Mark: Isuzu jumping

Mark and I shared a truck while we were in high school.  It was a little Isuzu pickup.  Here’s a picture:

The Isuzu

Mark and John Carter were the ones who first started jumping the Isuzu as the jump site was close to John Carter’s house.  Mark later showed me the location.  If I remember correctly, it’s marked here on this map:

We would often take the Isuzu during our lunch break at Morgan High, drive down S 290 W St, then turn up W 500 S St. Depending on how adventurous we were, we’d either floor it or take it easy. A slight rise in the road right about where the truck is on the map would launch the Isuzu in the air. I don’t think we jumped very far, but it was definitely a jump. Sometimes, depending on the weather, there would also be a mud puddle on the other side of the jump, resulting in a messy splash and mud flying everywhere. I believe Mark would occasionally take people on the jump with them in the back to intentionally cover them with mud on the rainy days.

Oh, and Dad, the reason why the windshield in the Isuzu kept breaking was because of the jumping; Mark and I just never told you that was why. Poor little truck got pretty beat up over the years.

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Mark: fire drills

Mark would occasionally let me drive the car home from school when we were both attending Morgan High together.  And that usually meant we had a car full of people (typically no one in the trunk, but at least five or six of us in the car).  One of the things we almost always did was have a fire drill at the Peterson exit.

The idea was basically that the driver would get out, run around the car to the passenger side, and the passenger would switch to the driver’s side.  If the driver didn’t make it to the passenger’s side in time, they could be left behind.  And, if you were feeling adventurous, you could have the people in the back seats run around as well.  An added risk was the possibility of a car pulling to a stop behind you or a sheriff’s deputy dropping by.  We didn’t do the fire drills every day, but we did them regularly, and occasionally someone wouldn’t make it back to their seat by the time the new driver was situated, which meant they got left behind.

I have vague recollections of people also jumping on the hood of the car or even on the roof, though we usually wouldn’t go any further than the gravel turnout  (just north of the exit in the map) if that was the case.  And some people have suggested, though I don’t remember it, that people were run into or even run over during our fire drills.  I don’t recall that ever occurring, but it could have.

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Mark: running from cops

Unlike my brother Danny, who tried to get away from the police in Morgan in a car, Mark and I did it on foot.  And we succeeded, whereas Danny failed (yes, we are so competitive we even compete in how deviant we can be!).

Mark, Mitch Johnson, and I went down to the same overpass I mentioned in my previous story about bedapping with Mark one night just to, well, mess around.  We weren’t bedapping that night.  I think we did play the bedapping game I described where you run down the off ramp, but with our clothes on.  We were also running across the freeway and otherwise just messing around.

While messing around, a Morgan County Sheriff’s cruiser drove past on the freeway and must have seen us.  We had heard that some people had called in complaints about kids at the overpass, so we were wary when we saw the cruiser go by, but we didn’t think much of it.  However, a few minutes later, Mark came running under the overpass to where Mitch Johnson and I were and yelled at us to run up the side of the overpass and onto the freeway.  The Sheriff’s cruiser had turned around in the canyon and was heading down the off-ramp.  We ran to the top of the underside of the overpass, in between the two sides of the freeway, and hopped the fence.  Just as we got over the fence, we saw lights coming down Old Highway Road.  It was another Sheriff’s cruiser.  They were trying to trap us.  Here’s a map to illustrate:

The first one pulled up underneath the overpass and the deputy got out.  The second one pulled up underneath the overpass on the other side and the other deputy got out.  They started shining their flashlights around, but by that time we were already gone.  We ran a short way up the on-ramp, cut across, then ran up through the trees and shrubs toward where Savage’s old house was (N 6300 W).  We stopped right where the road turns and watched the two Sheriff’s deputies look for us.  We probably watched them for about 20 minutes as they scrambled up the underside of the overpass and wandered around, trying to find us.  They obviously had no clue about the lay of the land.  They were never going to find us.  We didn’t even need to walk along Old Highway Road to get home as we all knew about the connection to Robinson Lane.  We eventually left, leaving the Sheriff’s deputies wandering around looking for the kids playing on the overpass.

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