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“Reckless automobile driving arouses the suspicion that much of the horse sense of the good old days was possessed by the horse.” – Unknown

High up on a pole, this bright yellow vehicle advertises the Route 66 Auto Museum. — Photo by Pat Bean

Running Board Back in Time

After a night spent at the Santa Rosa RV Campground, where you can order a western-style barbecue dinner be delivered to your motorhome, I decided to check out the town’s Route 66 Auto Museum.

The running board on this old vehicle took me back in time. — Photo by Pat Bean

One of the spiffy, polished cars on display here had a running board. Not writing it down in my notebook at the time,, and not being a car buff, I can’t recall the make of the car, just as I can’t remember the make of the old car with the running board that my dad owned.

While my dad’s car never looked anything at all like the flashy, polished-to-a-reflective-shine, ivory-colored car on display at the museum, the sight of the running board sent a jolt of memory through my body. I clearly remembered standing on just such a running board many years ago.

The thrill of that brief moment, when I was about 6 years old, was relieved in all its Technicolor excitement. I remembered holding onto the car door for dear life as my dad drove his car down the driveway of my grandmother’s home.

My dad would probably get arrested for child endangerment today.

Route 66 heydays: When Elvis was hot, wild and young. — Photo by Pat Bean

Of course so would I.

The first cars I drove didn’t come equipped with seat belts. I remember once driving to the store, holding a baby on my lap with one hand, and with a death grip on the steering wheel with the other hand.

I also remember frequently flinging my right hand out to keep a child sitting next to me from doing a death plunge into the windshield when I had to stop suddenly. Back in the 1950s, a lot of moms were expert at this maneuver.

Thankfully I survived, and so did all my kids.

The upside is that my canine traveling companion, Pepper, who occupies the passenger seat of my RV today, gets the benefits of my youthful right-hand-flinging practice.

Bean’s Pat: My Life is a Scream: http://tinyurl.com/6vrdpbl A hilarious take on Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” selling for $120 million dollars.

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