Me and Daddy and Mitzi “Daddy Let Me Drive”
Do you remember the car that your learned how to drive in? Times have changed! I can remember my daddy letting me drive to Brownies in his old work car, a ’62 Plymouth named Ms. Pretty (she didn’t live up to her name). I don’t remember the model, but, I do remember that it was pale blue with push-button shift on the dash and not much on take off. Daddy would sit in the middle and I would drive to Lakeview Methodist where we had Brownie meetings. I was the only 2nd grader that got to drive to Brownies! I was also the only Girl Scout that drove to the Scout Hut at Victory Park. I don’t think you can get away with that these days. I’m sure the “Chief” (Police Chief T.C. Bloxom) would have something to say about it now. I wonder what the statute of limitations is on driving without a license?
I guess driving came natural to me, until I drove my first car with power-steering and power-brakes. My Aunt Bobbie had a Plymouth Furry III. I told her I was a good driver and she believed me!! Her first mistake was that she did believe me. We were in her driveway and she said, “Are you sure you can drive this car?” The whole time I was nodding my head “yes” and telling her I could. I put it in reverse and shot across the road into the neighbor’s driveway. She screamed, “STOP, STOP!!” I hit those power-brakes and she hit the dash. That wasn’t enough for her; she still let me drive to Sander’s Gulf Station on the Lewisville Road. I almost hit the gas pump when we turned in, not being used to a car with power-steering.
She gave me some money and let me walk next door and get an ICEE. We only had one ICEE machine in town back then. It was the hot spot in town, especially during the summer. That store was in the building where they keep the voting machines now. That was the end of driving her car. Until I was a legal driver anyway!
I graduated on to an old 60’s Ford truck with “three on the tree” as they used to say. I didn’t know how to drive a standard the day my Daddy told me I could drive his truck. That didn’t stop me. It had wheels, gas and it was Friday night. I got in it and we jumped all the way to the end of the street to the Dixie Cream. For the first few days that was as far as I would go. I didn’t want to risk catching a light, especially the red light by the library or the one coming back the other direction by the Chamber Office. I didn’t do hills very well, especially if a car was right behind me. I could only take off if I had someone else with me, to hold their foot on the brake while I let off on the clutch. I sat through more than a few red lights and made quite a few people mad while I just sat there frozen with fear. I’m glad I finally learned how to drive a standard. Sports cars wouldn’t be as much fun if they all came with automatic transmissions.
Today you would be surprised at how many people can’t drive a vehicle with a standard transmission. Nobody wants to learn. I’m glad I did because I have a lot of funny memories about trying. Going to the Sonic was a challenge in itself. Senior Day at Minden High I got a Chevy Vega stuck at the Sonic because I couldn’t get it in reverse! But I still remember how funny it was and how everyone left me because they couldn’t drive a standard either!
Alan Jackson’s song “Drive” reminds me of how much driving means to you; especially when you are too young to be driving! So the next time your kids ask you to let them drive, remember they got’ ta learn sometime. Make it fun and with someone they care about. It may be something they’ll write about later! It’s something you always remember no matter how old you are or how bad or good a driver you think you are. Make a memory and a smile!!