Howard Hughes, age 14, was the worst driver in the history of the world. At least, that was what Bernice Edelman thought. Certainly, not the reclusive Howard Hughes known to Hollywood. It was Knappa, Oregon’s own.
Bernice worked at Hoffstetter’s grocery store, and part of her responsibilities was to deliver groceries in Mr. Hoffstetter’s car to patrons. It was a job that kept you hopping. Mr. Hoffstetter had to hire another high school student to fill in. That was Howard Hughes. (There were some terrible drivers in our day.)
I wanted to drive from the time I first knew about automobiles. I would watch Dad back up and drive ahead out of the driveway to parts unknown. When I was with him, I would pay particular attention to the way he used the pedals on the floor and the gearshift. I would listen for the sounds that indicated he needed to go from 1st gear to 2nd, and then to 3rd. I couldn’t wait to drive. Dad had a 1924 Chevrolet 4-door sedan that was pitch black.