The First Time My Brother Drove A Car

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I’m going to go out on a limb and call out ages here, I could be wrong.   The first time my brother operated a vehicle he was four years old, which would make me around nine at the time.  The location – my grandparent’s house.  My grandparent’s driveway used to be on a hill.   I always enjoyed just speeding a bike down that hill – if I had to guess it was probably about five cars deep.  So it was about fifty feet long with about twenty of that being mostly flat.

We were getting ready to leave my grandparent’s house and my mother sent my brother and myself out to the car.   Now since this was along time ago (in a galaxy far far away?) some details on which family car this was has been lost in the ages.  I remember one car and different parents remember others.   I’m fairly sure at the age my brother was he doesn’t remember which car it was at all.   What I can tell you is that it was a stick shift.

I was sitting in the back seat of the car and my brother was climbing around the front of the car.   I was reading a book or comic book in the back seat of the car and I noticed my mother coming out of my grandparent’s garage and walking towards the car.   At some point in this my brother had removed the parking break and managed to get the car into neutral.  The car started rolling down the hill.   My mother saw this and started running towards the car.  She made it to the driver’s side car door, but she couldn’t open it.  Somehow my brother had managed to lock the car door.  I was in the back seat frozen in fear (shock?) at what was going on.   My mother was yelling at me to jump in the front seat and stop the car or unlock the door.   I just couldn’t move.

Down and down the hill we went, I know that it took less then a minute or so , but at the time looking back it felt a lot longer.   We passed the end of the driveway and were moving into the street.   We crossed the street and ended up in the yard of the house across the street (luckily my grandmother lived in a cul-de-sac and there was no cross traffic).  In the yard across the street my brother managed to scratch the side of the car across a telephone pole, just missing hitting it by inches.

Since he didn’t hit the pole I guess you could say his first experience was a success.   That isn’t what it felt like for me sitting in the back seat.

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