|Five of the six siblings. Husby is the cutie on the far right.|
Family travel in the late fifties was . . . interesting.
I don’t know how we survived it.
The kids were herded, en masse, into the back seat of the car and the door was shut.
The youngest invariably rode up front, between Mom and Dad.
No one was buckled in.
The kids rolled around in the back seat like dried peas.
Interaction between the two quadrants of the car was usually accomplished by someone in back standing up and leaning comfortably over the front seat.
As a sop to safety, the driver often extended an arm sideways when braking.
Six-year-old Husby was travelling with his family.
Mom. Dad. Six kids.
Their sedan was hurtling over paved roads at speeds close to 60 MPH.
They passed a road sign.
Suggested speed – 60 MPH.
“Dad.” Husby was standing up, leaning over the seat. “What does that sign mean?”
His dad glanced at the sign. “That means we’re supposed to travel at sixty miles-per-hour,” he said. He pointed to the speedometer. “See?”
Just then, another car sped past them, obviously going far faster than the ‘suggested’ speed.
“How come that guy is going faster?”
“Because he isn’t obeying the law.”
Things were quiet for a moment. Well, as quiet as a car carrying eight people can be.
Then, “Dad. What happens if you go too fast?”
“The police will pinch you.”
Husby thought about this for a long time. The police will ‘pinch’ you?
Obviously it was something to be avoided and/or feared. Husby had been pinched before. It was momentarily painful, but not terribly so. The police must do something really different to make people afraid of being pinched.
Finally, “Dad? When the police pinch you, do they use pliers?”
A six-year-old mind hard at work . . .