Special! The West Bank of Dunwoody edition.
Please allow me to jump out of order a bit. And, yes, I do realize that I have a LOT to catch up on.
Last week I found myself in Dunwoody, GA, again. ( I suppose congratulations are in order to Dunwoody for their recent incorporation. Dunwoody cityhood rolls to easy victory | ajc.com Finally they have wrenched their futures free from the bosses of the greater metro area. Want to see a new project in Dunwoody? Well there’s a new band of outlaws to contend with now, my friend. Better bring your A-game.)
Dunwoody will be featured prominently in upcoming posts. This is true for a couple of reasons. First, and all the kids will tell you, Dunwoody is one heck of a swingin’ place. Just ask the Johnson’s, residents since ‘65, or the Rosenberg’s, residents since ’62. They know what I’m talking about. Second, my sister lives there and she has a guest room.
I was in town because I was on my way to survey counties in Northwest Georgia and because I was to be photographed for an upcoming AJC article. (The article was really cool, Historian catalogs Georgia’s Civil War markers | ajc.com and I REALLY appreciate Mark Davis for developing this story and giving us so much exposure)
I finally shut my eyes not long after midnight, hoping to rise refreshed and charming (if such a thing is possible). In what seemed like a few leg twitches later I awoke to what turned out to be a car alarm. Confused, I hit the snooze on my alarm clock, tried to answer my phone and, just in case, I tried to deactivate the panic button on my rental car keypad. These actions having no affect on the evil sound, I slowly directed my half shut eyes toward the widow and saw this scene:
I somehow managed to get some clothes on while yelling at the emergency dispatch about the burning truck. She was a lovely woman, really, who kept her cool admirably while I cursed at her for her inability to tell me the location of the fire.
As I raced out to the fire several thoughts rushed through my little, sleepy brain. One, I didn’t realize that the WTO was in town. Two, I thought the Philadelphia Phillies won the world series last week. Three, Hezbollah? here? Four, Wow, Americans are really making bad cars. Five, is On-Star’s self destruct feature standard on all GM vehicles?
Anyway, I rushed out there seriously concerned that there might be someone inside. I soon realized that, if there was, they were by now just elementary carbon particles. That sucker was really blazing. To me, however, the oddest thing about the experience, because I know cars get torched every day (my friends from Oakland, CA can attest to that), was the noise. Shortly after running out of the door, the alarm died, (presumably after the wire burned) and I was left with just the roar of the fire. After being in a semi-conscious state of alarm, the noise was oddly calming and very other worldly (again I was not thinking clearly). This state soon passed as tires started to explode shortly followed by trapped gasoline.
A few minutes later, while I was warming myself by the bonfire (it was pretty cold), the cops arrived and a few moments after that the firemen. No kidding, the first thing out of the police officer’s mouth was, “I hope someone wasn’t in there.” Indeed.
After further introductions and some assurances that, “No, this is not my truck” I went and retrieved my camera. Later I was told that this is a classic teenage joy ride/detonation scenario. Kids these days have really upped the ante.
The first photos featured in this blog were taken after the fire was doused and when I had just about calmed my heart rate. Apparently the fire wasn’t contained and more trapped gasoline exploded and re-ignited the sucker.
In the morning, when it was really my alarm, I didn’t feel refreshed or charming. It’d be more accurate to say I was singed inside and out. And more than a little jumpy.