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Thursday, September 22, 2005

One thing I know for sure...

... I can drive my ASS OFF!

Tonight I drove a 15-passenger van into Manhattan to see the show, Altar Boyz. I was not impressed. I don't know... the show just didn't move me, but I'm really picky about theater, especially musicals. Also a show about Jesus with no Black people in it kinda disturbs me. But that's not the point.
I'm really a terrific driver... relaxed, yet alert... fast, but not reckless. I always impress myself when driving in the city. I blend right into the madness and stake my claim on the road. Years of experience serves me well.

I first climbed behind the wheel at 3 years old. My Aunt Jane, bought me a battery-powered, little red Corvette. It drove just like a real car. The battery was just like a real car battery and cost $42, which was a nice piece of change at that time. I drove that little car up and down the driveway like it was Interstate 95. I would stop and get gas... go to the grocery store... my auntie tells me I even drove it to church. I put some miles on my little car. I was extremely sad when I outgrew it. Although I graduated to bicycles, nothing could compared to riding in my car.
When I finally drove a car again I must have been about 13 years old. My grandmother had a classic 1970 Buick LeSabre that was really hot. She and my grandfather had gone somewhere on vacation so I decided to take the car for a spin down the block. Getting behind the wheel again was like putting on a comfy pair of slippers. I loved the feel of a car around me, but I wasn't prepared for the power of a real auto. I got down the street and began to panic. I turned around without incident, but as I was turning to go back in our driveway, I hit a fence post leaving a small dent on the fender that went forever unnoticed. For days after their return I was terrified that one of them would notice and beat me senseless. If they noticed, they never acknowledged. Soon after that I began chauffering my grandfather back and forth to church. I think it was actually a bribe so that I would continue to go. Whatever the motive, it honed my driving skills to the point that I was quite proficient.
The summer after I turned 15, my grandparents bought a new Cadillac. It was a beautiful machine and perhaps the last of the really big cars. The hood could sleep three comfortably. I think that was the last year that cars were made that could actually seat six good-sized passengers. I was definitely intimidated by it. Nevertheless they put me behind the wheel of that yacht and I drove them all the way to Georgia while they just enjoyed the scenery. My grandfather was by far the best passenger ever. He would let you drive like you wanted. Perhaps because he had a lead foot himself. My grandmother was the polar opposite. "Don't you think you should slow down?" I think it's because she wasn't the best driver. She must have been in her 30s when she finally learned. Mrs. Aretha Colbert taught her and I'm told that she drove from our house to Sea View Manor [about a half mile] in first gear. The very first year we went south without my grandfather, she got on my nerves so bad that I pulled over on the interstate and told her she could drive. The trucks unnerved her so badly that she let me get back behind the wheel and I didn't hear a peep out of her... at least during the rest of that trip. She still likes to back seat drive, but I very seldom drive her anywhere and when I do, I am able to call upon another skill I learned from my grandfather... the ability to completely ignore his wife.
Since that first drive to Georgia I have made at least 40 trips. I once did two in 72 hours... BY MYSELF! I can get in the car right now and be there by noon tomorrow. "He who travels swiftest travels alone." I don't know who said it, but it's true. I love being on the road... just me, some tunes, and open road with a 75mph speed limit. That means I can do at least 82.

Posted by Rodney :: 10:00 PM :: 1 Comments:

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