ALL ABOARD: A modern art form – driving in reverse

While backing my sometime-later-to-be-paid-for truck up a hill today, I realized once again how much I enjoy backing up. Not just remembering, mind you, or mind me, but the sheer joy of doing a good job backing up your vehicle, be it your car, your truck, your rig, your boat, your trailer or your riding mower.

While backing my sometime-later-to-be-paid-for truck up a hill today, I realized once again how much I enjoy backing up.

Not just remembering, mind you, or mind me, but the sheer joy of doing a good job backing up your vehicle, be it your car, your truck, your rig, your boat, your trailer or your riding mower.

Mom taught me how to back up when I was allowed to drive her three-speed 1953 Chevy up and down our 50-foot driveway.

What a risk taker Mom was.

At speeds of up to four miles an hour, Mom’s Chevy and I were a real threat to the neighbors.

No matter what, I recall the fear I felt trying to stay on the narrow threatening asphalt.

Those Columbus, Ohio suburbs in the ’50s didn’t give a family of five much width room in the driveway. Had I been allowed to drive the car into the garage, my sister’s room would have been relocated.

Mom taught me to back up without using the rear view or side mirrors.

To prepare for backing up, mom would grasp the steering wheel with her left hand at 11 a.m., place her right arm on the top of the back of the front car seat, turn her head at a 125-degree angle, with her eyes almost at 180 degrees, and proceed to drive.

It was as if Mom’s face was facing forward, while her body was in reverse.

Kinda like flying backwards on those 1970s Pacific Southwest Airlines’ planes, but with your head facing the pilot.

Are you with me, or did I lose all of us at the last intersection?

My cousin Pat is the best backer-upper I have ever seen.

Ever since he was a single digit, small town Ozark accented kid, Pat could back up with the best of them.

Even at 7 years old.

Back on Norfolk Lake in Arkansas where driver’s licenses aren’t needed when your young son needs to get the trailer backed into the water before the storm hits.

Good backer uppers are a treat to watch.

Roy and Trigger used to back up real good.

Gene Autry and Champion did too, unless Gene was on the secret sauce.

In college, while employed at George Bedinger’s Liberty House, the first day that I was allowed to back our 14-foot company furniture truck out of the warehouse before the day’s deliveries, I ripped off both side mirrors.

I guess Mom never thought I would ever be driving a truck.

That same day I picked up a brand new double dresser incorrectly, enabling the wind to blow it to the pavement as we tried to load it onto the truck.

At least I think it was the wind.

Most likely, it was the law of physics.

Of course, what did I know back then? I was a pre-med major.

More in Life

Mucking about for clams

‘Digging for Dinner’ a popular Sound Water activity

Scorch is a play about gender identification showing at Outcast’s black box theater on the Island County fairgrounds June 13-17. It’s a one-person play, performed by Carmen Berkeley. Director and co-producer Ty Molbak went to middle school in Langley was was active in Whidbey Children’s Theater. Both will be seniors at Rutgers University in the fall. One scene in the play “Scorch” portrays the main character looking into mirrors and wondering what others see.
‘Scorch’ looks at first love and ‘gender fraud’

Irish play revolves around one character’s confusion

Whidbey Island Garden Tour highlights five homes

Tickets still available for Saturday event

Jordan Shelley, 18, stands outside his home in Greenbank. He recently received the Sydney S. McIntyre Jr Scholarship from Skagit Valley College to go toward his tuition at the University of Washington. Shelley will pursue his childhood dream of becoming a doctor. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
SVC grad earns full 2-year scholarship to UW

A lot has changed since Jordan Shelley was 7 years old and… Continue reading

Couple creates Whidbey’s first commercial cidery

Driftwood Hard Cider taps into growing market

‘Slowgirl’ explores the human condition in intimate setting

Even with significant professional credentials, the latest offering from Whidbey’s Outcast Theatre… Continue reading

Homegrown ‘Frijole Friday’

Fundraiser features student crops, cooking

Scott Swenson, a National Park Service carpenter, puts the final pieces in on a ramp on the newly restored Pratt Sheep Barn. The 1930s barn will serve as a classroom one it officially opens in July. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
Historic sheep barn repurposed

Tucked away on the Pratt Loop Trail, a formerly dilapidated 1930s sheep… Continue reading

‘Art with a Message’

Students worldview a kaleidoscope of visions

Hometown Hero: Lewis Pope

Once every year a South Whidbey senior is chosen by the South… Continue reading

Shhh…it’s a surprise party for old-timer Bill Lanning

Friends, customers invited to celebrate former owner of Bill’s Feed Tack

New look for familiar frozen treat

Whidbey Island Ice Cream gets a modern makeover