Sun, Mar 18, 2018 02:28 PM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2004-01-14 communities
This n' That
The redwood fence 'incident'
Tony Fyffe
My nephew Josh got his driver's license last week, and the world may never be the same.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Josh is a bad driver; in fact, I have never had the "privilege" of riding with him. But the fact that he can legally drive makes me a little nervous.

A friend called me last week and asked if I felt old that Josh is now old enough to drive. I said "yes," but after I got off the phone I realized that I feel more worried than old. I mean, there are a lot of crazy drivers out there, and the fact that my only nephew will be on the road with them is reason enough for concern. Of course, I'm sure that's the farthest thing from Josh's mind. My fellow drivers were the least thing on my mind when I was his age; the fact that I could actually drive around and "cruise" was the only thing I cared about.

One day I cruised right through a redwood fence.

I was driving down third street in Paintsville with a couple of friends in the car and decided to make a right turn onto Brown Street. As I was turning the wheel, a girl I knew who lived on Third Street yelled, "Hey, Tony!" and as the front wheels of my car started turning right, my head turned left in the direction of the yell. Unfortunately, the wheels keep on turning and before I knew it, my old brown Omega drove through a redwood fence.

Talk about one embarrassed and scared boy.

The woman who lived in the house came running out, yelling that I should be thankful her kids weren't playing in the yard or I would be one dead boy.

Talk about feeling two inches tall.

My driving ability (or lack thereof) was often a topic in the driver's education class at Paintsville High School as the instructor used my redwood fence incident as a lesson on how NOT to drive. I often wondered how he knew about the little accident since it was something I tried to avoid talking about, but I quickly learned that people who live in a small town always know other people's business and problems. They never let you forget about them, either. No matter how hard I tried to forget about the redwood fence incident, there was always someone there who was happy to remind me.

My Omega, which was a hand-me-down vehicle from my middle brother, never forgot about the wreck either. There were little red paint marks on the car to remind me and everyone else of that fateful day on Brown Street.

The Omega is gone now, but hopefully my redwood fence story will be enough of a reminder for my nephew to drive carefully and cautiously. Nobody was injured in the accident, but sometimes sheer embarrassment is worse than a broken arm.

If I had broken my arm during the redwood fence "incident," it would have been healed by now.

My pride, however, is still mending.

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