Leading up to this time-travel dream, the following events came to pass. My friend Carl was getting married and I was living in Los Angeles at the time sometime around Spring of 1984 if memory serves. He wanted me to come back East to be his best man at the wedding. I left Los Angeles and spent a weekend in Palm Springs with some friends. On Monday morning I rode the city bus to Indio and caught a ride at the truck stop going East on a tractor trailer. I helped with the driving and unloading which got me home faster. We encountered an F3 tornado in Eastern Oklahoma about 11 miles from the Arkansas border one afternoon. The sky turned so dark we had to have lights to see the road! As we pulled into a truck stop, I heard this awful roaring sound and hail coming down as big as golf balls. As we looked up we saw the rotating funnel about a city block wide going over our heads. Lightning danced around up in the funnel and a green neon-colored haze was everywhere. The only way we could see up in the funnel was because of the lightning. I suppose I am one of the very few people to look up inside a tornado and live to tell it! That should have been a warning omen but didn't register at the time! Anyway I came on in to Knoxville, TN for the wedding and got here about two weeks early. So, I went to get my tux measurements and was settling down for a good time to come.
On the night of my arrival I had a most disturbing dream. Very realistic, extremely detailed and didn't know it was a dream at the time. In the dream it was early in the morning and had been daylight for a short time. Somewhere around 8 a.m.I suppose. I got into this white GMC tractor trailer with a bubble type wind deflector on the front of the trailer. I had a co-driver next to me and I was driving on a two lane New Mexico highway that I'd never been on before. I knew the co-driver was a male, but didn't know him in the dream. The trailer had NO BRAKES! I was running fast and furious to make up for lost time it seemed, although I didn't know why. I was doing at least 85 mph and topped this big hill on a two lane highway out in the middle of nowhere going South. I looked ahead and saw only a smaller hill in the distance and nothing beyond it. As I roared down the big hill and topped the little hill running an estimated 90 mph I suddenly saw this Indian standing in the middle of the road with long black hair wearing denim jeans and jacket. I braked hard but couldn't stop and I hit him as he ran. He was flattened in the road under the rig. There were no warning signs out, no warning lights, no flagman, nothing! I turned the wheel to the left attempting to jack-knife the rig sideways to lessen the impact on the road paving vehicles ahead. They completely blocked the road and both shoulders. There was no opening to take, no escape possible! At first it seemed to be working as the rig slid sideways but then it toppled over and rolled. I was thrown through the windshield and onto the road. Then the door flew open on the passenger side and my co-driver was thrown out onto the ground and the tractor trailer rig rolled over both of us and we were killed. I was OBE from then on in the dream, above it all looking down on the scene from Hell. That's three dead so far. Then it rolled on into the steam roller, asphalt spreader, dump truck, and grader and burst into flames. Furniture was scattered all over the place and everything on fire. The other people on the road crew were either killed on impact or burned to death in the inferno that erupted! At that point I bolted straight up in bed in sheer panic, terrified at what I had just experienced. It was an all-too-real death dream.
I called my friend Carl the next morning to talk to him. Never mentioned the dream to him as I didn't think it had anything to do with him. A few days later I get a call from Carl asking me if I could come over to a house and back a tractor trailer in a driveway. It had to be loaded for a customer's unexpected move out to Arizona. A red flag went up in my mind at that point. It was then I realized that this was the truck that I would be driving back out West. I asked him..."Is this a white GMC, single-axle cab with a bubble nose trailer?" He said..."Why yes, it is! Have you seen Dale's new truck?" I said..."No, but I've driven it... In a dream." Then I told him of the dream I had earlier. He said..."Oh, don't worry you're not going to be driving it out West. Dale's other two drivers will be taking it." Dale was my friend's partner in the antique business and hot shot freight delivery service. They ran it on the side to help pay for expenses during slow times. Anyway I go over to the house and when I first lay eyes on the tractor trailer, it's like looking at my tombstone! It was THE EXACT SAME TRUCK that I was killed in during my dream! I climb in and back it into a tight spot for loading because the other driver George couldn't do it. Driving that truck felt like lying down in my own casket. The truck was leaving as soon as possible for Phoenix. I said to Carl, "That truck's trailer brakes will fail and you will not be able to get them repaired today! Also, George and Fred will not be driving it either. That only leaves me and I'll be driving the truck by myself." Later that day after the truck was loaded, George was driving it back to the shop and for some unknown reason the brakes failed on the trailer! No brakes period...nothing. The only brakes were on the one drive axle of the cab. They hurriedly took it to two or three different mechanics and none of them could get the brakes fixed. So there it sat, a loaded tractor trailer with no trailer brakes and a hot load ready to go to Phoenix! That afternoon Fred got a deal on hauling a load of shrimp out of the Gulf and was gone. George said he would be going with me. I said..."No, George you will not be going with me for some unknown reason." That night he got pulled over by a cop and hauled to jail on an outstanding warrant. Carl called me late that night and said..."David, I hate to ask you this, but can you take that rig to Phoenix?" I said: "Sure Carl, I've already got my suitcase packed!" So, early next morning I get in my car and drive to the lot to pick up the tractor trailer and roll out onto I-40 going West.
On the way to Memphis I encountered some electrical and fuel transfer switch problems. Stranded me on the shoulder of I-40 as I attempted to repair it. All I could do was cut a garden hose and siphon fuel from one tank to the other, prime the fuel system and start it again. That took time. Running late with only 400 miles behind me, I finally made it to Memphis. I had a friend there who was an aviation mechanic and we managed to fix the fuel transfer switch. I was behind time and needed a co-driver. That's when I called an aquaintance of mine, Charlie who lived in Memphis and asked him if he wanted to ride out West to Phoenix and back. He jumped at the chance to see some new country, him being laid off work, and a free adventure ahead for the taking! I swung by and picked him up and we roared across the Mississippi River on I-40 heading to Arizona! I told Charlie about the trailer brakes being out and not to crowd in close to any other cars or trucks when it was his time to drive. He kept his distance, mostly hanging back in the right lane in case of an emergency. Yes, I knew I was tempting fate and risking everything including Charlie's life as well as my own. Yet I had to know for sure if this would come to pass like in the dream! Hopefully I would know when the danger was imminent and change the course of Fate. I remembered the dream vividly and wouldn't be concerned until I got on that unknown two-lane road of death. Only then would I go on full alert when reality would hopefully start to match the dream! Risky business I'll grant you that but they say Forewarned is Forearmed!
We drove and drove pushing the schedule, him sleeping sitting up while I drove and vice versa. The truck had no sleeper on it. We drove until we were exhausted for a good day and half the night. Finally had to stop in a small town on I-40 called Santa Rosa. Stayed in a mom and pop type motel with a truck stop across from it. We went over and ate a big supper, came back to the motel, took a hot shower, and crashed. I left an early morning wake up call. When we got up next morning all rested and ready to go, we ate breakfast at the truck stop, checked the truck out, fueled it up and hit this two lane road going South. Just as in the dream, it was a road I had never been on before. I was pushing the truck to make up for lost time, running hard out in the open country with no traffic in sight. I hadn't driven for more than forty-five minutes when I began to recognize scenery from the fiery crash dream. Still running about 85 mph, I saw the big hill coming up in the distance. At that point, for some unknown reason Charlie reached over and snapped his seat belt shut. That was the first time he had done it since leaving Memphis! I asked him, "Charlie...why did you just now fasten your seat belt when you haven't had it on before?" He shrugged, and said he just felt uneasy. I said..."In a minute I'm going to show you why you felt uneasy! It'll freak you out. See that big hill ahead of us? Well...there's a small hill on out from it on the other side. On the far side of it, hidden from sight, there is a road paving crew that has the road completely blocked. Also there's an Indian standing in the middle of the road with long black hair wearing denim! There are no warning signs out!" He looked at me like I had suddenly lost my mind. So, I approach the big hill and eased the speed down to about 30 mph as I slowly climbed the hill. He said..."Why are you slowing down, you've been running nearly wide open out here?" I stopped on top of the big hill and said..."What do you see out there Charlie?" He looked and said..."Nothing, I don't see anything at all out there!" I said, "I didn't either in my dream about a week ago!" I asked him, "What do you think would happen if we didn't slow down and topped that little hill out there and a road crew is blocking the road?" He didn't say anything. It was Twilight Zone Time! So, I rolled on down the big hill, out to the little hill and slowly up it about 30 mph. Just as I topped the little hill and slowly rolled on over it, what did we see?
Standing in the middle of the road was an Indian with long black hair, wearing denim jeans and jacket. There was a paving crew on down from him completely blocking the highway. No warning signs out either, no flagman. Charlie turned pale and looked at me and said..."We could have been killed!" I said..."Not could have, but WOULD HAVE!" I then told him the dream as I rolled slowly to a stop. I told the Indian that he could thank The Great Spirit that he was not killed today because I had killed him in an earlier dream. I told him in no polite language, replete with expletive deletives, to get up on top of that little hill and warn drivers NOW! Said I had been running 90mph and couldn't see the road crew at the foot of the little hill. He did as I said and I told Charlie to open his door and be prepared to jump and run for the bank and climb it as fast as he could. Because FATE often times has a way of working out anyway even if our rig didn't crash. There might be another truck thundering down the road at 90mph behind us and could crash into us in a Twilight Zone twisted turn of events! I opened my door and was prepared to jump and run to the bank on my side as well. We would only have seconds to spare if a truck came barreling over that hill on top of us! We sat there completely stopped and blocked in for about 5 minutes and then motioned on through. Charlie was amazed that I knew the road crew was there, and the Indian too.
I wound it up again put the truck back in high gear and we were rolling along at 85 mph on the open road. Charlie asked me why I was runing that fast again and I said..."Don't worry, the danger's past now, we're out of it!" At the next town about a couple of hours down the road we stopped for lunch to have a beer and a cheeseburger. I think Charlie was ready for a beer by then. I know I was! Late that afternoon we rolled into Phoenix on I-10 and unloaded the rig. We dropped the trailer in a Phoenix lot and drove to California to see Hollywood for a couple of days. Charlie had enough of that truck and decided to fly back to Memphis after our brief side trip vacation in Los Angeles. I drove Charlie to LAX airport Monday and left Hollywood on Tuesday noon and drove back to Phoenix. I picked up the trailer and dead-headed all the way back to Knoxville. I got here at 3:30pm Thursday! That's 2,400 miles in 2 days. I pushed the empty rig coming back home in order to get here for the wedding rehearsal dinner that Thursday evening. When I arrived and called my friend, he informed me that I didn't need to come to the rehearsal dinner. I said..."Why? I'm the Best Man?" He said..."I wasn't sure when you'd be back so I asked my brother to be Best Man." I said..."That's fine." I hung up the phone and never even went to the wedding the next day. This all started with a wedding and ended with one. Having been through all that, I'd just as soon have stayed in Los Angeles and forgot about the wedding! And I thought the tornado was a bad experience.