Thursday, February 10, 2011

Learning how to drive.

Speaking about cars on my last post I started remembering when I learned how to drive. It all started out one summer when I was 14 and went to visit my sister in Palm Springs for a while. Boy was that an awesome and educational time. Parties like I had never seen before.

My sister hated to drive and decided one night to start teaching me. Well, I wasn't gonna pass that opportunity up. I did pretty well and had a ball there. When I went home I never told my parents about that part of the vacation.

Fast forward to when I was getting my learners permit. Because I was held back when I was younger I was already going to be 16 starting my sophmore year. They didn't offer Drivers Ed for freshmen so my parents had to teach me and sent me to of all places "Sears Driving School". Yep, it was embarrassing driving in that car. I was in a class with a bunch of offenders who were there to get their tickets written off. Anybody watch the old 50's classic blood/guts movie about driving dangers. Car's crashed, bodies, etc. I got the joy of watching that one.

My dad took me out to teach me how to drive for the first time in "Da Boat" at night in the parking lot of a grocery store. Now mind you he didn't know that I already did so I had to fake it. Guess I didn't do too well faking it because he said about 15 min. later "You have driven before haven't you?" Classic freeze moment: do I tell or not? Well I fessed up and he started laughing. He said that he figured it out right away and didn't care.

When we bought my first car it was a stick shift. That was a huge learning curve. Lots of stalls and my little brother in the back-seat laughing but I finally got it. We were in that same grocery store lot and my dad said I did good. He then told me to go around back. The back of the lot which I didn't realize has a hill down and then back up. Going back up the hill dad suddenly yells STOP! I slam the brakes (little bro got a bit smashed up on that one. Hehehehe) Heart pounding I look at him and was scared what I did wrong. He said Ok, go ahead now. I start to go and instead of forward I was going backwards. Brakes slam again. (little bro quiet now after 2nd head butt Hehehehe) Again after several false starts, rolling backwards more than forward, stalls, I finally got it and was done and now had freedom....

I didn't use that skill much because we were living in Phoenix, AZ at the time and it does not have hills. A year later the memories come screaming back when I was living in the San Francisco area and decided one night to venture out to SF city with friends. The hills there are nothing compared to normal stuff.

I was lost but having fun discovering all kinds of stuff and then found myself on a huge hill with a stop sign in the middle of it. And of course with my wonderful luck I had a truck stop behind me right on my butt. No room for error. I raced the engine a bit before letting that clutch go and flew out burning rubber. At least I didn't hit that darned truck behind me. I did not want to explain to my parents what I was doing in the city in the first place.

My whole world opened up once I had the freedom to go places without having to beg for rides. Granted the begging still had to do with gas money but it went quite a bit further then now.


  1. I never had the freedom of driving before I was married. Maybe that is why I got married at 19!

  2. That is funny. My sister got married less than a month after her 18th birthday. She couldn't get to the alter quick enough because she was so happy and 27 years later still going strong..