Three Forks Voice - Connect With Your Community!

By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

COLUMN: Three Spots


The 4th of July is always a great time for friends and family to come together to celebrate one amazing Country. It also means the Interstate and Highways are jam packed with people.

The increase in traffic means that gas stations and truck stops always seemed to be jam packed throughout the day. I'm not sure where people are going but they always seem to be trying to get gas the same time I want to.

As has been the case the past several weeks, when I went to the gas station on July 5 there was someone parked like an idiot. I'm not sure if people from out of state park like this where they are from, but it seems the moment they get off the Interstate in Montana they forgot how to park and pulling their vehicle in sideways taking up three or four lanes seems like a great idea.

Because the guy had taken up three parking spots, traffic was backed up everywhere and it was frustrating trying to get in the store to buy the one simple item I needed. As I was exiting the store, I could see him by his vehicle and I really wanted to say something to him but chose not to. I'm sure the fact he was the size of professional body builder played some role in it, but I also didn't want any unnecessary confrontation. It also made me remember a similar experience.

Around ten years ago I was living in Wyoming and had traveled to Laramie to attend a University of Wyoming basketball game. It was one of the few times they had been good in around 20 years, so I was super excited to cheer on a team that actually had a chance at making the NCAA Tournament which is pretty rare.

We had just arrived in town when my stomach started to turn. We were on the way to grab something to eat, but I had to stop as soon as I could find a place to stop. I finally saw a gas station on Grand Avenue and probably started going a little faster than I should have. I felt like my insides were going to explode so I pulled into the lot and ended up taking three or four spots. As much as I hate to see that now, I really didn't have a choice. It was either let loose in my pants or park like a jackass. As I was running to the store a man approached me and started screaming and yelling.

He got right in my face and I had no idea what was going on. I had "County 4" plates and he said I was "an idiot from Rock Springs who couldn't park and should get back on the interstate and return home."


I was a little dumbfounded but brushed him off and ran inside. About ten minutes later I emerged feeling about ten pounds lighter and once again happy for the game when I realized he was still standing there. He kept yelling and yelling. As I drove off, he was still screaming. It put a real damper on my day. As I'm watching the Cowboys drain three pointers, I kept thinking about what a jerk that guy was. My son was about six months old and this guy was saying some pretty nasty stuff.

In 2019 I probably would have yelled right back because the older I get the less I want to deal with people's crap, but in 2002 I just let it go.

So, on July 5 I had the moment where I thought about saying something but didn't. Maybe the guy ate a bad gas station burrito at his last stop and had to park like that. He very well could have been lazy, but I had no idea.

I just let it go because I had done it before, and why ruin someone's day.

I certainly wish people would pay more attention to parking and it does drive me crazy, but at the end of the day if that's the worst thing that happens to me, I will be okay.


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