Garms Family Road Stories: Danger Above!
Our family band’s touring equipment consists of many different parts and pieces; in some cases we have major Southern Gospel groups beat in terms of the amount of stuff!
All of us have our own favorite components; for some members of my family, it’s the musical instruments; for others, it’s the promotional material; and for myself, it’s the audio equipment!
Personally, I love speakers. Subwoofers are the most fun. When you start pumping low frequencies through a powerful, quality woofer, well…in my opinion, it’s a heart-pounding experience that can’t be beat!
We first bought our sound equipment from an e-Bay store. When our subwoofer came via UPS®, the delivery-man was giving us and the 90-pound box a couple of good stares. Ever since then, that wonderful piece of equipment has found a special place in my heart. So when things start happening to it, I – and my family – start to get concerned.
There is a saying which goes, “No one cares for your ministry like you do”. Well, I’d like to modify that a little…”No one cares for your audio equipment like you do”! You see, I’ve seen our subwoofer placed on the ground upside-down, used as a step ladder (I’ll admit, I’ve done so also), and have it’s life threatened! OK, maybe that’s too much of an extreme, but it was slightly dangerous all the same.
But before I get to the story, I need to explain one more thing…people love to try to help us clean-up after concerts. Some do it because they want us out of there so they can go home, some because they know what they are doing, and others just because they have big hearts. It was after this incident that it became family policy to not allow anyone to handle the big, expensive audio equipment, unless by special permission and known background.
We were at a venue which had gone extremely well. After eating a delicious meal, the audience was warm and responsive. The chef of the night was one of those people with a big heart. He was one of the most likable guys you could meet. So when clean-up and tear-down time came, he offered as much assistance as he was able.
Time came for hauling our stuff out to our trailer. Suddenly, he got a novel idea. Repeat, a novel idea. He went back to the kitchen, and brought back a couple of old, metal serving carts. “We can place stuff on here, and then roll the carts to the exit door!”, he reasoned. Mom was skeptical from the start. For some things it worked…kind-of. From my vantage point in the trailer, I could see Sam, Jayme, and Caleb wheeling gurney-looking things with one or two small articles to the door, unloading them, and then returning. It was after a few trips that near-disaster struck. Mom still gets the shivers when she thinks about it.
Our friend the chef spotted the speakers. So, taking one, he loaded it onto the top shelf of the rickety cart, standing upright, and had one of the Lil’ Adventures push it towards the door. When I saw the LA reach the door, the cart was wobbling back and forth, and Dad was jumping to grab the speaker from the cart before it fell and squashed the LA! If I remember correctly, I could hear Mom’s slightly tense voice floating out the door.
I don’t exactly know the sequence of what happened next, since I wasn’t quite an eyewitness. But I do know what happened. A cart had come back empty, and our chef friend decided to load what was closest at hand…the subwoofer. I don’t know the exact weight of the woofer, but it is somewhere near 90 pounds. Our friend was of the short, rotund stature, and Mom remembers seeing him heave the subwoofer onto a trembling cart and trying to convince one of the LAs to push it to the trailer. That was it for Mom. She yelled for Dad, and had Dad (and the chef) take the subwoofer off the cart, and stop using the carts. Mom had visions not only of busted subwoofers, but also pancaked LAs.
THANKFULLY, no one was hurt that night. But we came away a lot wiser. So, maybe I will revise the old adage one more time…”No one cares for your CHILDREN like you do!”
Submitted by Ben – ’cause he’s “Ben” there!