailbox, then turned to start down the steps. At this point, I looked down, and right there, sniffing my ankle, was one of the guard dogs, a big old German Shepherd. I about died on the spot! I have no idea where he came from or where he’d been, but he basically had me cornered on that tiny little porch.
I started trying to sweet talk him, “Hey Boy, how are you? What a good and handsome boy you are.” I somehow managed to ease down the steps and was slowly backing and up and trying to ease my way away from this dog. Every step I took that dog stayed right with me, crouched over, lip curled in a snarl showing me his teeth, and gave me one low growl. Well, I kept backing up. I backed across the parking lot towards Main Street, fighting every urge to run because I knew that running or making any kind of sudden move would be a mistake. I kept backing away, aware that I was going to soon be up to the sidewalk on Main Street, and then would have no place to go except into busy Main Street. I could hear the cars going past behind me. I was getting more scared by the second, not sure if I was going to get mauled first or ran over from walking blindly backward into the street.
At about this point, I remember hoping somebody driving by would see what was going on and stop to help. Hoping somebody, anybody would see and help me. I distinctly remember thinking… I may have even said it out loud, I honestly can’t remember… but my thoughts/words were, “Help me, Jesus!” Then all of a sudden, low and behold, there was a young man standing beside me on my right side. He very calmly said to the dog, “Hey, easy there, boy. Everything’s okay. There’s no need for all that.” Let me tell you, just like that, that dog went from snarling and snapping at me to rolling over in submission to the young man, who proceeded to reach down and pet the dog. This dog, who was known for being a fierce guard dog, was now bowing to this young man with the gentle voice, looking for all the world like the sweetest little puppy on earth. At this point, the lady that owned both the business and the dog came out, walked over, and retrieved her dog, apologizing profusely.
Now, here’s where things get interesting. I can believe that this young man could’ve very easily approached me without me seeing him because my eyes and attention were completely on the dog. What I don’t know or can answer is this… when the lady came out and got the dog, I looked at her while she was talking. I then looked back over to tell the young man, my real hero, thank you for helping me, and wanted to get his name, but he was gone. Now, like I said, he easily could’ve showed up unnoticed by me, BUT there is no way at all he could’ve walked away and I would not be able to see him. Where all this ended up at, I had a clear view of both the parking area behind the building, the sidewalk in front of the building, and at least a block up Lee Street, and this young man was nowhere to be seen. He was just gone. He had literally just disappeared.
Thank you to our patrons: Adam, Alvin, Brandon, Charles, Chris, Danielle, Donald, Jeff, Jonnie, Jordan, Julia, Linda, Misty, Sheryl, and Taylor.