You’re Driving Us Crazy!

Recently, as I was making my way out of a grocery store parking lot, an older gentlemen in the car behind me kept honking his horn. I wondered if my coat was sticking out the door or if I had left my purse atop the car again, but neither seemed to be the case. What I finally concluded was that I wasn’t going fast enough to suit him, because, when he had the opportunity, he zipped by me, and was out of sight in record time.

This reminded me of the stories I had heard about my Bubbie and her very first automobile. The story goes that Bubbie left home one day only to return driving a used 1910 Model-T Ford for which she spent $300 - a fortune in those days. (Zaide, a very laid back kind of guy, didn’t complain.) It seems she had little trouble driving home having been shown the basics by the salesman, but when she got there had no idea how or where to park. In those days, there were no curbs and rather undefined streets, and so Bubbie, who was known to make quick decisions, left the car in the middle of the street.

Another time, I learned, while visiting cousins, she parked the car with the back end slightly over the train tracks. Her baby daughter, my aunt, just happened to be in the back seat when the train hit the car. Miraculously the baby was unhurt. The car, on the other hand, was heavily damaged, but Bubbie, the wheeler-dealer in the family, was able to get a nice financial settlement from the railroad company.

Which all brings me back to the impatient gentlemen at the grocery store. I am convinced that, back in the early 1900’s, he and Bubbie must have had the same driving instructor, because, even at 85, she too passed up every car on the road.

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