Driving Lessons


Learning to drive from my old man was difficult to say the least. He didn’t care that I was pretty skilled at steering Pa Sanders old tractor around in a field while making straight plow lines.

No!  He wanted me to learn to drive stick-shift and that was all there was to it.

Earlier I had bough an old 1963 Chevy Biscayne for 300-bucks. It was in good shape with a good engine, but it was also a three-on-the-tree.

For whatever reason, I was intimidated by the car’s clutch. I never seemed able to get the vehicle going without jerking myself and Dad half-to-pieces and it frustrated him to no-end.

In fact, he’d get to flustered by my lack of coordination between the clutch and the gas pedal, that he’d pop me in the back of the head when the car started to jerk. This made the situation worse.

I never did get the clutch down properly in that old Chevy because I sold it for a Dodge Charger with an automatic transmission.

It wasn’t until I was in the service that I finally got the interaction between the clutch and the gas pedal down. I have Dave Barber to thank for letting me tool around Cheyenne in his Nova as practice and later Nancy Jessop for driving clear across Nebraska in her brother’s truck.

Neither one slapped me in back of the head either.

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