Part III

Fourth of July Fireworks As people and business owners, Frank and I are very protective of our team. We want the best for all of them and care about their welfare, safety and general well-being. One day, all of that was put to the test in one of the scariest moments in food truck history. It was 4th of July at Canalside. Fantastic day, perfect weather. And busy! Jill Marie, Dan and I all planned on watching the firework show at the end of the night. Well, that never happened. About five minutes after selling out and closing the service window, Jill and I heard loud noises and people racing by the food truck. I opened the back door and saw hundreds of people scared out of their minds. They were running, screaming and yelling - literally, booking it the hell out of there. A moment later, Dan came rushing to the back door in a panic saying "gunshots!" At that point, adrenaline kicked in. He took off to get his friends to safety. I locked the truck and poor Jill Marie hit the deck in tears. I looked out the passenger window and saw police officers everywhere with automatic weapons drawn – we're talking military grade. It was a scene out of a movie. Scary shit. I called Frank and calmly told him the situation to the best of my knowledge. I didn't know exactly what was going on, but our team was safe. I told him we would be late getting back to the kitchen and not to worry. But, I should have known better. 15 minutes later he was at the truck. He got thru security to make sure we were all safe. Fortunately, it was a false alarm & there were no actual gun shots. To be honest, I'm still not sure exactly what triggered everything - it may have been a twisted prank. Without a doubt, one of the scariest moments this team has encountered together. And, sadly, we never did get to see those fireworks.   Silver Lining The day we picked up our second food truck from Streamline Designs on Niagara Falls Boulevard, one of the guys said, "you will never see this truck this pretty ever again." The truck was just wrapped with our new design. It looked beautiful. The sun was shining and the bright colors of the truck just popped. It was a cold but calm winter morning. Unfortunately, we had to take the truck to see a mechanic immediately. There was a problem; we just didn't know the extent of it. Frank and I pulled out of the lot and made it a few miles down Niagara Falls Boulevard, towards Wheatfield, when the food truck stopped moving. Our luck had run out. We needed a tow. At that point, panic mode set in. My vehicle was low on gas and both of our cell phones were on life support. We managed to call a tow truck. The driver said it would be a few hours. However, there was no way in hell Frank was leaving that truck on the side of the road. So, we waited.. and waited. It was an absolute nightmare. We were hungry, cold and exhausted. A few hours later, we had a visitor. An elderly man emerged from a small motel / living community. He had been watching the situation unfold and came over to see what was going on. We figured he might be upset that we were blocking his driveway. Instead, he brought us coffee, crackers [the classic orange filled with peanut butter!] and banana bread. We thanked him. It was incredibly generous. Eventually, the tow truck driver showed up. That was such a sad moment. We sat there helpless and watched our brand new truck get hoisted up on the tow truck and then dragged for miles in the snow. It was not how we wanted the season to begin. It was an emotional day. Honestly, I don't remember most of it. However, Frank and I do remember that man and his kindness. Moments like that put everything into perspective. And, I'll be honest, they happen quite a bit. In this case, it wasn't the end of the world. Just a new transmission.   Right Place, Right Time During Season 2, we spent a lot of time on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, near Roswell Park. It was a sunny, Friday afternoon around 2PM when we started heading back to the kitchen. Frank was driving down Michigan Avenue, only about 15-20mph, when, out of nowhere, I started screaming "stop," opened the door and jumped out of the truck. A toddler had wandered outside of his McCarley Gardens home and was walking right into traffic. I was able to grab the little guy just before he made it to the curb. By the time the food truck came to a stop, we both could have touched the front bumper. It was that close. Honestly, I doubt a car or SUV would have seen him in time to stop. Unfortunately, there was no parent anywhere in sight. I did my best to keep it together and have fun with the little guy. We ended up taking a walk and playing with a water bottle, while Frank and other motorists made phone calls and figured out what to do. About 15 minutes later, a woman appeared. She grabbed the boy and headed back inside. She never said a word. It was a sad moment. Things could have ended tragically for the boy and for us. These food trucks have taken us all over Buffalo. Sometimes, we find ourselves in the right place at the right time. This was one such day.