The Stranger by Linda Oxendine-Douglas 

This story took place outside the old Rexall Drug Store on Knox Street, Barbourville, Ky, in the early Spring,  1977.

Linda had just come from taking Molly to the doctor and was preparing to get Molly’s prescription filled. Linda along with Sharron in tow and Molly asleep in her car seat in the back, had just pulled up outside Rexall drug store. 

Linda got out the driver’s side, locking her door, and then went around on the passenger’s side to get Molly only discovering too late that Sharron had already locked her door and was standing on the sidewalk.  While looking through her purse for her keys to open the car door, she happened to glance inside the car where she saw her keys dangling from the ignition.  

Panic ensued as Linda and Sharron began wondering what they should do first, their main concern being Molly and what would happen if she began crying. 

Walking back and forth wringing her hands, mumbling to herself, Linda turned around suddenly finding herself face to face with a tall, dark haired, handsome stranger wearing a long black trench coat. 

 The man asked Linda, “Have you locked your keys inside your car?”   

“Yes, I have, and my baby is in the back seat sick.” Linda replied.  

He then reached inside his long coat and removed a long, slender, metal rod with a slight crook on the end, typically called a “Slim Jim”,  a tool often used by car thieves, which he ran down along side the passenger’s window disengaging the lock within seconds. 

Being so relieved to finally get the door open, Linda reached across the seat and got her keys out of the ignition and began to get Molly out of the backseat.  

“Oh, thank you so very much…”  Linda said as she turned to thank this benevolent stranger.  What she saw an empty sidewalk instead. 

“Where did that man go?” she asked Sharron.

“I don’t know,” Sharron said, “I didn’t see where he went.”

Mystery still surrounds this event over 35 years later.  Linda still recounts how this mysterious stranger appeared out of nowhere and helped her.  

Some people believe in angels while others dismiss this belief.  You be the judge.  Who was this man?  Why did he appear to Linda at just this exact moment? These questions remain unanswered to this day.

More Unexplained Mysteries next week.  

Dora Sue Oxendine Farmer can be reached at

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