Friday, January 22, 2010
Weddings, Cars, Rivers, Rain, Etc...
So, despite all the car stories in the last post, I neglected the best (or maybe the worst, depending on your point of view)story, the story of my wedding night & the 67' Mustang that I had at the time. (Don't worry, it's totally PG) Floods, near drownings, destruction & dark, stormy nights are all involved. Yes, it was in fact, a dark & stormy night, well at least in the mountains surrounding Tucson, AZ. This is where the story takes place.
So, the first thing to remember is that Tucson is surrounded by mountains. The second thing, you may not know, is that there are dry riverbeds throughout the city & beyond. You may not think of desert areas as having rivers, but they do. Most
of the time they are dry & stay that way, but sometimes, during 'monsoon' season, for instance, these riverbeds fill & become swollen with water. Sudden rainstorms roll through the area & mostly, the ground is too hard to absorb much of this water, especially all at once. You don't get mud, but the water has to go somewhere. It rolls of into streams & riverbeds, creating sudden walls of water. Often, people, cars & random things are swept away, causing destruction & even sometimes, death. People like to use washes, arroyos & so on as places to 'play.' By the time they see the water rushing towards them, it is too late. It may not even have rained in the area, but rather in the mountains, making these dry rivers & streams especially dangerous. The water rushes down from the mountains to capture & sweep away anything in its path.
On the day I got married, it was sunny in Tucson. It was a simple, Justice of the Peace ceremony. My parents where there, as were two of our best friends, Margo & Mike. I wore a white skirt & top that I got from some Australian catalog & he wore his dress uniform. Afterward, we walked around the area & stopped in a museum store. We bought some African talisman that I liked (maybe this was the problem, maybe it had some sort of magic that we did not know about?) Anyway, that was the day & it rained in the mountains.
That evening we had a little reception at my parents house. Here is the third thing you might want to know about Tucson, there's a great deal of construction in these dry rivers & low lying areas. The land is cheap, maybe the companies know, maybe they don't, but they build there & even put trailer parks there. The homes are less expensive & people buy them, not knowing about the land they are built on. No, my parents house was not in this kind of area, but my husbands grandparents lived across town near an area like this. The only way in or out of this area was through one one these dry riverbeds. My husbands grandparents didn't want to drive to the reception & so my husband went to get them, driving my 67' Mustang. This should have been maybe half hour to 45 minute drive, each way (Tucson is very spread out & not actually a small city, at all), but it turned out to be an all night ordeal. He made it to a wash near their home. There was a bit of water in the wash when he started through, then came the wall of water. It spun the car & pushed it down the wash, finally embedding it in an embankment. He climbed out the window & stood on the roof, eventually being rescued by a passerby. He didn't make it back until early the next morning.
The next day my father & my husband went to look at what happened to the car. They got it back & the electrical systems still worked, but nothing else. The car was nothing special, it was not really in good shape when I bought it, lots of Bondo & a chain stering wheel. The important thing was that my husband survived & he didn't have his grandparents with him.
The car was eventually rebuilt & drove again. We've been married 25 years.
This is my other car story & this was my wedding night.