So, Jim found a red Ford F150 pickup in a small junkyard off I-15 in Willard, Utah. Apparently he memorized the mile marker and on a return trip exited the freeway, found the owner of the truck, and convinced him to trade it straight-up for a working, but probably not for long, BMW. About a week later I drove the deathtrap Beamer up to Willard to make the trade and to help Jim load the truck onto a trailer to haul the truck home. Here is my recounting of the adventure that ensued:
I was ready at 8:15 to drive the BMW up to Willard, however problems at the trailer rental company made Jim two hours late. We arrived at the junkyard in Willard at 10 AM. We parked the cars outside the junkyard squished between I-15 and an active railroad track
Our first bit of excitement happened after we parked the cars and went up to talk to the father of man whose truck Jim was getting. The father had torn down the fence between the junk yard and I-5 and had proceeded to try and pull the truck through the fence. When it turned out we couldn’t find the key to unlock the steering wheel the old man went into his son’s trailer to see if he could find one. After 20 minutes or so he came out saying he couldn’t find the key and that we would have to do things differently. This meant we would have to pull the truck onto the shoulder of the freeway and load it there. While we were discussing the possibility the son came running out of his trailer (see blue tarp-covered structure in photo below) and started to threaten to kill his father. The guy ran up to the father, who was sitting on the tractor, and started swearing, swinging, and then reached for his boot knife on his belt. This, of course, was more then enough for Jim and I and we fled down the hill to our cars, got inside, and started to move.
When the kid went back inside his trailer Jim ventured up to see if everything was alright (by this I mean if he was still going to get the truck). Things were ok so I was invited back to the help load the truck from my lookout spot in the car. We got the car ready and then moved our cars onto the freeway shoulder so we could begin loading the truck. After about 10 minutes the man whose truck we were loading came up to help us. His father had gone and he seemed calm and helpful. He had gone back to look for the key and could not find it but told us that if we took him to his storage shed we would be able to get it. On the way to the storage shed, Jim made me ride in the back of the car, right behind the guy. When we had a free moment Jim told me the plan, if the guy tried to do anything funny I was to choke him from behind while Jim punched him in the face. Luckily nothing happened and the guy was nice enough to put all his knifes (2 or 3 of them) away for the ride home.
On the ride back to the trucks, the man proceeded to tell us all his family problems about how his father used to beat him and today was the day he took it no more. He showed his dad that he wasn’t a kid any more and that he would fight back. The story goes as follows. Father walked into the guy’s dilapidated trailer and asked him for the key. Something happened and the father slapped the kid across the face. The kid got angry at his father and started yelling at him and telling him things he remembered from his childhood. That is when the father walked out of the trailer and moved the truck to the side of the freeway. After this story the guys mother called and they proceeded to talk about all the crazy things that had happened to this kid during his childhood…I won’t mention them as to keep this post lighthearted.
We loaded the truck onto a trailer just wide enough to fit it. Since we couldn’t find a key and the wheels were locked slightly turned to the left, it had a hell of a time getting the truck onto the trailer. Once it was on we tied it down and got ready to go. In case you forgot Jim was trading the guy an old working BMW that was too junkie and old to put any more money into- for the non functioning pickup. Jim went down to the guy and tried to get him to sign the lease, during which the kid’s father showed up and they both started dancing around Jim and the papers like a pair of wrestlers waiting for the referee to say go. Jim finally told them he just wanted the papers signed and then he would leave them to their bloodbath. The son signed the papers and while walking up the hill to the cars told Jim he didn’t want the BMW. He didn’t deserve it. Jim, of course, just wanted to get rid of the thing and told him he had to take it. We jumped into the truck and headed for the hills…going 50 mph because we were hauling more than the truck could handle. What was supposed to be a nice hour or two turned out to take the whole day, nearly included a knife fight, and I was giving instructions to choke a man if he acted up, in other words…. just your average adventure with Jim Kelly.