Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Driving Some Parents Crazy! It’s What Teenagers Do Best

Growing up in Ft. Walton Beach Florida, my friends, Gerard Harris, Freddy Deshon, and I were young surfers with a passion to get behind the wheel of our own cars. We had people to see and places to go, especially, if the surf was up.

On my fifteenth birthday I received my driver permit and one year later on my sweet sixteenth, I passed my test and received my driver license. By the time I turned sixteen, I had many thousands of driving miles under my belt. My vast driving experience included the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.

I was 16 and my new license was still warm, you might even say, “Hot off the press,” when I swung by to pick up Gerard in my own car. Excited to finally have wheels, we departed Gerard’s house to pick up Fred. However, we ran into some interference with Fred’s parents. It was fairly obvious that Fred’s parents were experiencing some cognitive dissonance over their sons (Fred and Markus) riding with a newly licensed driver. Fred senior comes out of the house and steps up to the car to utter, “Um, yeah, Fred and Markus are not allowed to drive with you, until you have 500 solo (driving without parents) miles under your belt.” Fred senior leans his head into my car and jots down my odometer reading. Talk about driving your business with data. Respectfully, we said, “Sounds good.”

Young Fred looking sad and very disappointed, as he watched us back out of the drive way and head out on the highway, with The Cars tape blaring “Let the good times roll.”

Little did Fred Senior know, what was about to take place. Gerard and I took turns, we drove up and down the Florida panhandle pulling into every beach, to and from Pensacola and then to Navarre, to Destin and back again. By the very next day Gerard and I pull into Fred’s driveway with 500 plus miles added to the odometer, much to Fred Senior’s great dismay. Gerard and I had pulled off a great feat that Fred Senior believed would take us much longer.

Did Fred senior let young Fred get into the car? Nope! Fred Senior says out of shock, “Right, Freddy can’t drive with you until you have six weeks solo driving experience.” Gerard and I back out of the driveway and got back on the highway.

Please note: Where there is a will there is a way, so be careful what you say!

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