I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 28. Sure, I took Driver’s Ed when I was in high school: it was a required course, and I couldn’t get out unless I passed it, which I did. As for the driving part, I was assigned to possibly the worst Driver’s Ed teacher God ever put on the face of the earth. He was one of the many football coaches, and Illinois High School Association regulations said that all of the coaches must be employed as teachers at the school. I had several of the coaches in my time, and they were all really great, just not this one.
He managed to convince me that I had a depth perception problem, and that I shouldn’t drive until I had it looked into. In truth, I had a "rageaholic football coach screaming, banging on the dashboard, and slamming on the brake on his side" problem. In retrospect, I should have asked for another instructor, but we didn’t do that back in the day. I knew guys on the football team, and all I could imagine was him carrying on like that with one of them and being bodyslammed in reply. I should have talked to some of them about it…
A few years later, I had to drive a forklift for work, and when I told them about my depth perception problem, they asked me to go to an optometrist and have it checked. He gave me the test, and when I finished he asked, "who the hell told you you have a depth perception problem?"
Still, I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 28 and my job, which included travel, required it. I have to say I was pretty good at it. I’ve driven to and from Chicago at least ten times in addition to driving under some pretty rough conditions in some places.
The stroke put an end to my driving. It affected the right side of my body, where most of the action is when you drive (at least in the US), and while I was evaluated and cleared to resume driving, I was given a number of modifications to a car I would need. I asked Mary if she minded doing all the driving, and she was more than happy to oblige. We don’t go more than 5 miles from home (Mary’s comfort zone), and that suits me just fine.
I’ve changed hard disk drives in several desktop computers in the past, and it was really no big deal. The hardest part was getting the jumpers right. Remember those? The drives had several pins at one end, and you would have to place what looked like a tiny paper clip around the correct ones to indicate that the drive was the boot drive. Even before the stroke, I had the manual dexterity of a gorilla peeling a grape, but somehow I was always able to get the jumpers right.
The lovely and talented Janet from Janet’s Smiles provided today’s Just Jot It January prompt, "drive." Just Jot It January is an annual blogfest run by the lovely and talented Linda Hill who has all the rules over at her site. And now this word about the Volkswagen Beetle.
When I was 11, my uncle Jack let me drive his Beetle around a construction zone, much to my mother’s chagrin. I think he should have taught me to drive…