I was among the lucky ones.
I was one of the thousands of that got stranded in yesterday’s gridlock for the ages. My sister and I were trying to make it to my father’s house in Calhoun to celebrate his 76th birthday. I was aware of the weather and the growing gridlock when we left shortly after lunch. But I planned to take back roads to avoid the interstates and, based on the weather forecasts I’d seen, I was certain it wouldn’t be around long or be as bad as some thought, especially since we were traveling north.
Boy was I wrong.
We got as far as Alpharetta and the North Point area when the gridlock ensnared us. Moving at less than a mile per hour we sought refuge in Jose’s Mexican Grill at North Point Parkway and Webb Bridge Road.
A couple of hours later, it was clear neither the traffic nor the roads were getting any better. We started exploring options and realized I had a high school buddy who lived 5.1 miles away. Certainly we could get five miles, we thought.
Two more hours later we’d traveled two miles and had reached what appeared to be a complete standstill on Old Alabama Connector. Cars were unable to negotiate the hill. I was dressed warm enough to consider walking the rest of the way but my sister was not.
That’s when we were rescued by a hero in a red jeep.
Realizing we were going nowhere fast, I called my friend Jimmy Nall and he said he might have a friend who could come get us. So we pulled over and stopped at a daycare.
Al Lobuglio is a medical sales executive who lives in the Willow Springs neighborhood at Country Club of Roswell. He was in his red jeep Tuesday driving all over Roswell and Alpharetta rescuing neighbors and friends stranded in the icy gridlock. He also happens to be one of my friend Jimmy’s golf buddies.
Lobuglio’s red jeep came barreling into the parking lot where we were stopped in about 15 minutes. A dentist named Torrey Callaicutt was already in the jeep (she’d also been rescued) and Lobuglio’s wife Kelly. They had wine.
Lubuglio told me they’d picked up about “11 or 12″ people to that point. They’d also gotten kids home from Northwood Elementary and picked up a wine salesman, Steve Harvill, who had walked six miles up Highway 400.
They were headed back out to pick up more stranded motorists after dropping us off at Jimmy’s house. He’d made crab legs and had cold beer.
Angels in a red jeep and an old high school buddy living in Roswell. God bless ‘em!