Gear Grinding 101

Back in 1802, when I was working at the bank part time, I needed a car.  My soon to be ex-husband (husband #1) had wrecked mine, so I needed to find one quickly and it had to be CHEAP...I mean inexpensive.  And so it was.  I bought a little pea green FIAT from my brother-in-law who worked at a car dealership for $1500.00 because it was the only car on the lot I could afford. It was so cute, the kids and I named it Pickles! There was, however, one little problem.  The car was a standard and I had never driven one.

The day Richard delivered the car, he told me that he would come by on Sunday to each me how to drive it.  Having my doubts, I agreed since I had to go off to work on Monday.  So, as promised Richard and his two boys arrived at my apartment Sunday ready for Gear Grinding Shifting 101.  Somehow his two boys and my son and daughter climbed into the back seat, while Richard and I climbed into the front tan leather bucket seats.

Driving to a Toys-R-Us parking lot, we switched seats with me at the helm.  He had me drive around the parking lot, stopping and starting off over and over again.  Thank goodness back then stores were not open on Sundays so there were not a lot of cars around!  And after grinding gears just a few times, I was off and running.

Telling me to now head home to my apartment, he had me intentionally take the hilly route so I would have some exposure to stopping at a traffic light on a hill.  It worked just like he said..."slow and steady, Slim, with the clutch." 

He was such a good teacher that I never went back to driving an automatic again!
Thanks, Richard...:)
Oh and one more thing...he still calls me Slim!


Jill said…
You've made me miss driving a stick shift. Great memories.
Sandra said…
great story, i loved my 68 camaro with the stick shift in the floor, but would not want one now. hurts my leg with all the stopping and starting here, the clutch would be popping in and out every 3 blocks. mother always asked me "do you HAVE to blast out of every stop?" because when I stopped i always revved the engine and popped those gears, just for the fun of it.
TexWisGirl said…
i refuse to give up my standard transmission too. :)
gld said…
Ahhh, the good old days..........I can drive a stick shift but would rather not.

I just noticed the new picture of the your log house in the hollow. It just looks wonderful from any side!
Chatty Crone said…
I learned the stick shift in a parking lot on a Sunday afternoon too!
my first car was an old vw beetle..60 something...and i learned in a parking lot too!
i guess that's the safest place...

Ahhh, the stick shift lesson is always memorable! I had my first lesson in rush hour in Chicago!

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