One of our neighbors in Spokane had a son who was twenty years old. He worked full time on shift work at a paper mill. His parents were retired. Gene was like an idol to all the young kids in the neighborhood. He had a 1949 Chevy with a 1954 Pontiac center grill, glass pack muffler, tuck n roll interior, and a perfect paint job. He spent a lot of time outside and we would always visit him while he worked on his car or around the house.
Gene’s family owned a farmhouse about thirty miles out of Spokane in the wheat growing region. The vacant house was on a dirt road in an area of rolling hills. Every few weeks Gene would drive out to the old house to make sure everything was in good shape. He always drove his Dad’s old green pick-up, because his car was too fancy to drive on dirt roads. Very often he would load up two or three of us neighborhood kids to ride with him. I experienced a great adventure and Gene got the daylights scared out of him while traveling home from a day at the old house.
Three of us were riding with Gene in the old green pick-up. We were sitting side by side on the old bench seat. It was pretty close quarters in the cab. My seat was against the passenger side door and the window was down with my arm resting in the opening. Gene was on the paved highway in a small town. The highway made a very sharp left turn as it changed directions on the edge of town. One of the kids in the middle was trying to retrieve something off the floor. Lifting my foot to get it off the floor caused my knee to come up under the door handle and the door flew wide open in the middle of the sharp turn.
As the door opened my instant reaction was to grab the arm rest and hold on. I was clinging to the door and taking giant steps to keep from falling. Gene was smart enough not to slam on the brakes which would have sent me hurtling past the truck. Gene completed the turn and got us to a stop while I was still on my feet. It happened so fast there was no time to think, just react.
All’s well that ends well………and those were the longest, fastest, and wildest steps my legs ever experienced.