A Moment of Accession……..#60 (the 50’s)


     Once achieving the age of 13,   capturing the appellation of teenager,  the next pinnacle event in a  life’s journey is one that every teen awaits,  the moment of accession that is endowed at 16 years of age,  able to  anoint the automotive licensed cadre and obtaining the freedom to abound.     Gary remembering the past when applying for his Learners Permit, on the way to the San Leandro DMV,  his Dad questioned whether he had throughly studied the drivers manual.  The Lad explaining  he had just completed Drivers Education,  which was a requirement to graduate from high school and  the class quizzed on  all 120 exam question prepared for the four variations of the DMV test.   Upon receiving his driving permit prior to his sixteenth birthday,  Dad’s watchful eye monitored his driving and with more behind the wheel experience he felt comfortable with his road savvy driving.   The pinnacle episode was when allowed to drive the 41 Chevrolet Pickup from their Sierra Mountain retreat in Pioneer to Oakland,  a 2 1/2 hour drive,  traversing the windy Altamont Pass in the Sunday night traffic. 

1940 Pickup - non sychromesh 4 speed transmission

1941 Pickup – non sychromesh 4 speed transmission Chevy.

48 Cheverolet - the driving test vehicle

48 Chevrolet – The driving test vehicle

        Gary’s sixteenth birthday having been accomplished, awaiting  the opportunity to prove himself worthy of receiving that all important vested document,  a driver’s license.   His audience with the DMV would be Saturday,  asking permission to take the car across Mountain Blvd. on Keller Ave. to divided pavement area that was a site for a never completed proposed subdivision.   It was the perfect accommodation to practice his parallel parking,  which was a driver’s test requirement.   The 1948 Chevrolet, with two saw-horses for marker,  Dad allowing him alone the use of the car for the six block journey, Gary’s parallel parking proficiency attained, he was prepared for the DMV.
     Gary having heard stories at school of those first attempt failures, having no desire to join the ranks of the abortive.   His Father having never been critical of his driving,  but did offer some advice as a teamster.   Always drive with anticipation and never assumption.   During the evaluative drive,  the DMV representative with clips board and pencil in hand  issuing directions.   Gary being very cognizant ,  giving correct hand signals,  over emphasizing looking behind and checking his mirrors,  insuring his attentiveness was noticed.   He was instructed to perform a turn-about in a residential area and proceed back to the pylons for parallel parking.   He was absolute in backing the Chevy up,  observing the first pylon was parallel to the back of driver seat,  he maneuvered the vehicle toward the cub,  executing a perfect park,  as rehearsed at home.
.    The ride home was silent,  almost anti-climatic, Gary wondering what his Dad’s thoughts might be, his son advancing in to an adult world.   Aware that his father had been on his own since the age of sixteen,  with no home,  or mentoring guidance,  forced to leave school,  a young person reaching for an anchor to moor himself to a better life.   The Teen was appreciative of his expanding world and the evolving changes , thankful for the security of a caring family and friends.   Gary expectation were fulfilled,  arriving home,  finding a jubilant family with adulation for his achievement, concluding from the day’s event that milestones in life are sometimes but fleeting moments.


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