Learning to Drive a Willys Jeep
Sometimes we sit around with an idle mind and start to reminisce about the past. We are prawn to let our mind wonder and somehow drift back in time. This happened to me a few days ago and I cannot get my mind to stop thinking about how I first learned to drive. It has been quite a few years ago and the details are sketchy to say the least. The more I think about this event of long ago the more I remember.
Learning to Drive
Living on a farm in East Texas and sometimes getting in trouble as most 14 year old boys tended to do, I would run down in the pasture and see if I could catch a young calf, throw him down like the ropers would do at the Rodeo and then run back to the barn before the Mama Cow could catch me. One afternoon after returning to the barn I hear my Dad laughing at my antics. Thinking I was in trouble again, I started laughing with him in hopes of keeping him happy. As the next part of this conversation unfolded I became more and more amazed at what my Dad said. He asked if I was ready to start learning to drive. Naturally with excitement my answer was YES! Well Dad was not one to stop his daily work and teach me anything; I always had to learn by myself. In later life this turned out to be the biggest lesson of all. Since those early days I never hesitated tackling any job just because I did not know how.
His next words were “why don’t you back that old WWII Willys Jeep out of the barn and learn to drive?” That was all I needed. Mom was always making me walk to the country store about a half mile away for something she needed to cook with and this was chance to get my driver’s license early so I could help her. Back in those days a hardship driver’s license could be obtained at 14 if there was a need.
Hard Learned Lessons
I had driven the tractor for a few years now and had a good idea about how to steer straight and turn properly, but I was not ready for that clutch. I am even thankful today I did not tear a door off its hinges backing out of the barn the first time. I would let the clutch out and it would jump and die, finally I ribbed up the engine and released the clutch and almost ran over two calves before I got it stopped.
I continued to drive the Jeep around the pasture every day after getting home from school until I felt comfortable driving it on the road. Dad then rode with me to ensure I could drive properly on our country road a few times before making the decision to let me drive the family car before taking me to take my license test. How happy I was when I passed my driving test and receive a license (this was before the days of drivers permits) to drive although I nearly failed the parallel parking test. From then on I have been driving on a daily basis. My first adventures in a Willis Jeep taught me the essentials of driving and those lessons are still with me today.
Today’s modern Jeep can be driven at Hoyte Chrysler Durant in Durant ,Oklahoma. We offer the best deals around. Drop by and test drive a new Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited or any of the other modern Jeep’s.
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