Until today, I held myself responsible for Lynn Coffman’s decision to resign his position as driver’s education instructor at Seymour Community High School in the late 1960s. His shrieking at me from the passenger’s seat as I ground the gears of some ancient car, trying to back out of the alley behind Jones Drugstore, still echoes in my ears. Equally strong is the memory of a February day. Cold. Dreary. Somebody else was in the driver’s seat and California Dreaming was playing on the radio. Must have been his/her driving skills and the ambience of the “new” Driver’s Ed car that had won us the privilege of listening to KIOA.
But back to my just-found knowledge that others potentially share responsibility for Coffman’s departure. Doris Alley Pollock writes: “I drove with Barb Banning and Paula Hancox, and when we had to drive the ‘old’ car to learn the stick shift, Barb and I about died. Paula had never driven a stick shift and had a horrible time learning it.”
When I asked Paula, however, she said she couldn’t recall trouble shifting in Driver’s Ed as much as “…trying to drive Terry Smith’s Corvair (3-speed on the floor) and having a terrible time! Funny how we all remember different things!”
Marvin Tuttle reminded all of us that our class (1968) was the first for whom Driver’s Ed was mandatory, and that being born earlier in the year, he wasn’t required to take the course–just drive with a highway patrolman for his license. But “be that as it may” (that’s right, pop quiz on which one of our teacher’s loved that phrase!), I’m still betting there are some great learning-to-drive stories out there that can be shared. What’s yours?
In return, I’ll share this short, sweet gift of a video. Talk about miles of smiles.