Sidewalks are safe and I am way out of my comfort zone. The Grad is starting to gain prowess behind the wheel. The sooner the better that she become proficient enough to pass the driver’s test. I have yet to be in a situation where I have needed a brake pedal on my side of the car; I have frantically driven my foot down to the floorboard at times only to hopelessly wish for that said brake.
There were two station wagons at Pierce used for drivers training back in the day. I remember Bob Walker calmly and collectively getting me through my behind the wheel time, the two clowns I drove with, and the yellow magnetic ‘Student Driver’ insignia on the back of the car. I call them clowns because they both fell short of being comedians. I was behind the wheel at a red light while cruising down J Street in Sacramento. They proceeded to roll down their backseat windows, stick their heads out, and scream caution at the top of their lungs to those crossing my path. I don’t think that I’ve ever again seen expressions quite like those of the pedestrians that day. To this day I appreciate the total lack of support my cohorts proffered.
It is state law that driver training cars process a brake pedal for the instructor’s use on the passenger side. I imagine it just might pay for itself in peace of mind if I was to install one in our car. I am having a difficult time grasping that we have two more opportunities presenting themselves in the not so distant future. The Grad will most likely be the easiest. Flash back to the old high school training wagons. I spend four years traveling to golf matches in those vehicles. It was a glorious day to finally get out of the riding in the back with all the clubs. I guess that we all thought we were comedians at one time or another. I’m pressed to remember a match that the individual riding shotgun didn’t experiment with putting that brake pedal to the floor. In all sorts of situations. And the coach still put up with us.
The following has occupied my thoughts lately. Posted on Facebook:
“copied from a friend (whom I consider a mentor), keep copying, we all need some love.
“As the world fights to figure everything out, I’ll be holding doors for strangers, letting people cut in front of me in traffic, saying good morning, keeping babies entertained in grocery lines, stopping to talk to someone who is lonely, tipping generously, waving at police, sharing food, giving children a thumbs-up, being patient with sales clerks, smiling at passersby, and buying a stranger a cup of coffee.
“WHY? Because I will not stand idly by and live in a world where love is invisible. Join me in showing kindness, understanding, and judging less. Be kind to a stranger, give grace to friends who are having a bad day, be forgiving with yourself – today and every day. BE the change, BE the light, start TODAY and never stop!”
It is a little something I can do immediately; may it not end with me!
■ Scott Arens is a lifelong resident of Arbuckle. To contact Scott email email@example.com