The driver's license

After basic training Dad got on yet another train to Salt Lake City, where the army would give him some tests to decide what to do with him. He found out his I.Q. was almost off the scale (dad never told us kids, but I found out from mother) and that fact combined with his drafting and mechanical background went into some magical army formula that said he should be - a truck driver.

The army needed a lot of truck drivers and seemed determined to make Dad into one. But for whatever reason, Dad had other ideas. He gave me several excuses - lower pay, the pounding his kidneys would take in the bouncy trucks - but my feeling was he thought he could get into something a little more interesting.

So even though he had been driving farm equipment his whole life and driving cars since he was twelve, he managed to flunk his driver’s test. He explained that it’s easier to fake doing something badly if you know how to do it well, although he did feel a little twinge of regret about tearing up the clutch on the test vehicle.

Soon after he was being trained in survey school, and it turned out that it would be very useful to be certified to drive a jeep (or in the Army parlance, a "Truck, cargo, 1/4 ton"). He returned to retake the driving test – and got the same instructor. He aced the test and got his permit – and a good “cussing out.”