Thanks to Maggie and Lauren for this prompt!
I was the oldest of my group of friends which meant two things: I got my driver’s license first and I had to buy the booze when I turned 19.
I first drove my father’s truck, an old brown Dodge half-ton (well, it seems old now, I don’t think it was then) when I was 7 or 8. It wasn’t realy driving, I just sat on his lap and steered. It was never on a busy street, usually on a dirt or ice road when no one was around.
The second vehicle I drove was another truck, this time a brown Chevy. I had my license at this time. It was a standard, which are rare these days, with the shifter on the steering column. It had a quirk where if you didn’t follow the “H” shape (no diagonal shortcuts) while shifting from 2nd to 3rd, it would jam. You would have to get out, open the hood, and jiggle the shifing mechanism until it released. Fun times.
There were no graduated licenses at that time. This meant you could put as many friends as you wanted (some that you didn’t, getting a license also meant you got more friends) into the car and drive at any time of day. Picture the little car at the circus with all the clowns coming out.
We had no destination, We had no money either. We would pool what little money we were able to scrape up (usually change), drive around a bit then head to the gas station to put in $1.47 worth of gas. Ah, the 80s. If there was no gas in the car, we walked or rode our bikes.
Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
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