For some reason today I was thinking about my crash course in how to drive a stick shift….many years ago.
My Daddy had a teal blue-green, 64 Ford pick up truck, with an “a-oooga” horn on it. We called it Hooptie Doo. I can even remember the license plate number because we had made up a little rhyme to go with it ((“E-A-N … Three-Fifty Two; that’s the number for hooptie doo”)).
SOmetimes Daddy would get home from work and push the horn, especially if we were outside, and DEFINITELY if we had friends hanging out with us so that it caused the most embarrassment possible.
The driving date that sticks out most in my mind was made up of me, my Mom, and my Dad. We went for a ride in Hooptie and my Dad decided this was the perfect day for me to learn to drive a standard.
Stick in the floor, no power steering, nothing easy about this AT ALL.
I vividly remember coming upon a stop sign that was located at an intersection towards the top of a hill. (I’m sure the hill was not as steep as my mind sees it, but at the time it was TOO steep for this situation.) After I stopped, of course, some unknown driver behind me pulled up RIGHT behind our truck. I had no rolling room and could not get the clutch, gas, shift functions to coordinate. I was in a full out panic mode. My Mom broke out into hysterical laughter, which was not uncommon. My Dad broke out into full out driver instructor mode. Neither one of them helped.
Good O’ Daddy saved the day by easing his foot onto the brake as I let mine off, then easing his other foot onto the clutch in the same manner. I opened the driver side door and bailed. I ran around the truck, waved at the car behind us,and hoped in beside my Mom.
I don’t know If I ever drove Hooptie Doo again, but I wish I could drive it now. It is just one of those memories that make me smile more the older I get.