Posted tagged ‘Gravel Gertie’

Thank you, Mom

May 8, 2009
Thanks, Mom!

Someday you will miss this?

  • “Stop kicking the front seat!”
  • “Don’t put your feet on the car seat!”
  • “Make sure you put the towel down before getting in the car with that wet swimsuit!”
  • “Don’t spill your drink on the seat!”
  • “We’ll turn this car around RIGHT NOW if you don’t stop (Insert Annoying Activity Here)!”
  • I’m sure you can add more such statements to that list. My mother still says those to her grandchildren. It makes me smile.

    I can recall her helping me out when I was learning to drive. I think she had more patience and fortitude than my father. Well, “helping” is a nice term. At least she kept all her hair in spite of my mistakes.

    My mother did not learn to drive until the mid-60s. Like many women of her time, she did not feel it was necessary to learn to drive. Fortunately, my father had her go to driving school so that she could get her license as he, being on active military duty, was not available to take us to many places.

    I can still recall picking her up from her classes. We had an Oldsmobile at the time. It is really amazing that my mother only had her license for about 11 years before I started driving.

    Over the years, we have had many cars. My mother named each and every one. Yeah, they all had unique names. One of them stands out – Gravel Gertie. Yes, Mom named her (All of Mom’s cars are female. Oddly enough, all of my aunt’s cars were male. Go figure.) after the wife of B.O. Plenty in the Dick Tracy strips. She was pink and gray and rode like a tank. My father may have bought the cars, but she gave them personality.

    Over the years, we have gone from burning our legs and sticking to vinyl upholstery, to sitting in relative comfort on cloth seats. I think it was probably a woman that told her son or daughter to come up with a better material to keep from having to peel herself off a car seat. I know my mom would have made such a request had any of us ever gone into vehicle design.

    So thank you to all the moms out there who have kept us in line, helped us learn to drive, and have pushed us to become something better than we would have been without their guidance. Happy Mother’s Day. And yes, Mom, I have stopped kicking the seat back.

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