Anyway, this lady is over eighty, had been married to her husband for sixty years before he died last year, and has never driven, not even once. I have been driving her places for a year. Every time I take her anywhere I start thinking about the differences in society that made it not necessary to drive then and almost essential now.
I started driving when I could touch the pedals and could see over the steering wheel (around 9). I drove the tractors and farm trucks first and quickly moved on to anything with wheels. I got my license at fifteen. I never considered not driving. I wanted the power and independence having a car provides. So how could this woman go through life without touching a steering wheel, even on the farm? This is what I figured out so far:
- People didn't go to town as much and they went as a family. You really planned your shopping and did without if you forgot something.
- People grew their own food, except for a few things.
- There was a strong community where those who drove and had cars helped those who didn't.
- People walked more. The cars weren't going so fast so it felt safer.
- Women held a different position.
- People expected their marriages would last forever.