Issue: July 2019
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Next deadline: August 29


Written by
Published on January 2018

One Sunday morning Donald phoned me and asked if I would care to join his family at the local church service.        

So, with Linus’s consent, I duly put on my Sunday go-to-meeting clothes, gave my hair a brush as if I was going to “licking a stick of rock” (an English saying).  I left in plenty of time to walk to the Bannerman home, and on my arrival, Alan and Donald made an appearance along with the Bannerman girls (I only recall three) all dressed up in their Sunday best.  As we stood beside their car, Donald took charge and much to Alan’s amusement he squeezed his sisters into the back seat. That left his Dad, me and himself to cram into the front seat, which fortunately was a bench seat.  

Now Donald, with a big grin, announced that Ronald was going to drive us all to the church to-day. I quickly backed away, but he would have none of it.  ”Come on Ronald, now’s your chance to display to us your newly found driving skills”, quickly guiding me into the front seat next to Alan who gave me a boost by his “sotto voce” (under voice) remark “Ready when you are Ronald”!    

I went through Linus’s routine - neutral, handbrake, start and first gear, clutch in, and as I pulled away slowly a cheer went up from the back seat. Despite my kangaroo leaps and bounds, I soon felt brave enough to move the car into the top gear and “zoom va va zoom” we were off!  

The Church was not too far away and we were there in no time and everything went well. Luckily there were no other cars on the highway.     

I was introduced to the Minister and other friends of the Bannerman’s.  

After the service I was elected to drive back to the Cameron home and as we approached the front door Linus, Katherine and Bessie appeared and clapped hands at my first trip out. Bessie was squashed into the back seat and Alan announced that we were invited to Sunday lunch with them.   

Poor Mrs Bannerman, aided by Grandma Bannerman, had been busy whilst we were out.  

We all enjoyed a lovely meal topped off by ice cream.  Afterwards, when everything was cleared away, Mrs B and Grandma flopped into comfortable chairs - Grandma’s favourite, her old rocker.  

Meanwhile, the rest of us went for a woodland walk which ended at the rear of the Cameron house.  

Alan had a word to Linus about my driving and suggested to him that I was ready for an official driving test, so it was no surprise to me when three or four days later after, some more lessons, he said to me, “we are off to New Glasgow” the next day.   “I have booked you in for the Nova Scotia test.”   Wow! My joy knew no bounds as the next day came and I was to be the driver.      

Arriving in town, he directed me to a back street and we stopped outside a big service station. Going into the office, he spoke to a portly gentleman who turned out to be the test examiner and with that, after my introduction, Linus left me to get on with it.  

The examiner checked me out to a very large Studebaker Saloon, directing me to the driving seat.  It looked like a huge tank.   I quickly noted that the gear shift was under the steering wheel (what a relief) it was very much like the Bannerman’s set-up. 

“Ok, young fella, let’s see what you can do.” He began by asking me a few questions regarding the Nova Scotia code and then sat back in his seat and lit a Bunty Cigar.   After a puff or two he said,  “OK, let’s go, boy.” Oh golly!  This was it and I remembered Linus’s rules and would you believe it, we slid away as smooth as butter on a hot plate, it was now or never….

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