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The Madera Tribune

Hand driving or hand jive

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webmaster | 05/30/14

It all began with our first car, a green 1969 Ford Maverick my gal had bought with my overseas pay I had sent home while in the army. I was expecting something a little sportier, but having to travel to my next (and final) assignment at Fort Hood, Texas, I appreciated the gas mileage of the green monster. And, the fact it had a bench seat with my gal seated next to me.

On that particular trip, with long stretches of straight, smooth pavement across the southwest, my new bride was relatively still. Occasionally she would reach and change the radio as rock and roll stations faded in and out. Otherwise, it was hands on the lap, her lap, not mine.

But as we started to drive into the hill country of central Texas, with each curve she placed her hand on my thigh or on the dashboard. I just kept driving.

After the army it was home and a new car — a speedy and agile Datsun 240Z sports car with manual shift purchased in Merced for $3,000. We would wind around the foothills and Gold Country on weekends with her grip becoming ever tighter on the dash. Sometimes the marks from her fingers after the speedy driving would take hours to disappear from the vinyl...


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