Driving Mrs. Day

Tucker Day was my best friend during my teenage years. We were always welcome in each other’s home and our friendship was special. He was nearest to a brother that I ever had.

In 1949 Tucker was attending GMA, today’s Woodward Academy, and was on the junior football team. They were playing one afternoon at Russell High in East Point and Tucker’s mother wanted to see him play. Tucker’s family had just purchased a new 88 Oldsmobile and Mrs. Day asked if I would drive her and Tucker’s baby brother, Kerry, to the game. I had just gotten my driver’s license although I’d been driving around town for some time. (Back then young folks were permitted to do that as long as they didn’t break any other laws.) I was thrilled to get to drive the new Oldsmobile. Traffic in Atlanta was nothing like it is today and driving to East Point was fairly safe for me.

We watched the game and started home. Tucker was required to ride the school bus back to GMA. We were in a long line of cars leaving the game. As we crossed the railroad track that ran between Russell High School and Highway 29, the car immediately in front of us was stopped by a red light which left us straddling the track. I was startled to see a train coming around the bend, blowing its whistle. Mrs. Day grabbed the baby, got out of the car, and ran to the other side of the track. All I could think about was the train hitting that new Oldsmobile. I began gently bumping the car in front. The person in the car saw the situation and ran the red light. I was just able to pull off the track as the train whistled by.

Mrs. Day returned to the car with the baby and we just sat there for a minute. Mrs. Day said. “We won’t tell anyone about this for they won’t understand.” I think she was speaking about Dr. Day and that suited me fine.

We had to go to GMA to pick up Tucker. When he got in the car I asked him to drive for I was a nervous wreck. He didn’t ask me why. He only had his learner’s license and was pleased to drive the new Oldsmobile.

As we drove away the baby who was just beginning to talk said, “Mama, tell Tucker about the choo choo.”