Driving my red headed aunt in her orange car.

Drive her to Oklahoma
It wasn’t but a few days after I finished my sophomore year in high school June 1960 and my Aunt Elsie came and asked to drive her to Oklahoma. Well, to be fair she would share the driving duties as well.
However, I had not taken my final driver’s test. I was 16-years old but was not fully licensed. Just had a learner’s permit. Hadn’t at that time gotten my driver’s license even though I turned sixteen back in February. Had nothing to drive so hadn’t thought about it.
But now I had a driving challenge. Drive my red headed Aunt in her 1956 orange Mercury very long boat-car from Los Angeles all the way to Wilson Oklahoma. A 1500-mile trek. Just me and my short fused cantankerous Old Maid auntie.
First let me give you a biographical sketch of my aunt Elsie. She was the youngest of seven siblings. Baby of the family. Perhaps a tiny bit spoiled. Her parents, my grandparents, had died before Aunt Elsie had finished high school and she ended up living on an Oklahoma farm with her middle sister, Jessi Mae and Jessie’s husband Kelly. None the less, when Aunt Elsie graduated in either 1942 or 43, she decided to move to California and lived with my parents who had already moved to the L A area in 1941. And I might mention here Aunt Elsie at a young age thought of herself as her own boss. Code for difficult to get along with.
She lived for a short while with my parents until she had enough. Her short fuse was oh so easy to trigger. Then, Aunt Elsie found work at a local ice cream parlor just up the street and then found a very small cracker box apartment to start her independent life. And it continues on from there. Later on, my dad helped Elsie find a better paying job at the food processing plant where my dad worked in the meat-packing district of L A. Unfortunately, her sausage packing job came to a sudden end when the company decided to move the process out of state. Then another resourceful friend helped Aunt Elsie apply for a job in a warehouse as an office clerk earning even better wages and benefits. All the while Elsie was a bit self-possessed and head strong with a red headed old maid’s short temper. Never knew why she didn’t marry. Oh well
So back to this driving to Oklahoma thing. It started with my aunt and me driving to the DMV to take the drivers test in her big orange boat-car. All went well and Aunt Elsie and I were off to southern red dirt Oklahoma. And I might mention the Interstate highway system was just beginning. If I recall correctly, we drove on two-lane highways almost all the way to southern Oklahoma. And some of that driving was through Interstate highway construction and gravel roads. Taken the southern route we drove down through humid El Centro, Yuma Arizona, Tucson, over the southern Rockys of New Mexico, on through Lubbock Texas, into Wichita Falls, crossing north over the Red River on a very narrow bridge, and north into the teeming Geomegalopous of Wilson, Oklahoma. A former oil and gas boomtown gone bust. But a most quaint and very friendly little rural dusty red dirt town where my grandmother and other relatives lived. So, Auntie and I finally arrived there with little serious argument and without even killing each other. The driving gods must had been with us. Boy Howdy! You’ve got that right.

Published by Okie Beyond borders

I come from a family who migrated from the parched red dirt Plaines of southern rural Oklahoma. Migrating to blue collar working class community of East Los Angeles. There is where I was born. I am Mr. Writermelon. I can only write what my grammar and spell checker allows. I am neither profound nor profane. Boy howdy! Send comment to: Mr.writermelon@gmail.com

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