Pipe Smoke Angel Story

Leona Stevens' account of an angel, a mysterious visitor...

In November of 1997, I was living in Albany, New York with my husband and attending the Albany College of Pharmacy. I was nineteen at the time. I had a job at CVS, which was about a mile and a half away.

One night, a nursing student named Jenna Grieshaber was killed in her apartment, which was exactly one block from mine. I had to walk past her apartment to get from work to home, as I didn't have a car at the time. The night after she was killed, they still hadn't found the person who did it, and it scared me to walk home at night. At first, I waited for a bus, but after half an hour, none came, and I decided to risk walking home.

Admittedly, I was scared, but I had no choice as my husband was at work himself. After about a block, a man came up behind me on my left (also the road side). He was very tall, was wearing jeans, a blue jacket, had thin brown hair, and was smoking a vanilla pipe. After what had just happened in my neighborhood, I should have been scared, but I wasn't. This man just walked with me, on the left, one step in front of me. I knew that he could walk faster than me, and could have easilly just left me alone, but he didn't. In fact, twice he had stopped to light his pipe while I kept walking, and twice he caught up to me again and stayed with me, but always one step ahead. Finally, I got to my apartment, and I put the key into the door. I turned around to say "thank you" to the man who had walked me home, but he was not there. He wasn't around the corner, down the street, nowhere. It was like he was never there.

I felt complete contentment at that point, and to this day, vanilla pipe smoke evokes a calm in me that nothing else can.