“Watch out for speed!” Garry yelled as he pushed the acceleration limits of his tricycle. Then, he’d pedal backwards forcibly to brake at the last minute inches before the driveway. Garry was only allowed to ride on the front sidewalk between the neighbor’s driveway on the left and the other driveway on the right. It was little more than the 50 foot frontage of our city lot that was the size of a postage stamp.
It was ironic that later he would check MY speed after I got a ticket on the highway. I was bringing him back home from his first major league baseball game, a tenth birthday present from his Uncle Bill. For months afterwards, he would casually lean over to my side of the front seat to read the speedometer if he thought we were going too fast. It was annoying, but also sweet.
Garry forgot all of this when he got his own driver’s license. At that point, we had moved out of the city and had five acres with a long gravel driveway. I asked him to drive slow on it so he wouldn’t kick stones into the lawn.
He was respectful of my wishes as long as he could be seen from the kitchen window. When the trees hid him from view, he’d rev up the gas, gaining speed quickly as he raced the engine to the paved road. It made me smile as I imagined him yelling, “Watch out for speed!” He didn’t know that I didn’t care about those stones, since they landed in the forest.
How do I know he drove like that? I never saw him do it. However, the windows were usually open to let in fresh air. They also let in all the outdoor sounds such as birds singing, dogs barking, and the crunch of stones crushing under the weight of a multi-ton vehicle. I could clearly hear gravel churning under the swiftly spinning wheels no matter how loudly I was laughing. He really thought he was getting away with something that I really didn’t care about.