Posted by Redditor u/Cavemanjoe47:
19 years ago. I was 17. Close to midnight-1am on New Year's day.
Older (50s-ish) black dude from Maryland or somewhere else way up north visiting family in Georgia for New Years, decides he's going to walk to the store for more beer while he's sh*tface drunk and gets lost, walking by the side of the road, in an area he doesn't know, with his cell phone dead, in an area with no streetlights.
My best friend and I are on my parents' front porch, he's playing guitar and I'm walking a bassline to what he's playing, and Butterbean just comes down the driveway on the hill really, really carefully (my friend and I are very white, and the porch light is shining on us, so think 'light mode at night' looking at us for poor Butterbean).
Dude comes down the hill going "Excuse me? I'm sorry, but I think I'm lost!" And we talk to him for a minute, tell him to take a seat because he looked tired and handed him a water out of the cooler. (We can tell he's pretty drunk, but he's a very happy drunk) He asks if he can use the phone, and I go in to grab it (cordless, landline. Yeah, I'm old) while my friend keeps listening to him talk about his sister's party earlier that day.
My dad hears the new voice and comes outside, dude sees him, goes to stand up, dad says "You're good, man, just wanted to introduce myself. You want some black eyed peas, collard greens, and cornbread? It's still hot."
I thought this dude was gonna cry. He teared up, but none fell. He couldn't dial the number, so he told it to me and I punched it in, my dad got ahold of the lady on the other end, she said "Who is this about?" And the old dude yells "Tell her it's Butterbean!" And everyone laughs, and my dad gave her directions to come get him, because it was a ways away. Stayed on the phone with her (it was her cellphone) until she pulled in the driveway, but it took awhile.
While my dad talks to Butterbean's sister, my mom brought out a plate for Butterbean, and he's sitting there with such a happy look on his face, in a green plastic Adirondack chair, mouthful of collards and cornbread dipped in the black eyed peas, ice cold Dr Pepper cracked open on the little side table while my friend plays & sings 'Grave Digger' on his acoustic, and he swallows a bite and says "Man, y'all are ANGELS! I can't believe I'm sittin' here eating collards and cornbread with such cool white folks! This is amazing!" (I'd never heard anyone talk like that before. It really stuck with me, like, how could anyone do anything other than what we'd done? I didn't get it at the time, but thought about it after)
It was a great night. Didn't keep in touch or anything, but every few years my brother and I will be sitting outside at night and one of us will go
"Yeah. That was fun. Hope he's doing okay."
Hope you're doing good, Butterbean. You were the angel that night.