A Gentle Giant

We had a great week of vacation. We went to Lewisburg, Ohio for a family reunion on my little brother’s farm. It was a great time of fun and family and reminiscing about things past. After the reunion the family went for a stay in the Smokey Mountains in Gatlinburg, TN. This was the first time we had rented a cabin and it was wonderful. Of course we went to Dollywood and Splash Mountain. And of course there always has to be shopping, ugh.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Friday was our last day and my son and daughter wanted to see Wonder Works, an upside-down house with lots of things to do inside. Once we found out it would take three hours we decided to take Kenzie (my 1 year old granddaughter) back to the cabin and wait until they called.

Half way up the mountain the car started sputtering but we made it to the cabin. When the kids called I climbed in the car only to find out it would not start. I called a repair shop and was told they would send a wrecker to pick me up but it would be at least two days, which would turn out to be Monday, due to being closed on Sunday, before they could even look at it. I told them to forget it.

I called my insurance and they sent a tow truck. Hearing the wrecker groan up the mountain to our cabin, I got worried. Upon arrival a man from the movie Deliverance climbed out of the cab. He loaded the car on the back and I rode down the mountain with him. He kept complaining about the brakes squealing because the shop won’t take the time to fix them and he told them one day they are going to give out. I prayed, “please, Lord, not today!”

Upon arrival at the shop, which was somewhere in the boonies and not near the main strips, I was stranded. The first thing I saw was Cujo. Stop laughing, it was true! Lying in the middle of the front door was a large Saint Bernard dog. He covered the entire entrance to the shop. He looked at me like he was thinking, not another person to disturb my nap. Cujo 1_Smokey Mountians_8083He was a huge dog with a right eye that was red and deformed. This did not make it any easier to make a decision about what to do. You can imagine what went through my mind. Do I step over him? Call for help? Try to find a back door? Shoo him away? None of these options seemed a good idea. Finally, a man walked out and stepped over him.  I took his action to be my cue so I stepped over Cujo and wasn’t ripped to shreds, YaY!Cujo 2_Smokey Mountians_8083_edited-1At the counter was a woman who reminded me of a very poor family with dirty clothes and face. It almost made me wonder if she was the mechanic. She was very polite and even offered me her car if I needed to go pick up the kids. Her husband came in. He was a big burly man with a high-pitched, almost female voice. I was relieved to see him and felt much safer when I read his cap, which simply said, I love my Jesus! He was just as polite as his wife and said he would send someone out to look at the car right away. He did, too. The battery was dead; there were only 7 amps of power left; she could not hold a charge. A new battery was installed only to find out it did not help. I waited for them to put in a new alternator, while I sat in a white plastic chair trying to keep Cujo from sniffing places I did not appreciate him going.

Only an hour had passed before, BAMA, the mechanic, had me ready to go. I was thankful for such nice people, a weird and unforgettable experience,  and that I could finally get back to the cabin.

The kids had walked about 4 miles to a McDonald’s in Pigeon Forge and waited for me to pick them up. We went back to the cabin and let them take a shower while I hugged on Kenzie. We went out for supper and then more shopping, ugh!

If you are ever in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area and need a tow, or a good mechanic, please look up BAMA at Carr’s Service Center. They are open 24/7, even the shop. Just remember this one thing, when you see a large Saint Bernard in the middle of the doorway it is safe to step over him. He is a gentle giant.

Carr's 24-Hour Service 865-453-3152

Carr’s 24-Hour Service
865-453-3152

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45 thoughts on “A Gentle Giant

  1. I know it was an ordeal for you, but honestly, you made it all sound so funny. Takes a good writer to do that! Glad you survived and that Cujo didn’t try to eat you. 😉

  2. What a story, Andy, and although it was frustrating for you, I couldn’t help but smile at your humor. I’m glad it all ended safely and your initial vacation sounds wonderful, playing on the farm and then renting a cabin in the Smokey Mountains…

  3. Oh, and I loved the gentle giant, too! He is a boxer and they’re great dogs. My sister has one but sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to dogs you don’t know or who don’t know you. 🙂

  4. Great story, Andy. You had me troubleshooting your car, and surprised it was your alternator—actually, your car’s alternator. When I lived in Montana I would have scoffed at calling those hills in the first photo mountains, but here in North Dakota such features would be a sight to behold.

    I too was gratified by meeting your mechanic and his wife. They sound like good folks.

    • Thanks Jim, it was great experience. Those little hills you mentioned are like the Rockies compared to the Mississippi Delta I live in, haha😊 Blessings!

  5. I like how honest you were about your feelings about people and the dog, Cujo. All worked out and it made me relieved for the happy ending. 🙂

  6. Totally enjoyed your adventures in the backwoods. Let me be the 53rd to vote for . . . boxer! i had 4 as a kid. Your tale of the BAMA was also a trip. How we are pre-conditioned to think that folks are this or that, until we ge to know them. Oh, and all along, I was trying to look into the woods’ edge, to catch a glimpse of . . . butterflies.

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