Handwriting was very normal at one time. Typing was the only subject in school in which I received a ‘D’, but I seem to remember we had to take it. Some people will laugh at that, I’m sure. Especially those people who type 95 wpm with no errors. Those people are what I like to call over-achieving braggarts. I never could break the 45 wpm typing barrier, but where my handwriting used to be clear as a bell, now I can barely read it.
Literature is chock full of orphans. There are so many orphans in storyland, you have to wonder whether an epidemic was killing off most couples at any given time in history. To name just a few of the better known ones off the top of my head: Harry Potter, Batman, Superman, Jane Eyre, Tarzan, Anne of Green Gables, Emily of New Moon, Heidi, Mary Lennox of The Secret Garden, Pollyanna, Little Orphan Annie, Oliver, David Copperfield, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz, Kinsey Milhone, the kick-ass private eye of the alphabet mystery series, and Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights.
Earlier this week, on my radio show ‘A Woman’s Guide To Everything’ on Blog Talk Radio, I featured a former Pan Am colleague, and Gidget look-a-alike, Betsy Quiroz. She has had to live with severe migraines for many years, and is very knowledgeable about them. The show can be found in the archives on the website under the name of the show. Everyone can be affected by migraines, including children.
Americans have a special fondness for their cars, the way Europeans have a special fondness for their old buildings. Some of our favorite movies feature cars: ‘American Graffitti’, ‘Back To The Future’, my personal favorite, but not just for the car, ‘Bullitt’; a car even plays the major role in a horror movie, ‘Christine’. I remember ‘American Graffitti’ especially for the cars. The cool guy had the hot rod, and the mystery woman rode in the sports car, a Thunderbird with the port hole window. The cars were part of the characters, an extension of who they were. In later years, we look back on our lives, and the cars we owned play a big part of what we remember.
I loved the stories my mother told me of riding from San Francisco to LA in the rumble seat of a 1920-something Model A, or T, one of those letters. That was before the highways were put in, and the roads were just two lanes. My mother’s mid-life crisis car was an Avanti, which I liked as much as she did, when I got a chance to race it. It is a simple maxim; cars are like finances. We spend according to what we earn, and we drive according to how the car will perform. I never race my van, for instance. It’s dash is just like a cockpit, the switches located above the rear view mirror, making the driver feel like a pilot getting ready for departure.
Some people may think that having a teen take a race-driving course is on a par with giving them birth control; that it’s a green light to do the very thing you really don’t want them to do. I’m not sure condoms can be compared to driving fast, but they do apply to two things teenagers like to do with abandon, with little thought for the consequences.
I can’t speak for everyone of course, but the race driving course I took when I was nineteen has saved my life more than once in the forty years I’ve been driving. My father discovered he could save on insurance if I took the course, so when I was down in LA on a trip, I went to the Bob Bondurant School for driving, and took a full day of instruction. Mind you, I took driver’s education in high school and learned to drive from our PE teacher. He sorely missed having his own brakes, I know. He had three teenage girls taking turns driving, while he sat in the passenger seat.