Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Great Time Of Year

Here comes summer!

Except for the heat, isn't summer a marvelous time? When we were kids summer meant the end of school, sometimes moving on to a new school. It was kind of a rite-of-passage, from Villa del Rey Elementary, in the summer of '68, to Broadmoor Junior High, that fall, and then to Tara High in the summer of '71.

That was the summer that I took driver's ed. and that completely changed me forever.

It was the experience of really becoming mobile. Of being able to go places on your own. Of course it would still be a while before I got my full-blown driver's license, but after that summer you just knew that it was changing.

Remember those hot trailers where you would drive the simulators? Practicing on both standard-shift and automatic tranmission modes with that crappy film playing on the screen, up front.

And then came the best part. Actually driving a car! I think mine was a Pontiac, of some sort. Another kid (a girl) and I, along with our driver's ed. teacher/coach would take off from the Tara High parking lot and spend the better part of the next hour driving around Broadmoor, which I thought was interesting.

Eventually we would get out on Airline Highway and even I-12, at one point. That was all pretty new, at the time, and I-10 between Baton Rouge and New Orleans was not, yet open. You still had to use Airline Highway, for that.

At one point, I remember Dad taking me to the side parking lot at VDR School and practicing driving around in a circle, in the family station wagon. Wagons were the SUVs of the time and every family worth anything had one. Ours had the electric rear window with the rear-facing back seat. It was a must for me for vacation. When we would take trips to Colorado I loved sitting back there, but that's another story, about taking family vacations every summer. We always went somewhere. Six Flags, Hot Springs, Durango, Dallas, Houston, Pennsylvania, New York... etc. All of them by car, we never flew. I think it was better that way. (Anyone remember Terry's restaurants along the highway through Texas? Good breakfast place)

Wait, I said that's another story.

I do like this time of year.




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