At the beginning of the year, I mentioned my vehicular audio nemesis, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. As it happens, a couple friends of mine have a similar relationship with the Allman Brothers after encountering multiple misadventures on the road while “Jessica” has been playing. One of those times, I was along for the ride.
In college, my ultimate frisbee team would head up to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario for their annual Halloween tournament. My first year with the team was my sophomore year, a year that started for me with a case of mono that sent me back home for two weeks literally a day or two after I arrived on campus for the semester. I missed most of the fall season thanks to mono, but after I recovered (okay, before I recovered… I was anxious to play!), I started practicing with the team. The trip up to Kingston was my first tournament.
Five of us piled into Jeff’s station wagon and on a cold Saturday morning, we got on I-81 headed north to Canada. About half an hour into the trip, all was going well. Our motley collection of characters was having a good time and the Allman Brothers were on the stereo. We ran into some light snow flurries along our way – it is Central New York, after all – but it wasn’t anything particularly heavy. Apparently, the roadway was a little colder and slicker than we thought however, because before we knew what happened, the car was skidding off the highway and careening down a hill to an open patch of grass. There was nothing there for us to hit (or avoid, preferably) and we were all fine, but we had the minor issue of being stuck in what amounted to a large ditch on the side of the road.
Fortunately for us, a passing trucker stopped and let Bram hitch a ride up to a garage at the next exit in Pulaski. Eventually, Bram returned with towing assistance and we made it to Kingston in one piece. Fortunately, the only lasting impression that the incident left was a new nickname for Jeff’s station wagon, henceforth referred to as the “Doom Sled”.
As I understand it, Bram and Jeff also went sledding in the car while “Jessica” was playing while heading back to Pittsburgh along I-79. Perhaps that’s why they decided they needed a respawn point halfway between Pittsburgh and Syracuse (Angola rest stop!), just in case the sledding adventures got a little too exciting. Alternatively, perhaps it’s just best that they keep the Allmans far from the car stereo.
Jessica – The Allman Brothers