My good friend Jack Lillian of Music Mania in Valencia is one of the most conscientious DJs I’ve ever met. There is no doubt in my mind that he really cares about each of his clients and does his utmost to take good care of them.
Part of this process of good customer service is being on time to each performance and it was just that goal Jack had in mind as he was weaving his way through a mountainous path on the way to a wedding performance. It was June of 2000 and the wedding season was in high gear. The particular wedding Jack was to perform at was best reached by avoiding the crowded main arteries in town and saving time by cutting through a curvy mountainous pass that had much less traffic.
As he rounded one of the last bends in the road the rear tire of the truck caught a patch of dirt on the edge of the road and lost traction, causing the rear end to swing around. One’s natural reaction is to hit the brakes when stupid things start to happen which accelerates this process and the result became the fact that the truck was headed off the side of the road. Since there were rather drastic drops on both sides of the road, it’s fortunate that the side Jack happened to swing around to was the less severe of the two but the truck still was headed down the mountain rolling over in the process.
As the truck stopped the roll at the bottom of a ravine Jack sprung from the wreckage. The first thing that Jack thought was “how am I going to get to the wedding!?”
Jack’s truck was now a pile of wreckage at the bottom of a ravine in a rather secluded canyon. At least the gear was all still intact in the back of the truck and hadn’t been ejected.
Good fortune was fighting bad on that day and a gentleman happened to see the dust generated from the initial skid. Being a firefighter, he knew that there had likely been an accident and stopped his flatbed truck to see if his training was correct. Naturally, he saw Jack at the bottom of the ravine with what was left of his truck. In short order the firefighter determined that Jack was just banged up a bit from the roll – a true piece of amazing good fortune – and got an explanation from Jack of the predicament he was in.
The firefighter knew these back roads very well as he lived right off of one and he explained to Jack that if he were to stand on a rock up at the top of the road, he would get cell signal and be able to call for help. While Jack called his wife and the Auto Club, the firefighter began moving Jack’s gear to his own truck so he could cart Jack off to the wedding.
Jack also called the banquet hall and explained the situation. The High Desert, as Jack’s stomping ground is called, is really a tight-knit community spread out over a great distance and everybody is very familiar with everybody else in the wedding business. Since this is the case, you deal more with your friends than just random catering folks you’ll never see again. Naturally, the staff at the hall was very concerned about Jack’s own safety but also notified the father of the bride what had happened. They never figured that Jack would be there to get things started.
Meanwhile, back at the scene of the accident Jack’s wife, Pam, had arrived to direct the Auto Club’s tow truck operator. Jack and his gear were loaded into the firefighter’s truck and headed for the firefighter’s house where Jack got to clean up, take a closer look at his cuts and scrapes and pick up some home stereo gear the firefighter had in case any of Jack’s gear fared more poorly than Jack in the rollover.
Once all was situated at the firefighter’s house, Jack and the firefighter were back on the road to the banquet hall where the guests were beginning to assemble.
The bride’s father had the good sense not to ruin his daughter’s day with a tale of what had happened to her DJ but some of the guests had been clued in so when Jack arrived with the firefighter, several of the guests immediately assembled outside to offer assistance.
In a drill that almost took on the precision of a fire brigade the guests, Jack and his angel had the gear in the banquet hall in record time. To everyone’s surprise, Jack’s gear suffered none of what had been feared owing to the practice of mounting everything in professional cases.
The wedding went off without a hitch and the couple even gave Jack a nice tip once they had been clued in to the afternoon’s mishap. Jack had originally left so much time “just in case” that he arrived at the wedding and was set-up and ready on time, even with all that had transpired.
After Pam had seen the accident she had to call Jack and hear his voice. Eddie, their son, wanted to talk to his dad too. Seeing the wrecked truck in the bottom of a ravine made both of them wonder how anyone could survive such an event and Eddie wasn’t convinced. In his young mind, his dad could never survive so when he heard his dad’s voice on the phone he asked if he was speaking to an angel.
Considering all that happened it was an amazing day for Jack Lillian, his family and a couple who enjoyed a wedding celebration without realizing, until the end, just what good fortune they had that this really didn’t turn into a wedding horror story.
Filed Under: Performing, Weddings
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