To Drive or Not to Drive

Monday Morning Commute with Verlyn Klinkenborg

Talk about touching a chord in my psyche. Verlyn’s essay on driving and learning to drive is poetic in the way it pulls memories out of the dregs of my subconscious and plants them in the forebrain, full of scents, and sounds, and muscle memory.

Being from Texas, I was grown before I met someone who did not drive. They were a native of New York City, and the whole concept of never having driven was foreign to this child of the suburbs of the Oil Capitol of the US…

I just love the mental image the following five sentences plucked from the middle of his musings bring. How true it rings with my own driving past.

To Drive or Not to Drive: That Was Never the Question – New York Times

And now? I understand the richness of the phrase “second nature.” The car’s mirrors are no longer a Cubist experiment in perception. They have joined together in a panoramic view of the past, of where I have just been. I feel the road through the tires’ treads as though they were my fingerprints.

The way he manages to maneuver through the entire history of driving in a few paragraphs and two generations of his family also rings true with mine. I grew up with stories of Model T’s from my dad. Granted, at the time he was learning to drive most Model T’s had been retired for years. But, on the hardscrabble farms of the Texas Gulf Coast during the 30’s, if it could be coaxed to run, it was driven till you could no longer repair it with a Prince Albert can…

Thanks Verlyn, I enjoyed the walk down memory lane…And knowing I share someone’s  angst over where the future of driving is taking the word, while it changes nothin, does comfort somewhat.

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