Little Guy on Wheels

Written by Janette Blackwell

Mamma was a strong believer in heredity, and she believed our family’s German heritage predisposed us to two things: hard work and stubbornness. The gene for hard work lay pretty low in us kids while we were growing up, but stubbornness kicked in fast.

So one might say that what happened one summer evening inrepparttar late 1940s was all our ancestors' doing.

Daddy was getting ready to go to a church board meeting. Four-year-old Davie wanted to go torepparttar 148911 board meeting too. (Right fromrepparttar 148912 start, Davie liked to go places, while Mamma, Daddy, and I liked to stay places.) We explained that board meetings were for grownups only. He still wanted to go. We explained that board meetings were for board members only. He still wanted to go. We all stood aroundrepparttar 148913 bedroom, while Daddy knotted his tie and combed his hair, and we took turns explaining what a miserable time Davie would have at a board meeting. By that timerepparttar 148914 conversation was getting heated and tears were beginning to flow, but also by that time Daddy was ready to leave and it was time to leave, so he left.

I watchedrepparttar 148915 cloud of dust asrepparttar 148916 little black Chevy coupe sped uprepparttar 148917 hill next to our Montana farmhouse. And then I noticed atrepparttar 148918 rear ofrepparttar 148919 dust cloud a tiny figure. Davie on his tricycle was bravely pedaling after. Clearly he intended to tricyclerepparttar 148920 five miles torepparttar 148921 board meeting.

The Six-Year-Old Truck Driver

Written by Janette Blackwell

When he was six my little brother Davie graduated from driving toy trucks to drivingrepparttar real thing. He persuaded Daddy to let him driverepparttar 148910 truck -- alone -- acrossrepparttar 148911 fields of our Montana farm and aroundrepparttar 148912 farmyard. Davie knew all about truck driving by then. He had seldom missed a movement Daddy or Grandpa made while driving.

It was an eerie sight watching Davie drive that truck, because you couldn't see him. It appearedrepparttar 148913 truck was driving itself. Then you'd locaterepparttar 148914 top six inches of his little blond head aboverepparttar 148915 dashboard, eyes peering intently ahead. In those days he didn't drive in a seated position: he drove with his tiny bottom just brushingrepparttar 148916 edge ofrepparttar 148917 seat, while his feet grasped forrepparttar 148918 pedals and his neck strained to keep his eyes aboverepparttar 148919 dashboard. He drove well, putting his whole body and mind into it. In fact, he drove so well that inrepparttar 148920 fall he was allowed to driverepparttar 148921 truck, full of wheat, overrepparttar 148922 farm fields to our granary inrepparttar 148923 barn.

That day he glowed with happiness.

When he was eight, he was permitted to driverepparttar 148924 family car IN THE DRIVEWAY. He would spend entire Sunday afternoons doing so. He'd backrepparttar 148925 car torepparttar 148926 end ofrepparttar 148927 driveway, stop, change gears, driverepparttar 148928 car forward forty feet torepparttar 148929 garage, stop, change gears, backrepparttar 148930 car torepparttar 148931 end ofrepparttar 148932 driveway, stop, change gears. . . .

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