a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

I posted this story for Father’s Day a couple years ago. It’s still one of my favorite memories.

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

Here’s the set up. I was 17 and driving my Dad’s new car – I mean, really new car – he had driven it off the lot something like 3 days before. My mom had a showcase, ’69 Mustang and it had just been repaired and repainted. My twin sister was driving the Mustang that day and at some point, ended up ahead of me, both of us going about 35mph, just a few miles from home. (Yeah, I know. This was before the logic of carpooling had entered my teenage brain.)

Now, let me first tell you a little about my dad. He’s a 6’1″ Italian with a deep, booming voice, who’s not afraid to use it. He was and is old-school strict, with a “mafiosa” look that often gets him the best table at a restaurant, if you know what I mean.

Back to that Spring day. I next did one of those stupid driving tricks – and reached for something on the floorboard. By the time my head came up, my sister had stopped in front of me for someone making a left turn. You guessed it – wham! I hit my mom’s car with my dad’s car. Looking at me in the rear view mirror in disbelief, my sister slowly and dutifully pulled over. But for some reason, my panicked thoughts of “I am in so much trouble!!” caused me to step on the gas, race past my stunned sister in the Mustang and speed home. Hit and run, anyone?

Well, I half crawled up our front steps, sobbing and hiding my face. Dad came out, with that concerned but stern look he wore a lot, grabbed my arm and demanded, “What’s wrong? What is it?” In a voice broken with sobs, I confessed that I had just crashed his new car into Mom’s car (my sister had pulled up by now). He paused, looked at the cars, looked back at me and asked, “Did anyone get hurt?” I stammered back, “No, but……” He let go of my arm, demanding again, loudly, “What’s the problem then?” and walked into the house without looking back.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. You taught me a lot. I love you.

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3 Responses to “”

  1. gene lonsway Says:

    What a truly pleasant story for us, and memory for you.

  2. phyllis diehl Says:

    its me again,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,loved your sweet story, and now i think i love that “tough stern dad” also.

  3. phyllisdiehl Says:

    i loved reading this sweet kind and very tolerant father of yours, i had a kind dad, but,he would of, oops, i can’t even imagaine how he would handle that incident if i did that. wow, yu had a tolerant good dad…… keep the stories coming.

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