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Driving With Daddy
Reflections of my childhood...
I usually had to ride in the back seat, between my two older brothers. I couldn’t see anything because they were at the windows. Of course dad was driving that old 1949 Pontiac. It was our first car and I was so proud of it. Not all our neighbors had a car moving from the late ‘40’s into the early ‘50’s. Even though I was the youngest, I feel that I was the most proud of our car and it showed as I scrubbed those white-walled tires each Saturday as we washed the car. I had my own scrub brush and a bucket of warm soapy water. It was my job to get those side walls as clean as possible.
I somehow seemed... to be in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time
My brothers, Jim and Jack got to wash the top and sides of the car with sponges or old rags and would finish off with the water hose trying to spray each other with it as they washed the soap off the car. I somehow seemed to also get drenched just because I happened to be in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’; that’s the way my big brother Jim explained it to me. He also said I was just a ‘victim of circumstance’, but I didn’t understand just what that meant. Mom said I was so wet that I might as well take my weekly bath after I finished washing the tires and getting soaked as my brothers did ‘their thing’ with the water hose.
Did you ever help daddy drive?
dad said he needed me to help him drive...
The only time I didn’t have to sit in the back seat was when dad would say he needed me to help him drive. That was when mom and Peggy and usually my two older brothers were not with us. We didn’t get to do this as much as I would have liked to, but I felt that I learned a lot about driving that big old car even though my feet couldn’t even reach the pedals. I would sit on dad’s lap and hold that big steering wheel with both hands. I had to look through the steering wheel because I wasn’t tall enough to look over it just to see where we were going. Dad would tell me to turn left or turn right just so that we wouldn’t get lost. After all, driving was a full time job for a six year old and I couldn’t be expected to know my way to where all we were going and have to do the driving too. Just my dad and me and he would somehow always find a way to end up at the ice cream store after those long trips and before driving us home. My dad helped out a lot on those car rides and I really felt I was steering that big old Pontiac not realizing he also had his hand on the wheel all the time…, just in case.