My first concert was a Megadeth concert in Seattle, WA. I accompanied my buddies Tim and Jason. Tim was driving us there in his brand new Bronco, and on the way, we passed through a freeway tunnel. We had smoked a few blunts before going, and Tim was understandably foggy. Oh, the recklessness of youth, am I right?
As we traveled at about eighty to keep up with traffic, I remember looking up as a parked car rapidly approached us in the middle of the freeway tunnel. I yelled at Tim to look out, and he swerved to the right to miss the car in front of us as we spun out of control. After flipping around, we were backward in the tunnel, bumped up against the right side of the road.
It was odd because I wasn’t afraid. My mind was clear as Jason exclaimed, “I just saw my life flash before my eyes!”. Tim, who is usually very calm, said, “Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!”. I said, “We must get out of the bronco now!”. We hurriedly jumped over the guardrail and collected our wits; all of us were less than twenty.
As we watched the headlights race past us, our next experience went better than the last as an SDOT employee arrived. If I recall correctly, we waited less than half an hour before being saved, but I do remember us wondering how the hell we would escape from our predicament.
Our savior helped Tim back the Bronco out of the tunnel slowly but surely until we saw the sunlight again. Tim turned us around, and we promptly found an exit then a gas station to sort a new problem: a bent fender rubbing against the tires. As we were looking at the damage, Tim worriedly said, “We need to go back; I can’t drive to the concert.”. I quickly said, “No way, man! We are so close!”. Instead of heading back, we solved the problem by bending the fender back to a safe angle, and we finished our trip to the Seattle Coliseum.
We arrived safely in the nose bleed section; hey, we didn’t have a lot of cash. We promptly had a fantastic time and thoroughly enjoyed Megadeth.
We headed home uneventfully with ears ringing and adrenaline still pumping. My harrowing & exciting experience showed me that I remain calm in difficult situations. As a leader, I have found this to be true despite questioning myself over the years.
To this day, this experience contains one of my fondest memories up to and including the crash. I spent time with great friends, enjoyed fantastic music, learned a lot about myself, and came away unscathed. What else can we ask for from life after all?