Peggy W

"Shifty" Business!

I learned to drive a stick shift on my friend's Volkswagon Bug. I thought I was pretty adept at shifting gears but of course, her car was older and not very temperamental, and it didn't matter much how you shifted. So when I ordered my first car, a 1977 Firethorn Red Camaro, I opted for 3 on the floor and 6 cylinder (was only 22 and had to pay for it myself!) When my car arrived, my Dad drove me to the dealership in his '64 Chevy Impala to pick it up. After signing the paperwork, I told the dealer that Dad would be driving it home but he said "Oh no!! It's your car, you should drive it!! Lets take it for a spin around the block." The three of us piled in with me behind the wheel and we jerked and lurched around the block. As I pulled into a parking space, the dealer unceremoniously said "Let your Dad drive it home." Dad drove and I followed in his car with a big smile on my face, watching my brand-new Camaro take the road. The next day, Dad took me out to get some practice, fixed himself a frosted mug of beer, sat in the passenger seat and off we went. Again, we only made it around the block and most of Dad's beer was in his lap and down the front of his shirt--he was none too happy about that to say the least, not to mention he wasn't the most patient of teachers! So back home we went, with him driving back. My Mom took me out again that Sunday to the shopping mall parking lot. Stores were closed on Sundays back then so I had the whole empty lot to get used to changing gears smoothly. Mom had a lot more patience and no mug of beer! I still have that car and still have a big grin on my face when I drive it.

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