Saturday, January 29, 2005

More about war than ...

Living on the farm in summer was a way to find family. I learned that I didn't have to be any more than I was though my Uncle George sure seemed worried about my Mom's Catholic background. And my Aunt Mabel always wanted to know what that paper backed book was I seemed to always carry in my back pocket. I learned to drive from my cousin's husband, June, for Junior, Biggers.

One day about a week after I'd told my Uncle that I could drive and then proceeded to take out about 30 feet of fence when I popped the clutch on the pickup, June stopped by the house right after dinner, said he was on his way to plow up a field and did I want to ride along. You bet, I said and jumped up beside him on the tractor. When we got out to the field, he showed me how to hook up the double disc plow and then we started plowing a circuit around the field working counter clockwise from the inside out. After a few circuits, he motioned me to stand beside him and watch how he shifted and worked the clutch and to see where the brake was. Once more around and then he said he had another field he had to look to and would I mind finishing up what we'd started while he went and took care of it? So there I was, the tractor engine idling, the steering wheel in my hands and a field to plow. Which I did.

Later, my Aunt and Uncle were both kind of mad that I hadn't told them where I was going but that didn't seem to matter because there I was a thirteen year old boy who now knew how to drive.

That summer down toward the end of it, my cousin's husband went off to Korea and when he came back he had lost the hearing in his right ear from a bomb explosion on the air field he and his seabee buddies were building. Until then I thought war was some game me and my friends played after school. Of course, there was some benefit to the whole deal. Whenever June didn't want to listen to my endless questions anymore he'd just turn his head. http://antiwar.blogspot.com/

2 comments:

L said...

cool -- I would have loved learning how to drive at 13. Of course, I definitely would have crashed into something...

R said...

Well, about that. The first time my Dad let me drive the family car alone I was tooling along heading back home when I decided that what would really look cool would if I took off my sun glasses and hooked them over the sun visor. Suddenly I was startled by the loud honking of a car horn. As I jerked my eyes down to see what was so urgent, I could see that I had inadvertently headed myself and my Dad's new chrysler right towards the drainage ditch that flanked the road. I reacted immediately to turn the wheel get back on the road. So much for being cool . . .