On my last solo car trip of over a thousand miles, I listened to big band, classic country, and what I call western country music. My father enjoyed such music, too, and I thought of him on my trip.
“Turn the wheel. You’re going to hit the barn!” I did–hit the barn–just as Daddy, from his seat on the tractor fender, slammed his booted foot down on top of my eight-year-old barefoot, and smashed it between the metal brake pedal and his boot. “You’ll do fine next time,” he said.
“You can drive us home from Grandma’s. Now, remember, don’t close your eyes on the narrow bridge. You’ll do fine,” he said. I was almost twelve.
“Take this truck load of wheat to town. Just put it in low, ease up on the clutch slowly, and give it some gas. Don’t hit the sides of the elevator or the next truck in line. Don’t roll back into the truck behind you, either. You’ll do fine,” he said. I was sixteen.
At twenty, he had me drive a large, flatbed truck. “You’ll do fine,” he said.
I’d like to once again drive with my dad–I would do fine.