Vol. 12


Lady Driver

c. 1958; Palisades Park, New Jersey, USA

It was 1957 in Fairview, New Jersey, when Dora was married. At this time many women didn’t drive. However, many women wanted to drive — like Dora and her mother. The problem was that their husbands didn’t want them behind the wheel of an automobile.

Both Dora and her mom had enough of being told that they couldn’t drive. They felt that it was important that they learned. So behind Dora’s husband’s and Dora’s father’s backs, they decided to take driving lessons without anyone knowing. They met the driving instructor down at the corner from Dora’s mom’s house.

When they were done and each got her driver’s license, they took the driver’s licenses home. They were so proud to show Joseph, Dora’s father. When she showed her driver’s license to him, he yelled at her. He told her, “What are you going to drive? You have no car!”

“I will buy my own car, and my mom and I will share it.”

Dora and her mom saved all their money for a few months and bought their new car. It was a black Plymouth. They were so proud that they got the car. Every Sunday all the grandchildren, like Dora’s daughters Joanne and Donna, went over to Dora’s mom’s house. Dora’s son Joseph would go also. Dora and her mom would take Dora’s kids all for a ride in their new car. Dora and her mom would drive to New York City. They would get there by going through the Holland Tunnel. Once they got to midtown, they took Dora’s kids shopping. Every Sunday when they went home from New York City, Dora and her mom would buy Dora’s kids ice cream.

Dora and her mom loved driving. Since they had to share a car, they would decide who would drive on the way to New York City and who would drive on the way home. If one of them drove to New York City, then the other would drive home.

Dora and her mother were very happy that they could drive. “I’m very happy that we took those driving lessons,” said Dora proudly.

Anthony Patrickio, grandson of Dora; New Jersey, USA



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