Driving and Drives #JusJoJan

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

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…

27 thoughts on “Driving and Drives #JusJoJan

  1. My driver’s ed teacher was a retired civil engineer (like my parents) so they loved him and the whole thing was pretty sour for me. Despite that sexist, pedantic jerkface, I got an A in driver’s ed, missed one on the test, and got my license straight away.
    I had a lot of coach teachers, and I always divided them, were they coaches first or teachers first? That was noticeable in their classes. Coaches tended to read the paper and make us teach ourselves.

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    1. I had three football coaches as teachers (aside from the gym teachers, all of whom had something to do with the team). Two of them were very fine teachers (Algebra II and Physics), then there was that guy…

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  2. I grew up in a small town and my mother was divorced…and my sister married. My mom talked to the Sheriff and told him I might need to drive if I needed something because I was at home alone when she worked. I was 13 years old…he had no problem with that…I still can’t believe that happened but it’s a different world. I’ve been driving ever since.

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      1. I did get stopped at a stop sign my first trip out. The deputy yelled at me…”I don’t care if Sheriff ______ said you could…you can’t drive!” He got on the radio and came back to me…ok…drive home safely.

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  3. Thanks for playing along, John. My hubby had a bug when we were first together. I rarely drove it because I didn’t like the gear shift stuff. I’m not coordinated – LOL

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  4. I started to drive in high school. I still drive except I don’t like to drive at night because of my eyesight. With that said, since the surgery on my right eye, I see a lot better.

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  5. I learned to drive at 17. No real choice in the matter, there was no public transportation where I lived, so driving was essential. I don’t ever want to reach the point where I can’t drive, but I suppose I will adapt …

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    1. Things were a little different for me, because I lived in the suburbs, and while there was bus service there wasn’t a whole lot. After we got married, we lived in Chicago, where public transit was really good, so I didn’t feel like I needed to drive until I took the job that required it, which was also based in the suburbs and had little bus service to get me there.

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  6. I used to sneak out and drive my grandmother’s car for about a full year before I got my driver’s license. When I took my test, the instructor told me that I was one of the best new driver’s he’d ever seen.

    You have a very enjoyable blog.

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  7. Your right it does all depend on the instructor and the student being a good mix. I took my test eight times and finally passed when I was 36yrs. I am still driving now thirty years on. I now drive an automatic since I broke my back for the second time ten years ago. 💜

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    1. I got my license when I was 16 because we lived in the country and my mom and dad had no time to drive me to the nearby city of I wanted to go there. If it wasn’t for a push, I wouldn’t have gotten my license so soon so I’m glad they pushed me. I am still driving but I noticed that I don’t care for driv8ng in the dark any more because it’s hard for me to see well.

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