Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

Bill Taylor in Old Ford

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Yesterday, Dad, Brother Jeffrey, Sister Amy, her daughter Hope and I all went to a funeral together. While we traveled, Hope, who is fifteen-and-a-half and got her driver’s permit after only a few tries, told us she doesn’t like to drive.

Dad told her about Grandmommie (my mom) who loved cars and driving. (She usually drove when they went someplace.)

Mom had a great love of cars and could name the make and model of a car with ease. She paid so much attention, she could tell you what kind of car everyone in Old Ford drove.

Grandma Reeves (1898-1990) had seven children, but I’m not sure she ever had a driver’s license since she started driving before they were required. When Mom was fourteen (or so) Grandma sent her to a woman’s house to buy eggs. The woman who sold the eggs also sold milk and butter. “She was a really hard worker,” Dad said.

That was about 1945, and by that year, I’m pretty sure licenses were required in Oklahoma.

Anyway, this little fourteen-year-old (or so) girl took the family car from Tom Mann’s house where they lived (north-west side of Old Ford, I think) and drove to the river bridge, which she had to cross.

Now that’s a scary thought because, if I remember right the bridge had a kind of pathway where your tires were supposed to go.

Knowing I was going to drive across the bridge when I was fourteen would have made me really nervous, and having to get my tires in exactly the right place would have made me a wreck!

This bridge was like this, only longer.

Must have affected Mom, too, but she made it across. She drove on a little ways, and when the dirt road made a sharp turn, she cut it too sharp and was on the wrong side when she saw a car coming toward her. In her panic, she hit the brakes and just stopped, right where she was–on the wrong side.

The man coming toward her was Bill Taylor, Bob Taylor’s grandfather. To this day my dad talks about what a nice, nice guy he was.

Bill was looking at something in the field and not watching the road, so he plowed right into Mama, whose car was still stopped on the wrong side of the road. And remember, she was fourteen. He probably could have made her family pay to fix his car.

But Bill wasn’t like that. After the wreck, he calmed Mom down and insisted on paying for both cars to be fixed.

He thought he was at fault since he hadn’t been paying attention, and he did what he knew in his heart was right, no matter what the law might have said.

Dad mentioned that Bill was an elder for years and years in the Christian Church in Old Ford.

I don’t have a clear memory of Bill Taylor, but he sounds like a man who lived his religion 24/7. (We need more people like him in this world!)

I’d like to have been old enough to really know him. (Someday, I think I will.)

Author: Susan Shay

For as long as I can remember, I've loved two things--reading and people--and that led me to become a writer. Many of my stories are set in Small Town Worlds. I'm a wife, mother, sibling and an aunt. I have a deep faith in God, and an exciting life in Christ. Maybe I shouldn't be (after all, he's God!) but I'm constantly amazed at the things He's up to. :)

I'm so glad you dropped by my Small Town World! Hope you'll leave a comment. I really enjoy hearing from you!

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