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How did you learn to drive?

Asked at Checkers Food Store, 2301 La. on June 22, 2009

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Photo of Doug Baker

“My grandpa, on gravel roads in Emporia and Hartford, Kansas.”

Photo of Marilyn Pitnick

“My mother. God bless my mother for her patience. It was a ’58 Plymouth, standard on the column.”

Photo of Carol Meggison

“My dad taught me at the cemetery. My dad figured all the people there were dead already.”

Photo of Brandon Thompson

“My stepdad taught me how to drive. It started out in a parking lot. I was probably 12 or 13.”


Bill Lee 8 years, 10 months ago

I actually waited until I was 16 and took Drivers Ed in school.

RoeDapple 8 years, 10 months ago

My dad taught me to drive. 9 years old, '54 Pontiac, stick shift. 30 acres of wet pasture. Sitting on two pillows, lokking through the steering wheel

Slipping sideways, spinning the tires on the grass on the starts, sliding on the grass when hitting the brakes.....

where you gonna get that in driver's ed?

gphawk89 8 years, 10 months ago

WIth my dad. 10 or 11 years old. '67 Chevy pickup ("3 on the tree" manual transmission) on a gravel road way out in the country.

ohjayhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

I took driver's ed through an independent company, not the school. They did a very good job. However, the thing I remember most was the guy saying, as I was merging onto the interstate for the first time, "yeah, pretty soon the speed limit on this is going to be 65 miles per hour. About time." I just found that a bit ironic that someone teaching new drivers how to be safe would be so gung-ho about the speed limit increase.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 10 months ago

Taught by my aunt in a 1952 Plymouth Cranbrook.

gccs14r 8 years, 10 months ago

I got my first lesson when I was five, in a '62 Tempest. That was just steering. When I was six, I got to steer and work the pedals in a '66 Fairlane. The power brakes worked really well. Oops. Then there was driving a '65 1-ton Ford flatbed around my dad's farm. but that was just in granny low, plus the occasional stint in Dad's lap driving a '70 Skylark convertible. Regular lessons started when I was ten or so in a '62 Impala. By the time I took Driver's Ed in high school, I already had a full license and years of experience, and did it just for the insurance break.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 10 months ago

prospector, saw a frigate bird cruising along thru the air. That's a heck of a large bird. BTW, I've got a vague plan to track down a Cranbrook some day & use it for tootling around town.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 10 months ago

Never did drive. Once my ex tried to teach me when we were traveling though California. He would tell me things like, don't drive with your foot on the brake, you can go over twenty here, and showing respect for the big rigs does not involve stopping and getting out to curtsy. The last was somewhat exaggerated though I would come to a complete stop when I saw one. This lesson lasted one hour. We flew back to Kansas City from LAX.

gsxr600 8 years, 10 months ago

I stole an 18 wheeler when I was 10 and led police on pursuit for 24 days straight.

jaywalker 8 years, 10 months ago

Tiger Woods owed me for introducing him to his wife, so...

Mary Darst 8 years, 10 months ago only wish....Don't remember teaching audie to shift gears etc. I honestly don't remember teaching him anything.. Apparently, I did a good job.

Ceallach 8 years, 10 months ago

Drivers Education? No! We didn't need no stinkin drivers education, my father was a teamster!!!! It was definitely a form of child abuse : Each outing contained several "remember that if . . ." "remember that when . . .", and of course follow-up questions each evening. I am a very safe driver, however, I still have a bit of a tic in one eye when driving :)

labmonkey 8 years, 10 months ago

I was eight or nine in a 69 Chevy 1/2 ton, manual transmission, on the farm. Side note....that truck still had split rim wheels on it, which was reeeal safe with 6000 lbs of soybeans in the back.

RoeDapple 8 years, 10 months ago

Ceallach, as I am a retired Teamster my youngest daughter would appreciate your 'lessons'. When I was teaching her I could see she was approaching a turn too fast. I remained quiet until the car came to a stop after sliding sideways into the neighbors yard. She looked at me wide eyed in anticipation, I smiled and said,"Well what have we learned today?" She probably remembers it differently, but that's my story!

Practicality 8 years, 10 months ago

After driving around in Lawrence over the weekend, I am convinced over half of you all are liars and have yet to learn how to drive.

(Humor intended)

coolmom 8 years, 10 months ago

age 10 in a jeep on my grandfathers ranch, that same summer he gave me a motercycle that i managed to wreck 3 times. then with my father on the freeway while he muttered at least go the speed limit...and with my stepmom on the backroads at 20 mile an hour while she hyperventilated that i was going to fast and kept her hand waiting to grab the wheel. i did take drivers ed too so that i could take the written and not the driving test lol. i have teen now and i think taking them to drive may just change how i felt about the step moms methods.

Tony Kisner 8 years, 10 months ago

Started with a cut down two wood in the back yard. Still a work in progess.

countrygirl 8 years, 10 months ago

I was 10 with my dad in a hay field. 70 Chevy pick-up--4 speed, no power steering or brakes. Dad taught all of us kids to drive in that thing figuring that if we could drive it we could handle about anything. It was good practice for the wheat truck about 7 years later.

karen_10 8 years, 10 months ago

My date was too drunk to drive, but that didn't stop him from trying to grope me on the way home. When we got there I said, "Come on get out...we're home dad."

Ceallach 8 years, 10 months ago

Roe, she very well might remember it differently :) I did learn well, but learned to drive a Pontiac as if it were a semi. He was very adept at defensive driving and thinking about what other vehicles might do that would cause him driving problems. That was several decades ago, but to this day when I see a driver crank their steering wheel to the left as they wait for traffic to allow a left turn, I want to scream . . "Don't you realize that if someone should even slightly hit you from behind, you would be pushed into on-coming traffic before you could straighten your wheels?" Cars and trucks can't stop on a time, girl, you have to think about that.

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 10 months ago

Hay truck when I was 13. Hell on wheels ever since.

George_Braziller 8 years, 10 months ago

I took driver's ed in high school. However the first time I ever "drove" was sitting on my dad's lap in his '50 Chevy pickup when I was about five years old. Obviously I couldn't reach the pedals and we were only moving about three miles an hour on a gravel residential street, but hey, my hands were on the steering wheel which was twice the width of my chest and I was "driving."

That was nearly 45 years ago and I still remember exactly what street we were on.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 10 months ago

OeraLinda I don't have a son-in-law. Was this question a probe to find out? I have no idea who this Brandon is. jaywalker, I liked your comment. We all wish. Roe, did you get my gift? I can't remember what thread I put it on. This is getting sad. I don't really know why I feel so compelled to comment on every story, every column, every blog, etc.

RoeDapple 8 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the brew Irish! Just what I needed on a hot muggy day!

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 8 years, 10 months ago

Same way I learned to swim. My dad threw me into traffic and said, "Drive!"

skinnee11 8 years, 10 months ago

I learned at 9 years old in Grandpa's old farm truck. It was a '40-something Chevy with three on the tree. The day I turned 14 and could legally drive with an adult in the vehicle was the day my mother quit driving and expected to be chauffeured. I, personally, haven't been a passenger since.

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