1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Ward's Wanderings
Ward Parker

Wow, I believe I could write a book on the subject of driving incidents....Being a farm kid, I learned to drive at the tender age of 10. We were expected to clean barns and scatter the resulting "fertilizer" on the pastures. One evening it was dark before I finished loading the 1949 Chevy pickup, so I left it for the next morning. It rained that night. Now, I don't know how much water a load of dry manure and straw can soak up, but the tires looked half-flat on that truck the next morning, and being in-experienced in such matters, I tried to take it to the upper pasture to unload. Of course you had to cross a small creek and "hit it hard" to get up a clay bank on the other side. on this morning, the load was so heavy it "turned the yoke" right at the top of the clay bank. So I re-started the engine, and instead of drifting back to the creek, I tried to take off on that bank, resulting in a broken universal joint and ending up drifting back in to the creek anyway. My Dad never said a word. He walked to a neighbor's house and called Leland Feamster, who came out, pulled the truck out of the creek and replaced the u-joint there in the middle of the muddy road. As best as I can remember the charge was $18.00.

I passed my written exam the week I turned 16 (1960) and talked my mother going with me to Lewisburg for the driving exam. I begged her to let me drive, but it was no go! Now, my mother was never much of a driver, as many folks who have followed her up the river road at 35 mph will attest. My brother was in the Air Force and had left his 1951 Ford at home. Mom decided to drive me to Lewisburg in it. By the time we got out of Possum Hollow I was already scared stiff by her taking the blind turns on the inside. Most of you will remember how cars were parked in front of the Harris Texaco, Antique Shop, CJ's and the Snack Shack. On this morning all the spots were full, and one in front of CJ's was occupied by Halsteads green milk delivery van. As we approached town I could see Mom "tightening up", complete with white knuckles on the wheel. The closer we got, the faster she went. At this point I need to ask if any of you remember the "knife edge" outside door handles on a 1951 Ford? I managed to jerk my arm in the car just as the right mirror went up in a shower of glass when it hit Halstead's van. To this day I can see the light green paint chips spraying into the air from the crease that door handle made as it went from one end to the other of that van. By this point Mom was totally panicked, and she went through that red light at about 50 mph. I can still see Harry Meredith staring as she flew past his station. I finally talked her into pulling over and letting me drive at Ft. Spring. She never drove that 51 again, and I don't know if she ever told anyone about "striping" the milk van.



For A. H. S. Ever Always - In Every Way For A. H. S.