Thursday, November 17, 2011

Youngsters Driving

Yikes! two kids driving cars and their parents put in jail. Down here in the South kids big enough to reach the pedals while sitting on a stack of magazines to gaze between the steering wheel have been driving for eons. My cousin from South Mississippi was driving by age nine and doing it quite well. Of course, these country kids didn't drive tractors or trailer-trucks, but their dads' 150's and 250's with aplomb. Who to disagree? They could maneuver through those dirt and gravel roads like race car drivers. Getting their licenses came about age 15 for sons of farmers; age 18 for the rest of us.

City folks like me used public transportation. The only drawback was dating with no car. Again girls met guys in town at the local movie, each riding separate buses to the locale. After a soda or malt near the movie theater, it was time to separate and go each's way on the bus. I recall in the eleventh grade how my boyfriend and I had to double date with an older guy and his date because he was 18 and eligible for a license. Many of you remember no kid owned a car in high school.

Seems the parents of the kids who drove to the gas station and to school could have used a bit of sense, found some back roads on a weekend and let the little guys drive to their hearts' content. Apparently that wouldn't have satisfied these kids--there'd be no one to see them behind the wheel.

The photo above is not what you think. Our daughter at age eight did not drive our VW. She felt like she was when she posed inside. A closer look and you'll see it was ready for the junk pile. Her dad had been hit by a van on his way to work. (He's still living) The front end and the windshield were goodby joe. This is the only photo we have of our dear ole' VW.

Later when she and the boys needed lessons, we went to a large parking lot where they drove circles until dizzy. Our biggest problem was learning to change tires. One son read the directions, one got the tools out of the car, daughter cheered while I tried to loosen lugs. Ah those days are forgotten whenever they jump into the driver's seat.