July 03, 2006


[music | A Love Supreme by John Coltrane]

Way back when, when I was a young'in, my Dad called for me while sitting in the car in the driveway. I can recollect I was between the ages of 7 to 10. The car was a really nice 1966 Chevrolet Caprice, silver with black cloth interior. Power windows and power steering and brakes. I'll tell you how I know about the power brakes in a second... My Dad is pretty conservative in his ways, and wasn't into lots of adventure. To my utter surprise, he asked me if I wanted to drive the car! I guess I was older in the age range I mentioned before, because now I remember just barely able to see above the dash and still reach the pedals even while sitting in my Dad's lap. Even in my early years, I knew cars. I can still tell you every car my Dad ever owned by year, model and make. Gas pedal, brake pedal and steering wheel. I've known the basics for many years! So, my Dad goes on to explain the "basics" and besides putting the car in gear, he lets me loose. Never once did he mention anything about finesse!!! I floored the big V8, slamming my body backwards, but still knew well enough to put on the brakes. We both lurched forward as I almost cracked my skull against the steering wheel. The adrenalin started flowing and I was on a rush!!! Patient, my Dad actually gave me another shot and I made it down the driveway sporadically, but I made it.

2006, July 2nd around 11 p.m. On our way back from checking out fire and belly dancers and fire eaters underneath I 5, my daughter and I are about 3 blocks from home. I don't know what hit me to make the decision, but she just had a birthday a few days ago, so I stopped the car, asked my kid if she wanted to drive. The look on her face was just priceless! Eyes wide open, she got out of her belt in a flash. She got in my lap and all she could do at this point is steer. So, I put the car in 1st and off we go. Now the difference between her and I is that she all ready has a sense of finesse. Slowly moving the wheel a bit to the left, a bit to the right, she keeps the car straight for the most part. Another big difference is that she got to drive 5 whole blocks with a few turns in between, obliterating my driveway experience... Her level of concentration was pretty damn good, and not only until after she got out of the car did she do her happy dance.

I hope when she is older, she will have the fond memory of driving the car with her Dad for the first time and reminisce about the joyous moment as I do...

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