DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Some Autobiographical Writing



Cars & Trucks


First driving experience: Daddy took us out in the middle of a plowed field in the truck, same age as me: ’52 Dodge, dark blue. Pump the accelerator, here's the floor starter, work the gears this way: 1st, 2nd 3rd. Here’s neutral. Try to drop down, work the clutch, shift the stick coming out of the floor. Pop back up to steer and see where you're going. Stay away from the ditches.


He got me in the driver’s seat, had me run through the gears once, said, “OK. Have a go at it.” He ran like he was running for his life to the road and took his hat off like he was watching a funeral, muttering a prayer. I did it. I drove that thing in circles until I could figure out how to use the ditch as something to steer along. He ran along, yelling, “Git away from the ditch. You’re too close.” Went in the ditch. Learned how to get the tractor to pull the pickup out of the ditch. Next time was more successful. I was 10. I named the truck Blue and it was male.


Soon driving the grain truck to the elevator during wheat harvest. Age 12 – legal with a hardship license, took the test for commercial at age 14. Summers on the tractor to avoid chopping cotton with the Mexican hands. My rows were never as straight as Daddy's.


Bored teenager, slipping out to drive to town in momma’s Chevy station wagon. 357 engine good for racing the quarter strip. Here’s a poem about it.


Small Town Boredom

Summer, 1967*


Quarter mile drag

Left foot braking hard

Accelerator smashed

Flag drops


Off the brake



Spray of dirt from the ditch



Tires grab blacktop

Speed burst

Momma’s 357 Chevy wagon


Horse feed in back

Need traction

Hot, dry night

No moon


Speedometer hits 120

Fence posts blur

Hands light on wheel

Heart pounding


No one would ride with me


Won four of four

Sober ‘til it was over

Quarts of Schlitz beer

Parked in a field


Playing chicken

Reputation developed

Finally, no one challenged

Boys all knew I had a death wish


I never swerved


Car crash is as good as any

Way to go

Might be the only ticket






*Creative Writing Class, Fall, 2013 Semester

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.