Campfire stories with Garrett – Part 4

Of cars, trucks and cliffs

Garrett has always been a gracious person, as well as someone who loves a good joke or wise-crack. I plied on both attributes once when I hit his truck with my car. It had snowed that night, and the plow had come through and pushed up a berm of ice that effectively impeded my departure for work. Rather than take the time to properly dig my way out, I resorted to employing horsepower and physics. My plan was shortsighted though, as I failed to account for the fact the momentum I needed to extricate my vehicle from the driveway was greater than I had room to quell for before I impacted the side of Garrett’s truck. I hit it hard, really hard, and I was sure there would be extensive damage. Miraculously, there was nothing I could see – at least at 5:20 in the morning. I knew I needed to tell Perks, as I called him, in case there was something I missed during my low-light inspection. Standing at the grill together pooping and flipping pancakes was the perfect time to broach the subject, so I proceeded to tell him about being stuck and and smashing the gas pedal to get over the ice. Here came the confession. “So, when I gunned it, I came flying across the street in a blaze of ice chunks and glory… (at this point, Garrett was belly-laughing again) and I hit your truck. I didn’t see any damage, but I’m sorry if there is.” He told me it was no problem and that the story was worth any harm done to the truck.

That was not the only time those two vehicles – Garrett’s Ford Ranger and my Volvo sedan – made it into the lore of our relationship. I can’t recall the exact circumstances surrounding Garrett’s attempt to turn his truck into a Christmas tree ornament hanging on the side of a cliff on Highway 180, but his experience helped save my parents from heart attacks. Not too long after Garrett’s death-defying antics and the subsequent middle of the night phone call from the sheriff trying to determine if the driver of the ornament was still alive, I tried to copy this feat on the other side of the mountain. My cliffhanger adventure was due purely to juvenile stupidity, fast driving and lack of sleep. Once I made it back to Hume Lake around 1:00 in the morning, I noticed Garrett’s lights were still on, so I went to his place and related my near-death experience. He asked me if the car was registered in my name, which is was not, and told me I needed to call my parents and let them know I was alive in case the sheriff happened upon my car and made another phone call. That was my first “Dad, let me start by saying I’m ok…” conversation, and I’m sure Garrett’s wisdom in that matter prevented much angst in the Liapis family.


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