Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Whiter Shade of Pale

I've written often of my dad, a man of great faith and devotion to his family. He worked two jobs most of his life plus handled the farming duties. He was a hero in my eyes. A man to be emulated in everything he did... except his driving.

The earliest memory that I have riding with him was coming home from church late one evening with all of us piled into our station wagon. He slowed down at the stop sign where our road crossed the highway and kinda glanced, deciding that car barreling down on us wasn't a threat at all. I was in the back and didn't see, but my brother, sisters and mom yelled, screamed and ducked as he continued across the highway with the sound of screeching brakes and a horn blowing about three inches from the back bumper. "What are you yelling about? I know what I'm doing". Over the years he became infamous for his close calls and his obliviousness to the terror bestowed on his children when he drove. I don't recall whether he had any accidents or not, but I do remember riding with him a few times when I was a little older and having some very nervous moments. I was fourteen, I think, when he let me ride with him on his route a couple of times. He worked for a dry cleaning service the last ten years of his employment, and his work was hard and tiring. He was always hurrying from stop to stop and viewed a stop sign as more of a suggestion than a law. I remember him driving through town speeding toward a light that was red. I looked over at him and yelled and he slammed the brakes on, skidding to a stop. He'd been almost asleep, tired out from the long day and hot weather.

His horror rides were something we had a good laugh about, but only if we made it through alive, which all of somehow managed to do.


Blogger Laura said...

I remember one time when I was small, we were going up to West Branch for vacation after my father had worked an extra long day at work. My brother and I fell asleep in the back seat on the way up. I suddenly awoke with the sound of my mother's screaming voice as she yelled out my father's name. He had fallen asleep while driving and was going off the road. After that, I couldn't fall asleep on a trip with him driving. Now, when I go with my husband on out of state runs in the truck, I have no problem falling asleep. Strange.

11:53 PM  
Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

I loved this post -- such a well-written, funny view of your father. He sounds so nice and sweet and the driving stuff made me laugh!

10:30 AM  

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