Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Memories: Car stories

My mom, Ruhama Adair, was raised in Orderville, Utah. In the early 1900's they still used horse and wagon for travel. She remembered going to the Grand Canyon in a horse drawn wagon when she was still quite young. She also remembered the first car or horseless carriage that came to Orderville and the stir it caused. She was 14 when aunt Teeny died. That would have been around 1920. After that she went to Salt Lake and attended East High School and worked as a maid for some of the officers wives at Fort Douglas. That is where she met Daddy and they were married October 11, 1930. Daddy drove a car but Mom didn't learn until I was about 5. I remember walking to town, about a mile, when I was 3 and 4. Mom would push the buggy with Dan in it and sometimes Naty or I would ride for a ways. One day we were just around the corner and I needed to use the bathroom only there wasn't one and when I had to go, I had to go, now. I wet my pants. Bill came along on his bicycle and took me home, changed my pants and brought me back to Mom and the others. It became necessary for Mom to learn to drive, so Daddy taught her. Our car was an old Buick. I don't remember the year, but they bought it when Naty was two so we had it for awhile. I have a picture of it somewhere.

Driving in Prineville , was somewhat like driving in Loa would be today. Mom really felt uncomfortable driving that car. It started with a crank. So she always began her road trips with a prayer even if she was only driving a couple miles. One day she drove up our 100 yard driveway onto the paved road, then down to the corner and on to the mile long straight stretch to town. We went past the canal, Lincoln Road, Melrose road, over the bridge and then slowed way down to go over the railroad tracks. There were a couple of men standing on either side of the road talking to each other. Our car made too much noise for the man on the right side to hear so he stepped out into the road to get closer. But as Mom went over the tracks something said stop! so she did. The man who had stepped into the road, put his hand on the radiator cap, and said, "I guess I'd better pay attention to what I'm doing. Lady, you are one great driver." The man on the other side of the road was also impressed. If she had stepped on the gas again as per usual she'd have hit him hard.

Another time on the way home when we came to the corner, she stopped rather than going on around. Just As she got stopped a group of boys on their bikes came around the corner and they were all over the road. If she had kept going she would have plowed into the whole group because neither of them could see each other until it was too late. When we started learning to drive she told us to listen for the instructions from the Holy Ghost if we wanted to be safe.

I was probably 8 or nine because Bill was 17 or 18 when the Ashlocks came to visit. They had become acquainted at church in Springfield when both had lived there and so they decided that we would all go over the McKenzie Pass to Springfield to visit others that they had known. The McKenzie pass was a very very narrow and twisty road through the trees and over the mountain. We decided that it would be more fun if the kids all went in our car with Bill driving and the adults went in the other car so they could visit. We had prayer and started out, us kids in front and the adults following. Everything was going well until we met a big old flatbed Semi truck coming around a turn on our side of the road.Bill made a sharp right turn, stepped on the gas and climbed the bank. The truck went past and its very tail end hit our back fender and squashed it a little. I was sitting by that window on that side, but you know me, I didn't even really know what was happening. Mom and Dad came along a couple minutes later and found our car up the bank and the truck backing down the road. Its driver hadn't even slowed to stop but his passenger just jumped out and came running back saying, "All I could see was that carload of kids." He and the driver were really glad to see Adults come along to take care of the kids. Mom walked us down a little side road to a waterfall while the men drove the car off the bank and assessed the damage. There really wasn't any except the crumpled fender and I never even noticed that the car was on the bank at such a slant until after we came back from the waterfall. I was in fourth grade when we discovered how near sighted I was. Maybe that accounted for how calmly I took things. Dad drove us on into Springfield and both Mom and Dad acknowledged that the lord had really blessed Bill in his driving. We went on into Aunt Tessie's and Mom read us "When The Grass Grew" from the Book "A Story to Tell" about George Albert Smith when he was a boy. I think that car was our old green 41 Chevy.

It's getting late so...more another time. Did I tell you about the first time I drove after getting my license and the green panel truck?


Adams Family said...

Nope, lets hear it.

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the stories Grandma! And I do want to hear about the first time you drove!