I have a vague recollection of going on Sunday drives with my grandparents, Thomas and Margaret Campbell. Such memories sparked a way to combat the COVID-19 Confinement which has decimated our wanderlust and travel plans.
So, with little other options to ease the boredom of our imprisonment, we took a Sunday drive on a Monday.
Opting to avoid the highway as much as possible, we wandered down Route 1 from Cranston all the way to Westerly, meandered the side roads, wandered through the downtown, then stopped for a look at the ocean at Misquamicut Beach.
Such is the world. While I can normally always amuse myself—reading down the several hundred books on my Kindle being just one—even I am finding myself driven mad by the restrictions on travel and venturing out.
Swirling about the memories of those once common Sunday drives is a rather distinct if a bit hazy memory of one with those long-departed grandparents we called Nana and Pa.
I have a memory of standing on the transmission hump (Google it) in the backseat, looking out as Pa drove along a road somewhere near the beach. I was four- or five-years old, so where else would I stand? I think my sister Peggy Ann (she hates that name, but that’s what we called her then until she became just Peggy) was there as well, but I was the oldest. I got the best perch..
As we sped along, a car cut in front of us (or some such thing, the memory is hazy) forcing my grandfather to slam on the brakes. Physics took over, and I took flight from the back seat, over my grandmother, and ended up wedged between the floor and the dashboard.
I don’t recall what they said, but I do recall being pulled and pushed until they freed me from my position under the dashboard. I climbed back into the back seat and resumed standing on the transmission hump as if nothing happened.
I think my grandfather may have even chuckled a bit. He may have told me to hang on tighter. Those were much better days.
I’m not sure it was the same trip, but there was a subsequent incident where my grandfather, who apparently had a heavy foot, was stopped by a RI State Trooper. As the Trooper stood at the window, I told him my dad was a trooper. He asked my name, laughed, told my grandfather to slow down, and let us go.
I learned a valuable lesson at that moment, being related to a cop can help with avoiding tickets. It may have set my destiny.
I also seem to recall ratting out my grandfather about getting stopped and launching me from the back seat—which I thought was great fun—but the outcome of my revelation is lost in the fog.
Next time the boredom reaches a crescendo, we may map out a trip to all four corners of the state. The anticipation is killing me even more than the ennui of COVID-19 Confinement.
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