Saturday, March 29, 2008

Angels accompanied us to the 7-Eleven on King Ave.....

Rachel's post inspired me to remember some stories about the 7-Eleven on King ave.

My first thought was that of my vow to never buy anything from the 7-Eleven on King. I'll explain later...the post is too long with both stories.

Many years prior to me taking my vows, there was a very late night that I patroned the very establishment in the wee hours of the night, or it could have been the morning. This was pre-mission, and actually, was the summer before my mission, the year was 1995. So, Missy and I were either just friends, or just barely beginning to take an interest in each other. We like to say the spirit goes to bed at midnight, but on this night he was working overtime. (Get your minds out of the gutter!!!!! We were being supervised!!!!)

One warm summer night, Missy, AMY (my sister) and I were up late chatting/hangin at my parents. It was probably around midnight, and we decided we wanted to go make a 7-Eleven run. You know, the 5th Avenue Bar and Dr. Pepper kind of a midnight snack when you were a teenager with nothing better to do?

So, we pile up 3 wide in the front bench of the old 85' Ford LTD. That was a fun car. It looked like a granny mobile, but with it's 5.0L V-8 it would really go when you stomped the gas!

There we were in the 7-Eleven parking lot, WE HAD just purchased our goodies and piled back into the car. I was in the drivers seat and I decided I'd entertain myself by just sitting there in the parking lot and enjoy the moment. I had the strange notion to try and irritate my passengers by just sitting there for absolutely no apparent reason.

After just a few minutes, or maybe seconds, I was being yelled at to start the car and drive us home. Missy yell at me? Never, not even when we were dating, it must of been Amy.

I yelled back at them in my defense: "Haven't you ever just wanted to sit in the 7-Eleven parking lot at midnight? We'll go when I'm good and ready!"

I may have held out for another 30 seconds or so, but I achieved my goal of irritation and then vroom, off we went. About 4 blocks from the store is a middle school called Kate Collins. We topped the hill where the school sits further up a hill to the right of the street, and I notice the school parking lot stop sign being pushed over practically laying in the street.

I then see a huge cloud of smoke in the middle of the street. I was confused because it was the strangest cloud I'd ever seen.

Then, off to the left of the street I see a tractor trailer parked in the strangest place ever.....the trailer is sticking out of an apartment complex, with the Truck portion nose dived into the two lower stories of the building.

The truck had apparently been parked on the hill in the parking lot of the middle school. The park brake wasn't properly set, and the truck coasted down the hill ran over the stop sign, bounced across the street and plowed into the apartment building, billowing out a huge cloud of dust!

Once I realized what happened I stopped the car and opened the car door. My first thoughts were to go see if anyone needed immediate help. Someone ran out of the apartment building and yelled:

"Somebody call 911!"

My next thought was that someone could be seriously hurt and it might be a nasty bloody mess inside. Even though I'm an Eagle Scout and was trained in first aid, I really didn't' want to try any of that stuff out. It flashed back to me that there was a police officer pulling into the 7-Eleven just as we were leaving. This was before the cell phone became readily available. I got the LTD turned around and I made good use of the 5.0L V-8 engine and hurried back to the 7-Eleven.

I informed the officer of the possible carnage and he sped off to the rescue.

The newspaper explained the story the next day and even highlighted the fact that the police were on the scene within minutes of the accident.

Luckily, no one was seriously injured. One man was very lucky, his mattress softened up the grill of the Mack Truck that flung him across the room to the opposite wall where he was pinned.

I immediately reflected about the few moments that we sat in the parking lot for absolutely no apparent reason. We could have just as easily been T-Boned by a runaway Mack Truck that evening. It obviously didn't have it's headlights on, making it very difficult to see, and to anticipate the scenario would have been near impossible. A vehicle careening down from the school parking lot in the middle of the night, in the middle of summer break.....never in my life would I have imagined. The truck would have come from nowhere. We'll never know what COULD have happened, but the good thing was, it didn't.

SO, I knew that we had some guardian angels along for the ride that night.

I wonder what they got: a 5th Avenue or a Butterfinger?


Alice Wills Gold said...

Jarrett, When will your exciting stories is as if your middle name is danger...oh, we already knew that...It's a good thing you have a wife yelling at you...and I guess it's a good thing that you only listen after a few good minutes!

Rach said...

That reminds me of a story when I was about 11 years old and my sister and brother were going out to get some takeout at around 8pm one night. They were in my brothers orange mini cooper and they just decided to go on their own without inviting me. After a long arguement with them both about not inviting me along, I stubbornly decided not to go. On the way home from takeout that night, my brother crashed the mini round a sharp bend, as the roads were icy and he obviously took the bend too quickly and ploughed right into my school principals yard/fence. Now if you know what a mini looks like, you know that they are small and do not hold up well in crashes, and the whole back end including the back passenger seat was smashed in. Obviously, being the youngest in the family, I would have been resigned to the back seat if I had gone with them that night and probably wouldn't be here now to tell the story... my guardian angel was definitely working hard that night... and I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, which is why you played that prank on the girls, at that moment, on that specific night...