Ostomy Memories of Driving


AT THE AGE OF FOURTEEN, I got my learner’s permit, which meant that I could drive while a licensed driver accompanied me, or I could drive a cycle or a scooter. I got a Vespa, but I also had access to a car and got some lessons My learning vehicle was a ’54 Chevy, the butterscotch-colored classic of its time. At sixteen, in possession of a full-fledged DL, with my earnings from bagging groceries, I purchased my first car: a ’54 Ford. It had a back seat so wide the girls’ gymnastics team could have worked out there. I had a more teenaged boy plan for that space. Over the years, as with many people, I had many cars, everything from sporty little British two-seaters to full-sized vans. I enjoyed driving enough to earn a few speeding tickets along the way, but I never had an accident. Sartre’s famous line from “No Exit” was “Hell is other people.” My version has always been: hell is other drivers. “Have you ever noticed,” asked George Carlin, “that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone driving faster than you is a maniac?” Some people seem to believe that speed limit signs are advisory only, yet a ticketed speeder beating a citation in court is as rare as a non-cute kitten. This has nothing to do with court inequities and everything to do with the fact that speeding is readily detectable and easily proven. Now we have these cars which purportedly drive themselves and park themselves. No thank you, Ma’am. I’d sooner have my clone kiss my girlfriend.


Hi Henry.

You had hands down the most gorgeous looking cars in the US. Must have been fantastic being involved with these vehicles before, during, and after the period you speak of.


<p>Hiya Axl:&nbsp; Yes, those were driving times and, for young guys, a car was a ticket to freedom.&nbsp; Most of us didn't go to the lengths of Jack Kerouac in "On the Road," but we put down some miles.<br /><br /></p>
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Hi Ax & Henry, 

Yes, Chevy and Ford are the best examples of American history, and so charming to cruise.  They are lovely and beautiful, and I remember my aunt had one. It was awesome driving around. 

I remember the 1964 Chevy Impala my uncle had. Lovely too.. awesome memories. Thank you, Henry.


When I got my first car, I was either 15 or 16. I bought a green Oldsmobile. I did not get a license, and my best friend did. So she drove us around. After a while, the carburetor float started sticking in it. I would raise the hood and beat on the carburetor to get it unstuck while she started the car. But we still felt like we were stepping in high cotton, as the old southern saying went. Best wishes and stay safe.

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