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  • Writer's pictureWayne

The Disaster That Was October

Updated: Dec 10, 2022

October was always going to test us. With so many bookings , so many clients turned away and with Elena only just arriving back from months in Russia, the first 3 bookings rolled on.

With a public holiday booked amongst them we borrowed a mobile cold room to keep kegs cool at home for a few days. Backing it onto our lawn which was a bit of a slope, we engaged the breaks but hadn't braced the wheels. Of course the trailer moved forward and left a dent in the read bumper of our Jeep. Thankfully the chains were still attached and we got off pretty light.

That night was our Samford party and I parked the trailer on what I thought was a level road, unloaded Louis and positioned our Chevy ready for the party. I proceeded to unhitch the trailer and to my surprise it slowly started rolling away form the Jeep! This time the chains were unhitched. I frantically jumped down a small gully and found an old tree branch that I jammed under the wheels and rescued the runaway trailer. Another catastrophe avoided.

The rest of that night went off with out a hitch if you can say that.

Our next party was the first Elena attended in a very long time and was truly magical. I didn't dare unhitch the trailer through the trauma of only a few days earlier. The afternoon went by smoothly and this by far was one easy celebration. We were so privileged to addend.

The following weekend was on the Gold Coast in an awesome setting - A wedding in a Barber Shop and all was going well until I went to leave. I'd loaded the Chevy onto the trailer and using a tiedown technique taught to me by my mechanic I lashed down the Chevy. This was to be my saving grace. In checking the all my lashing points were secure I hadn't put the hand brake on or put the Chevy into park. Being tired and not double checking I drove forward only to feel a shunt and see our Louis our Chevy rolling back! With a foot to spare and the tilt tray clamps still holding under enormous strain I managed to drive Lewis forward and resecure everything! Talk about a real close call!

Then there was Harrigan's Car Show. Honestly the highlight of the month. We got to meet so many great car enthusiasts and caught up with a couple who once hired the Chevy Bar under the old owners! But as the saying goes, with great highs come great lows and so came the weekend from hell.

The forecast was for rain all weekend, other states were under water and parts of Queensland were starting to flood. I should have listened to my inner voice and cancelled the deal, but me being the guy who always tries to please people no matter the coast to myself, loaded up our Chevy and headed to Laidley. The trip out there was rain all the way. Arriving was a shemozzle of cars all jostling to get in before the ceremony and only creating a harder job for me setting up the bar.

6 hours later with all kegs emptied hours earlier, I was ready to leave and only moments from loading Lewis onto he trailer when everything shut down, an obvious electrical fault we can only assume was caused by wet weather. Suddenly everyone's an expert in old cars and are mechanics, none of which I'd employ. I'm fractally trying to call a couple of contacts, but with my phone now out of battery and it's 11pm there's little hope of any outside help.

I'm also blocking the only exit which is now infuriating the younger more vocal in the crowd who show no empathy toward the situation. Now I'm faced with backing the trailer carefully past Louis to allow everyone to leave and facing the cold reality that I'm going to have to spend the night sleeping in to front seat of my Jeep listening to the pouring rain!

The morning rolls in and the rain has left its mark, mud, puddles and one very tired person.

My phone is now charged thanks to a storeroom being unlocked and leaving it there overnight. I call a towing company to arrange getting Louis home.

An hour feels like eternity when you're waiting but the lady at the towing company admired our Chevy online and said their company would have a driver to me soon and that they'd take good care of our Classic Chevy.

The driver arrived 20min later and suggested to load the vehicle backwards as this was the easiest way for him. As I'm not a tow truck driver I followed his decision.

He secured the vehicle around the tyres and apologised at the condition of his straps however said that they would do the job and the vehicle was secure.

On leaving Branell Homestead the driver asked if he could stop in at his home to get changed as he was in wet clothes (it would only be 10 minutes). I said that would be fine and I would continue home and meet him there.

By chance I left the homestead first with the tow truck behind me. He followed me through Laidly and Plainlands to the Highway and upon entering the highway increased speed, that's when I received a phone call saying that something had fallen off the Chevy.

He pulled into Rusty's garage and we inspected the damage.

The whole top of my bar has been ripped off.!

This top is a hinged steel frame and decking timber weighing over 80kg!

All I can think is thankfully no one was behind the tow truck when this tore off as it would have caused a serious accident. I salvaged the top with no assistance in the wet on a very dangerous blind bend between plainland and Rusty garage. I had to drag the top 100m down and across the highway amidst the barrage of traffic, putting myself in danger to recover the damaged top. Returning to Rusty's Garage the driver and I lifted the top back into the vehicle to transport. It was now that the tow truck driver decided to put 2 straps over the top to secure it (which he should have done in the beginning).

For the next two nights poor Louis sat on the side of the road covered in a tarpaulin and battled yet another thunder storm as I waited for our mechanic.

Tuesday rolls around and I'm calming down from all the weekend turmoil, I've been up since 3am due to our dog alerting us of an approaching thunderstorm. I've covered Louis with all the spare blankets I have, even forsaking the one off my bed to ensure no more damage can be caused. The storm passes and I'm relieved. I start to prepare for work (yes I too have a full time job)

Went to get into the Jeep and as I climbed into the seat and turned on the ignition. A warning came on that the rear hatch was not secured, as I'd grabbed stuff out at 3am to cover the Chevy during the storm. I climbed back into the Jeep only to put my knee into the only key and snap it off while the engine was running.

I lost it.... I'm defeated Numb...

No one should witness a person who reaches the end...

With all of the damage, I decided to cancel my next two bookings over the next week, Elena's taking care of me. I've reached that point and have decided that we'll close the business for the rest of the year and get all our vehicles repaired serviced and ready to go for 2023.

It's been one hell of a month

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