The way I see it, family time is PRICELESS.
As individuals reveled on Monday last, we were visited at our home, by Curtis Morton Jr and his lovely wife and the several hours we spent chatting and reminiscing were truly enjoyable.
We spoke about things like when I was trying to teach him to play Cricket, when his real love was for Football; to some of the challenges of life and how they can be countered etc.
One of the things we spoke about, related to the acquiring of a driver’s license.
Looking back now, I can laugh, but as I rehashed my personal experience, I remember vividly the mental anguish I went through, back then.
I managed to pass the written test at one go but the road test did not go so smoothly.
I actually had to go three times.
The first time, I went, the officer was an Officer Martin. He was originally from St. Kitts—St. Peter’s to be exact (he is not in the force now).
Well, I set out to impress him that I would be the most careful driver on the road.
I blew my horn regularly as I approached corners; I stayed at the stop signs, long enough to ‘look right, then, left, then right again…;’ I used all the gears as I was instructed; completed the two ‘three point turns’ demanded; successfully maneuvered all of the reverse routines requested—all without ‘cutting out’ the vehicle.
When we returned to the Police Station, the man told me bluntly that I had failed.
When I looked at him in amazement, he stated:
‘You blew your horn too much; stayed too long at the stop signs and changed your gears too often.’
Well I newa!
I almost cried.
Second time: After a few more practices, I was ready.
Unfortunately, on the morning of the test, the car I was using, developed some problems.
My good friend, Joseph Liburd loaned me a vehicle and I just had one practice early that morning and discovered that the clutch was extremely sharp.
Well, lo and behold, while doing the tree point turn on the CSS drive, the vehicle ‘cut out’.
‘Back to the station,’ he said gleefully.
Third time: By this time, I had already stated at home that I don’t believe that this Policeman liked me.
My mother volunteered to come along as my licensed driver, on the day of the test.
Now to put things into perspective: My mother had gotten her license a long time before that, but had only driven twice since.
So many years had passed, that I am convinced that on the day she accompanied me, that she would not have been able to differentiate the clutch pedal from the gas pedal!
However, she was LEGIT, because she renewed he license every year.
And so she wanted to come along, because she wanted to see this BRUGU named Martin.
Well she quietly took the back seat as Mr. Martin sat in front with me and gave his instructions.
Well, on that day, he seemed bent on getting me to fail.
He asked me to reverse into not one, but two alleyways; to do not one but two three point turns and add to that, he forced me to negotiate two intersections.
Almost in frustration, he asked me to drive back into town and asked me to make a right turn, right there where the Nevis Credit Union is located now.
I thing they call that Street FEATHERBED ALLEY or something like that.
As I went down that slight inclined, he asked me to stop. I did as I was told and then he informed me that I was to reverse from that spot, back into the major road.
‘There is an egg under one of your front wheels, if you move even slightly forward you will crush the egg.’
There was a note of ominous warning in the statement.
I was virtually sweating, as I pulled up the handbrake; made my signal and eased up on the clutch, meanwhile going down on the gas pedal.
Whew! I made it without inching forward, nor cutting out the vehicle!
As I entered the major road, I knew I had to go far right, then swing back to the correct side on my left.
I did that and was about to stop when I picked up the grin on his face.
I continued to drive and he burst out laughing.
That man made me reverse around the corner by the Maude Cross Preparatory School and all the way past the wall that those guys are rebuilding so wonderfully and then asked me to make a left turn down the road by Nevis Bakery.
He eventually allowed me to stop– right in front the Bakery (those days that raid was not a one way).
You can imagine how my neck was hurting me!
He then told me to drive back to the Police Station.
When I got back there, he asked to park close to the now NEVLEC office and he got out with one speed.
As soon as he jumped out, I remembered something and I came out with one speed too and he burst out laughing again.
You see, I was told that sometime prior, he had asked an individual to return to the Police Station and when he got out, the person remained seated behind the steering wheel and he failed that person for being so seated and not having a valid license.
Well I newa!
Well, he went into the Police Station and my mom and I waited outside for at least five minutes (which seemed like an hour), before he appeared by the door and with a sheepish grin told me to ‘COME.’
I had finally received my license but what a day of trial it was!
I was later to learn that I had gotten off the hook a lot easier than many others.
I have since learnt of someone who went to do their written test, about ten times!
Sometimes I wonder what my mother would have done, had he failed me. I shudder just to think about it, because that little lady did not stand for nonsense.
However, it is worthy to note that with God, everything is possible and that no matter what the evil one and his imps will throw in your path, on a daily basis, you just need to put your trust in God and he will see you through.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?