Saturday, May 30, 2015

This is Home, Part 48 - Jean's driving lesson

This is part 48 of my mother's book about her life, written in 2004. The end of the second paragraph refers to a trip back to Missouri that my mother took with my brother, in October of 1997. Charley, who appears several paragraphs further on, was an old farmhand who had been with them on the farm for a long time.

Jean's driving lesson

When Jean got old enough, Uncle Doc took her out in the car to teach her how to drive, just as he had taught me. They were gone quite awhile and Mom and I were wondering where they were.

Finally, we saw Jean walking over the rise in the same pasture we saw when we were back there, David.

Mom was saying, "I wonder what happened. Where is Uncle Doc? Why do you suppose she is walking and by herself?"

Uncle Doc didn't come, so we were really worried. When we asked her, she said that he was looking at the car down close to where the mailbox used to be. The car was in the ditch.

When Uncle Doc came back he said he was going to get someone to take him to Jacksonville so he could make arrangements to have the garage there tow the car in for repair.

He said Jean had driven through Darksville at sixty miles per hour looking the other way instead of at the road. She didn't listen to him.

The Darksville-Huntsville road was also graveled and gravel can slide.

One time when I was driving, I scared Charley to pieces. I was driving on the road to Jacksonville. Charley wanted me to slow down. The bridge that rumbled was coming up and it was only wide enough to accommodate one car at a time. Besides, there was a curve just past it. There were thick trees on each side of the road and any car coming toward us could not be seen before crossing the bridge.

I told him that I wasn't going too fast to stop and anyway there wasn't another car there. About that time another car came around the curve and onto the bridge. Charley yelled and leaned to the side.

I managed to stop just short of the bridge and a little toward the side of it. I slowed down after that and I always took the bridge slowly.

Country roads are made for one car at a time. If you meet another one, you both have to move toward the ditch on your side in order to pass each other.

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