Straight Drive

Have y’all ever heard of a straight drive? It got brought up on my Twitter feed a couple of weeks ago, and it blew my mind to learn that it’s not a common term. Daddy and Papaw used to say it all the time. I can’t help thinking of them when somebody says it.

Some of my best memories are of a straight drive. When I was 13, Daddy decided I needed to learn to operate one. He said, “if you can drive a stick, you can drive anything.

That summer, Daddy put me in his Duster and taught me how to drive. That old beater saw its better days before I was born. It was primer grey, rusted out in spots, and the A/C spat out warm air. The stereo worked, though. That was all Daddy really cared about.

The first time I climbed in the driver’s seat, he let me pick the radio station. It was the first time he ever let me pick the music. He popped open a Budweiser while reminding me to push in the clutch.

It became a routine. Every evening after supper, we’d climb in the Duster. In the beginning, I stalled out every time I cranked the car. After a few weeks, I was driving circles through the yard around the house while blaring classic rock.

I’ve only driven one straight drive since then, and it wasn’t even mine – but I bet I could still do it. Daddy was a pretty good teacher, and I haven’t forgotten the lessons he taught.

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