What My Grandfather Taught Me
Not so my grandfather (on my mother’s side). I worshipped the ground he walked on and, to this day, I wish I had dug up a little bit of dirt from his backyard and saved it in a jar. Maybe I’d have become a little smarter somehow; perhaps its rays would have spread throughout my room and given off wisdom.
He never drove a day in his life, at least as far as I know. From my earliest days until his last days, never was there a car in his driveway. Never, if I recall correctly, was there a driveway. I really doubt he could do it if he tried; my guess is he would be too nervous behind the wheel and panic in a large, empty parking lot.
So, one day when I was smallish, he and I were sitting in our car while my father was doing some errand. I was turning the steering wheel back and forth. Grandpa said, “Don’t do that, because you will be wearing down the rubber on the tires.” I thought, “Gee, that’s right; heavy car, rubber tires. Makes sense.”
To this day, I value that advice. When I make any turns in a short space, I make sure the car is moving, no matter how little, as I turn the wheels. When I back up and turn the wheels to straighten the car for the forward movement, I do it in the last few feet of the backing, rather than as I sit there. And grandpa smiles down from heaven.