Like any good Texan worth his grit and go, Matt Hillman wasn’t about to pay some driver a single silver dollar to wrestle his new Liberty safe over the 120 miles to his home, and especially not for a delivery charge of ninety-nine dollars.
Nope, bringing home the box should be worth pocketing that fee, and he was all set to handle the chore himself—a simple chore well suited for him, his truck, and a bunch of buddies built for the load.
“Going to pick one up seemed like a reasonable plan,” Matt said, but finding the Liberty he wanted was half the battle. “Apparently they are a rare and elusive creature in the Lone Star State,” he said. He called dealers in Abilene, Lewisville and the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the particular model he wanted—without success.
But Texan safe dealers are a resourceful lot. Where one store fell shy, another filled the bill. As perseverance would have it, Matt landed the very safe he wanted at a store on Forest Lane in Dallas. It was a beautiful Liberty Revolution—24-gun capacity with a reliable combination lock and 30-minutes fire rating. “Oh yeah, a Liberty would be awesome,” he told the clerk over the phone, “and all in my price range!”
He headed out for his safe on a Sunday morning, traveling with his girl friend and the dogs. It was a good plan they had—first, to drop the dogs off at the groomer’s in Fort Worth, continue driving for the safe, and retrieve the dogs on the way back.
With the dogs delivered to the groomer’s, the couple pulled into the parking lot in Forest Lane an hour later. Matt approached the first clerk in sight and declared he was there to pick up his safe. After some delay, the clerk came back with the store manager and some bad news: “The safe is in a condition that it cannot be sold,” is all the manager said. Matt just stood there with his mouth hanging open. “A truck hit it, right? That’s what it takes to hurt one of those things, right?”
The manager offered a competitor’s safe with a more options for more money. “You know what?” Matt replied. “I’m here for a Liberty, dang it.” He declined the offer and asked the manager to check other stores in the area.
Laredo and most of the towns around Houston had some in stock. It was at this point that Matt started thinking, “Suddenly that $99 shipping fee didn’t sound so bad.”
Matt and his girlfriend climbed back in the truck and headed for a Waco store that had three Liberty Revolutions on the floor. “Had I known,” Matt said, “I would have gone with that store first since it’s not as far as Dallas.” He had the strong urge sweep over himself to slap some sense into his forehead. He resisted.
But first, the dogs. “Dropping them off an hour away suddenly didn’t sound like as good of an idea,” he said.
So, back on the road 50 miles west for the dogs so he could drive another 100 miles south for the safe.
Three hours later, he pulled into the Waco store. Sure enough, there was his safe, just as promised. But just to make sure, they removed the box to see that all was well. It was, and the crew loaded it into the truck. By 8 pm that night, Matt pulled up in front of his home, exhausted, worn out, but awfully glad.
His buddies got off work that next afternoon and gathered to unload the safe. Matt dropped the tailgate and suddenly noticed something he hadn’t seen before. The Waco crew had loaded the safe face down, on its combination and handle. Did it matter?
“As we slid the safe over the tailgate,” Matt said, “there was this blood curdling POP and the truck was shaking a little.” Matt thought the safe too sturdy and heavy for any popping sound. Did somebody get hurt? “We did a quick check on everyone to make sure there wasn’t a body part that was involved in making that sound.”
Upon closer examination he found the problem. “The portion of the box covering the combination dial and the door handle looked like a wild animal made an escape,” Matt said. “There was a black piece of something sitting on the tail gate and the door handle looked awfully short.”
He called the Waco store and they were very understanding and offered the last remaining safe in exchange—if he would return the damaged safe to the store. Matt gritted his teeth and climbed into his truck for the long long long trip one more time. The store compensated for the added fuel costs and gave Matt a generous discount off the original price.
The enduring lengthy trip finally ended at home later that night. It was too late to unload as planned, so Matt had to wait until the following afternoon for his friends’ help. Gathered once more, the crew grimaced and groaned and carefully off-loaded the safe and delivered it into the house with no additional issues.
“I was starting to wonder,” Matt said afterward, reflecting on the adventure that had exhausted himself, his girlfriend, his dogs and his truck, “what a guy has to do to get a Liberty safe around here … After 579 miles and four days, I finally have a safe!”
With his guns and valuables safely stored within the best-built home vault in the world, Matt reflected on what it took to get what he wanted, prompting him to ask, “How far would you go for a liberty?”