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  • Writer's pictureHeather Janssen

News Article: Acts of Kindness: South Lake Tahoe 'Snow Angels' Rescue Trapped Elderly Man

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - A South Lake Tahoe man is happy to be home after he was rescued by two strong women when he got stuck knee-deep in snow.


Robert 'Brian' Spencer started his day like any other, lacing up his shoes and going for his daily walk. He started this routine at 14, and hasn't stopped -- rain, snow or shine.


“I have lived my life as a tough guy,” Spencer said. “The mistake I make is that I’m 88.”


The 88-year-old "tough guy’s" mistake was trudging through the snow in a field more than knee-deep. It didn’t take long for him to get stuck.


“Oh gosh, I’m in trouble,” he said, remembering what was going through his mind as it happened. He was half a mile from home, and unable to move from the spot for more than an hour.


That’s until his snow angels came to the rescue. Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care’s Denise Upton spotted something furry and black from her home’s window. It would turn out to be Spencer’s hat, but from her vantage point, it was something else.


“I immediately thought it was a hurt animal,” Upton said.


Spencer was on all fours. Upton and her fellow wildlife volunteer, Debra Redmon, sprung into aciton.


“There was no second thought – it was just, dive right in and find out how he was doing,” she said.


Together, they smashed down a path in the snow until it was clear to get him out on his feet again and slide him to safety.


“We chase bears, we rescue raccoons,” Upton said. “This was easy compared to a lot of that.”


Thankful for their willpower, former Bay Area firefighter Spencer and veteran of the Royal Air Force, is used to saving the day -- not being saved.


But this man of a million stories has a new one to tell, one of neighbors helping neighbors to get a “tough guy” home safe and sound.


This story was originally published on CBS13's website.

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