is the only one I have that includes a view of my dad's 1956 Thunderbird.
Today would have been my father's 91st birthday, so in honor of the occasion, here is a little story about one of his prized possessions, the peacock blue Thunderbird, seen above, to the right, under wraps. Believe it or not (even now, I can scarcely believe it myself), I was actually allowed to drive the Thunderbird one time in my life, when, for some reason that I can no longer recall, my dad was picking me up late after school instead of my taking the bus. He was driving the T-bird, which in itself was quite out of the ordinary, and although I surely did not have my license yet -- I must have just turned sixteen and had my learner's permit -- he slid over and said, "Why don't you drive home?"
Unlike the girl in the Beach Boys tune, this did not sound to me like "Fun, Fun, Fun." I was honored but puzzled by my dad's unfounded faith in my driving skills, and terrified of causing an accident. Petrified yet anxious to enter into the spirit of the enterprise, I gripped the steering wheel with all my might, having always held the flawed but firm belief that this is the best way to control a moving vehicle, and away we went!
Somehow we managed to arrive home safely with no harm done to the prized car! That afternoon is a happy memory for me now, but I've often wondered if Daddy regretted his offer, especially when I took the left turn from Highway 94 onto Highway N without slowing down, a technique unrealized by me at the time. I bet he was hanging on for dear life and doing a quick mental review of our auto insurance policy while I tried to keep it straight which was the brake and which the gas!
Whew! Crisis averted . . . for a time yet . . .