|One of the highlights I will always remember at Grandpa’s farm was driving the pickup for the first time. At age 10, Grandpa had taught me to drive the Farmall H. When I returned to the farm the next year for my 2 week visit with Grandma and Grandpa Johnson, Grandpa decided it was time for me to drive the pickup. |
We had loaded the pickup with trash to take back to the woods. By now I was in charge of opening and closing gates so Grandpa could drive through. We had a main gate between the barn and the crib, another gate next to the tool shed, and then the final gate up on the hill next to the windmill. After Grandpa drove the pickup through the hill gate, he shut off the engine, climbed out and asked if I would like to drive. I bolted to the pickup and climbed in. Grandpa adjusted the seat as close to the steering wheel as he could, then climbed into the passenger side. I had the gearshift in neutral and started the engine. I was just tall enough that I could engage the clutch to the floor. I placed the gearshift into first and let out on the clutch. OOPS! The engine died. So I placed the gearshift back in neutral, started the engine, pushed in the clutch, selected first gear, let out the clutch and killed the engine again. Grandpa tried to explain that I needed to push down on the accelerator a little while letting out the clutch. I was use to only letting out the clutch on the Farmall H and I was doing the same procedure on the pickup.
On the fourth attempt, we were moving. Grandpa only let me drive the ˝ mile trip across the southeast field in first gear. That was a great trip driving back to the woods. Grandpa had me do a couple of small turns so I would get use to the steering wheel. As we approached the woods at the gate entrance, I stopped and turned off the engine so Grandpa could drive it through the gate. It was a thrilling experience. The city kids in my Indianapolis school were impressed that a city kid got to drive a pickup at such an early age. Although it was 36 years ago, I clearly remember my first time driving that pickup.
The Red, John Fritz, from IN, entered 1999-12-19