First Car
willys.knight.jpg

It was a “Whippet” Willys-Knight – what a funny name for a car I learned to drive on! My mother wouldn’t learn to drive. “It makes me too nervous.” Needless to say I was very eager to learn to drive when my father suggested I accept this challenge. I was only thirteen!

He gave me a few instructions – handed me the keys and told me to drive up and down the driveway until I felt confident to go out “on the road”. He also added I must learn the rules and regulations and pass the official driver’s test and have my license.

I must be very old because in those times in Iowa we didn’t have school buses. If you lived in the country either a parent or neighbor had to drive you to school or arrange for a neighbor to pick up others in the area. Many children were allowed to drive tractors or other farm vehicles. Needless to say there were tragic accidents as a result.

Someone told me to think of the letter H when shifting gears – that helped a lot. I had to learn to use the clutch. My short legs found the clutch when several pillows were put behind me and under me! Steering was easy even though we had no power steering.

Up and down the driveway I drove and even learned to back up! Finally I was allowed to go on the highway! My father did say I had to learn to change a tire before I could get my license. Fortunately I never had to do it myself in an emergency.

Hurrah!! Hurrah! I passed the driver’s test on my first try and at thirteen I was a legal Iowa Driver.

P.S. My daughters like to say – “But Mom – you were lucky because there were only dinosaurs on the road then!!

Elsie Johnson
Southbury, CT © 2013

Add your story to this page!

Comment on this Story

Add a New Comment

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License