Learning To Drive

in life •  last year

Saint Boniface Church.jpg

The photo above was taken from my Uncle Ed's farm in the 1920s.
Saint Boniface Church and school in the distance.

I first drove a car on a visit to Uncle Ed's farm when I was still in grade school. Before that I began driving one of Ed's tractors when I was under 10 years old.

He would put me in an open field across from the farm house. Ed would put the tractor in gear, let out the clutch, and then he would jump off and tell me to be sure to turn before I got to the ditch on either end of the field. I would sit on that old tractor, moving the accelerator lever fast and slow, and pretend that I was driving a formula one car. I spent many hours doing that.

Then, when I was around 12 or 13 they would also let me drive the car from Ed's house to Peg's house in Ivesdale. The road in front of Ed's farm was all gravel, but the first road to the North, where we turned to go to Peg's, was what they called a "slab road". What that meant was that one side of the road was paved in cement, and the other side was left as dirt or gravel. There never was a lot of traffic on those roads, which criss-crossed much of Southern Illinois farmland. So we would drive on the cement side until we met another car coming our way. If we were on the cement, and we were on the right hand side of the road, we just kept going, and the car coming our way, also on the cement, would pull into the dirt lane so that we could pass. If we were on the cement but we were on the left side when another car came our way we were the one who had to pull over. That was where I learned how to ease a moving car off of a paved road without flipping it over or otherwise losing control.

NOTE: This is one of the stories from my new book
The Chronicles of Lorenzo - Volume 1
You may download a free copy of it at
I have placed this book directly into the Public Domain.

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