Monday, June 26, 2006

Mother gets a driver's license-

Prior to 1941 all of our traveling local or long distance was done in a series of Dodge Brothers Dodge pickups.

Mother, Dad, Arnie and I squeezed into an area that if you have seen any of these at an old time car show was designed for one or possibly two hardy teamsters. The exception was a trip to Seaside. Dad rented or borrowed a sedan car seat from a wrecking yard and secured it in the open truck bed. Cousin Adrienne and I sat in this exposed area for a couple hours as we climbed higher over the coast range and it became colder and colder.

It didn't help that Adrienne had become car sick and at Skapoose gave back her breakfast accross our feet.

Anyway, back to the story.

Dodge sedans were selling for about $1500. Fred Becker, then a young salesman for Maughan Motors, found Dad a stripped down model for one thousand fifty dollars. Dad counter offered to write a check for that amount if tax, license and driving lessons for my mother were included.

Driving lessons were simple. Dodge pioneered the installing of "Fluid Drive" making gear shifting and use of the clutch optional.

Fred pointed out the essential parts of the car such as ignition switch, starter, steering wheel, and brake pedal and handed her the keys.

Mother, always a quick study, drove to 112 N. Division Street to show her new toy to her sister-in- law, Dorothy. As they admired the new Dodge Brothers Dodge fordor sedan and mother related how easy it was to learn to drive Aunt Dorothy inquired, "Don't you need a drivers license?"

Mother was not sure but she decided to drive to the State Patrol office to find out.

DRiving up to one of the concrete bumpers in the parking lot she entered the patrol office and asked her question.

The patrolman reached under the counter and handed her a form to fill out. Completing it she returned it to him. He gave her a copy and said, "That will be two dollars. Your regular license will come in the mail."

She asked if it wasn't necessary to take a test. He replied that he had watched her approach and park. Obviously she was an experienced driver.

It isn't like the good old days any more.

Oh yes. When Harry Maughan went off to WWII, FRed Becker bought his Dodge agency and for many years was the owner of Fred Becker Buick in Spokane.


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