I had considered myself forewarned.
Judging by the look of the ground, I had a feeling that parking my truck out of the way for Tuesday’s groundbreaking along Old Augusta Road would be easy. Getting out of there, now that was the question.
“Don’t worry, we can pull you out if you get stuck,” I was advised.
I’d been stuck before at events. I once took a corner a little too wide and got into a ditch. Some bikers came to my rescue. No, really.
I’ve got nothing against bikers. In fact, my experiences have been good, either humorous or enlightening. I’ve covered enough bike runs and have enough friends who ride — top-ranking law enforcement officers and bank bigwigs I know who ride keep asking me to get a bike, but I always say thanks, but no thanks, I like the comfort and security of my truck to the feel of asphalt ripping the skin from my flesh if I have to put a bike down — to at least have an appreciation for bikers and how tight-knit they are.
About 20 years ago, a buddy and I had summer jobs putting in air conditioning conduits at an elementary school, one I had attended as a wee child. Our bosses were a bunch of bikers out of Jacksonville. Good guys to work for.
I remember distinctly a young lady walking by with a tattoo on her shoulder. The job forearm growled, like he was watching his steak cook on a grill. We asked him what he was doing.
He shot back something about tattooed women — mind you, this was 20 years ago, before tattoos became de rigeur — and we said, uh, no, not us. We were college boys who went to work every day as glorified ditchdiggers in a brand new Mercedes Benz. We preferred our women not to have ink at that point in our lives.
Since my buddy was an ex-football player, he got drafted to run the jackhammer. Me, being slight of build, well, I got sent to go under the sidewalks to connect the holes being dug from either side.
Let me tell you, it is no cooler underground and under a slab of concrete on Fort Stewart. No sir. Not at all.
It was a fun summer. We learned a lot. Much of it is not printable or repeatable, unless under federal subpoena.
This time, as my trusty steed was mired in soft sand, there were no bikers to get me out of my predicament. This time, it was guys in shirts and ties, from Rickey Kicklighter to David Crawley to Adam Kobek to the guys from R.B.
Baker and a handful of others shoving my baby backwards until I got onto a harder surface, got my traction and wheeled out of there, deftly steering just inches from the commissioners’ vehicle on my way out.
My camera was at my side. I really should have taken a picture through the windshield. Alas, there is no independent evidence of the help forwarded to me Tuesday afternoon, just my gratitude for getting me the truck out of there.