Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Drivin'

I sincerely wish some of my fellow drivers would learn to read traffic flow patterns. Perhaps then they wouldn't rush up on my back bumper and try to crawl into my back seat. Seriously, if I'm toolin' along at 70 or maybe a little faster, in the left lane, with a car ahead of me with the safe 2 second lead; passin' the cars in the right lane, with no opportunity to move over without slowing down...I ain't gettin' over for your RUDE self! So, BACK OFF JACK!!! Ever hear that old saw about tryin' to put lipstick on a pig? It frustrates you, and annoys the pig. So, learn to read traffic flo patterns and get off my bumper. You won't be nearly as frustrated and I won't be nearly as annoyed.

I'm not sure how I learned to read traffic flow. My Daddy was really good at it. He had the same philosophy HIS Daddy had..."If you're not the lead dog, the scenery never changes." SO whenever we were on a road trip, Daddy was almost always out in front. Or was it all those years of drivin' in Houston? You better be able to read flow patterns on the freeways, or you gonna be in a WORLD of hurt. Or was it the trips from Houston to Killeen on 290 to 36 to 190? Then again, maybe it started 30 yrs. ago when I started my treks from N.TX down to Killeen and Houston. Whatever and whenever, I'm good at it. I'm not an irresponsible lane zipper. I only change using my signals and when there is is safe interval.

I'm not a "speed demon" either. I don't remember the last time I got a speeding citation. But there are other women in my family who were born with lead in their right feet. Sister comes to mind first. Her name was FayeBelle, but no one in the fam ever called her anything but Sister. She was takin' Bubba and me up to the lake one day. Somethin' happened at home and Daddy left Killeen to try to catch her on the road and bring us back. He said, years later, that he stopped looking at his speedometer when he hit 95. And that was after he had Sister's car in his sights. He said he'd start gettin' close and then she'd pull away. So he'd try pushin' his pedal through the floorboard, and get close again. Then she'd pull away again.
They were both drivin' 8-cylinder Buicks. Sister had an Electra 225. Daddy had a Bright Blue LeSabre, with white leather upholstery. Mother LOVED that car. Daddy finally caught Sister when she was almost in Burnet. He had to pull up alongside her and blast his horn to get her attention.

Sister's parents, my great-Grandparents, were an interesting driving pair. Mimi never actually learned to drive. But in later years her eyesight was still excellent. Papa knew how to drive, it was part of his job as a policeman in Waco when he and Mimi lived there. But in his later years, his eyesight was starting to go bad. Since Mimi could still see just fine, they'd get in their old Ford, the big humpback one that came off the assembly line right after the WAR, the 2nd World War, ya' know? Papa would have Mimi scoot over and sit RIGHT next to him, as if they were dating and not 65 years married. That was so she could be his "eyes" and he could drive w/o jumping curbs, running lights, or hitting parked cars.
How they never got a ticket, I will never know.

But finally, a Killeen Police officer, who was also a friend, came to Uncle Spence's shop. Uncle Spencer was married to Sister. "Spence, you have to do something about Tom and Vi. They are drivin' around town with Vi doin' the 'seein' ' and Tom doing the steerin' ." And although it pained him to do it, Uncle Spence took the car keys away from Papa. Although I was too young to remember it, I'm told there was cussin and wailin' and gnashin' of teeth...from Sister. Now she was gonna have to drive Mimi to the Beauty Shop and the grocery store, and the Dr. and, and, and. My Mother was sad because she knew that was the beginning of the end of Papa. Lookin' back I can see she was right. Loosing his independence took something away from him. He wasn't the same after that. I think she started spending more time over there, and I know Bubba started spending more time with Mimi and Papa. Trying to cheer Papa up or just distract him. At least Uncle Spence put his foot down about selling the car. Sister wanted to sell the car. "NO, you are not sellin' that car as long as your Papa is alive. Let him think that someday he can go out and drive it one last time." Goodness, I loved that man!

9 comments:

lainy said...

I'm glad you made it safe. It's usually the other driver you have to watch out for. They can be crazy loons.

Love to hear your family stories. Reminds me of some of my own.

Flo said...

Perfect post, just the thing I need for MFD.

Glad you had a nice weekend. Belated happy mother's day (and b-day to the DB).

Kevin said...

The reason Houston drivers cannot "read" traffic is because they are too busy talking on the phone or are totally spaced out. At least it seems that way with the ones I dodge.
Great story about your family, I enjoy reading your blog.

SpeakerTweaker said...

Girl, you got a knack for warming the heart. That's some good family stuff. Kinda gets you right here...

Uncle Spence should be honored as a saint for refusing to sell the car.

Fathairybastard said...

That was a great post. It's hilarious to read about someone in Killeen, drivin' these roads. People have gotten CRAZY since the war started. Returned soldiers who think they can't die.

HollyB said...

Kevin, I left "Space City" in '76. I still go back to visit now and then, but not so much since my Mother moved away. In the early 70's when I was learning to drive, no one had cell phones. And any spacy-ness was due to bein' stoned on pot...which just made them s-l-o-w down, so they were real easy to spot.
Spktwkr and FHB, yeah, those days in Killeen were a long time ago...think early 60's. I was but a wee Lass. It was probably '63, b/c the base started gearing up and sending guys to 'Nam as early as late '63 - early '64. But still town was small enough then for Mimi and Papa to do that. Until finally one sharp-eyed LEO took their safety into consideration.
I am so lucky to have so many great stories from my childhood. I'm enjoying sharin' them.

phlegmfatale said...

What on earth is UP with people who are oblivious on the road AND speed demons? It's a deadly combo. I'm like you, I don't speed, always signal, and I frankly can't drive comfortably without a safety belt on.

That is so true about one's independence being tied to their automobile. I know mine is...

phlegmfatale said...

Oh, and just a great post in general - I think I LOVE Sister - I'm picturing a mile-high beehive type affair, right? Did she go have her hair set oncet a week??? Cute folks.

phlegmfatale said...

OH, and one more thing - you sounded great on the radio last night- you've got that honeyed-smoky voice thing going on! When I called in, I thought there were calls before mine and I just sat there when they clicked on me and then I remained in dork mode the whole time! Silly me.