One way to learn to drive is just, “Do it”. What I mean by that is the following:
I was fifteen, not even old enough to have a driver’s license. If you can remember way back to 1959 or so, I was sitting close to my boyfriend, now husband, a/k/a Art. You see, in those days there was no consul to separate the seats. We were in the country, him driving with his arm around my shoulders, and me, of course, snuggling up close to him, as was the usual position for a boyfriend and girlfriend. He was handling the gas, I was to handle the steering. Now, I had never driven an automobile of any kind in my entire life. We were in the country, came upon a car, and he said, “Pass That Car”.
“Yeah right”, I said. I can’t do that. At which time he stepped on the gas making me have to pull out and drive around the car in front so as to prevent us from running into the back end of the other car. Well, not knowing what to do, I passed the car and proceeded to turn in immediately causing a slight fender-bender. I would have liked to hear how Art got out of that one, but somehow he managed. That was a really stupid move and could have ended a whole lot worse…
I learned to drive in a 1957 Plymouth, black in color, with white leather seats. It had large fins off the back, and push-button controls. A real classy vehicle if I do say so myself. I was told by Art, as I was using his car, that I had to take my test when I reached sixteen as soon as possible. He wanted to put glass packs on the car and he had to wait until I took my test to do this as I believe they were illegal!!
Another experience of driving when I didn’t know what I was doing was when I turned into the alleyway behind the front street stores in Beaver Dam. Unfortunately, I stepped on the gas instead of breaking. As the back of the stores went flying before my eyes, I miraculously managed to not hit a thing, and actually came to a safe stop. Art had a few choice words to say about that near-tragedy…
When I got my license Art then became my father. By this, I mean that he had the nerve to put restrictions on me when I drove his car, which was the only car made available to me. He said I could only have one other person in the car with me, and he needed to know where I was going, and when I would return. You get the idea!
Then, since I was to be trusted, not, I was not allowed to use the family car. This family car was kept in the garage as my Dad had a company car which he drove. I was told to wash the car, but it had to stay in the garage. Well, that wasn’t going to happen. For one reason we had a really tiny one-car garage and washing it would be rather difficult. Also, he didn’t want me to have the opportunity to take his precious car for a spin. So, after taking the car out of the garage and scraping the whole right side, I nicely put the car back into the garage and washed it. Many days later my dad said I should come and see what he got on the side of the family car when he was at the Tower Parking Lot. I never confessed!!
The one and only time I was ever given use of the family car was on my eighteenth birthday. I was supposed to take a few friends to the outdoor theater. Well, I got sidetracked and ended up going to a bear party that was held in a field in the country. I was busted and never got to use that car or any other car that we had in the future.
Since I am now a responsible adult and knocking on wood, have never had an accident. So far I have only been blessed with an “invitation to the policemen’s ball” (as Art phrases it), one speeding ticket while en route to paralegal school in Milwaukee. I consider myself a good driver!
My beginning was pretty shaky, but I feel I have definitely improved since then!!!!.