Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Taking A Detour

Detours are part of many trips.  This journey down memory lane also comes with a few short detours.  This is not exactly a car story though.

I was still working at the USPFO (Helena at Fort Harrison) when this took place.  I was over at one of the shops to meet one of the off duty mechanics.  When I went inside, one of the tanks was sitting on the floor for repairs.

“Have you ever driven one of these?”

“No, haven’t been inside either.  I’ve looked down the hatch and have been up on the tracks, though.”

“Well you should drive one.”

“I can’t drive a stick-shift.”

“Ah, these are automatic.  Heck, you’re so short you won’t even bump your head.”

“Aren’t there a lot of gears?”

“You WON’T be operating the turrets.”

“I’d be afraid of running into something.”

“You can’t be worse than some of the troops we’ve had.  One of the guys made the shop a drive through for a while.  Took out a big section of the wall with one of the tanks.”

“Yah, I remember hearing something about that.”

“Come on get in.”

I climbed up and went in.  I had lots of headroom.  When I got to the seat I said, “I’ll never be able to see out that window.”

“Sit on the seat and I’ll show you. Hit this button.”

Hesitantly, I did.  Up popped the seat.  I used levers to move forward.  My friend laughed as he gave me instructions on how to maneuver.

It was quite the joy ride.  It was a bear to parallel park though.


  1. That's so exciting that you got to drive a tank!  I think the closest I've ever gotten to doing something new was taking the controls of a little plane for a while.  I expect I'll never get to, but I always wanted to learn to fly.  You have some amazing memories, Ruth.  I love that you put in the dialogue.  It just takes us right back to the moment.  Thanks!  Have a great day!

  2. I love the last line.  That little bit of humor left me smiling!

  3. Now that is one vehicle story to remember!


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