Mike Caskey had no idea what hit him when Delores Maples and I signed up for his Driver's Ed class. I recall we had a morning slot. Coach Caskey always took an alarm clock with him and set it on 20 minutes. I have no idea how we got his clock in the backseat but we did and we always added extra time and reset the alarm. I don't know if he knew it and didn't care or if we actually got away with that. His class was a lot of fun. I had wanted to drive for so long. Once out on Hwy 74 I saw some mobile homes and they were pretty modern for 1961. I was driving from Rockingham to Hamlet and I was staring at one in particular so hard I ended up all the way off the road sitting in a puddle. I think I mumbled something about I just glanced at it. It did scare me though. Delores knew the Post 49 boys were down at Kirkley's gas station preparing to leave for a game. She wanted to drive first (so she could show off ). So, Delores drove first and this particular day she couldn't get the car in gear and we lurched down Hwy 74 toward Rockingham. As we went by her brother, Hubert, was leading the pack pointing and laughing. Backing up a little here. When we had 10th grade final exams Mrs. Stogner would not let me take my exam because I did not have a needle. I sewed fast and had taken all of my supplies home. She put a list on the board for what we needed for the exam. I went down that list by rote and got everything that was on it. When it came time to take the exam I had to ask her for a needle. She refused to give me one "to teach me a lesson". She would not let me take my exam. We had a little bad blood because she was a Bishop method teacher and I had learned under Melva Hamilton which was pretty much whatever you wanted to do. I felt sorry for her having to go through all the Bishop steps to put in a zipper so I tried to show her an easier way to do it and that made her angry. She made me remove my collar off my dress 7 times and I was afraid the fabric would be ruined and I wouldn't be able to use it for my class project. After the exam I went home and told Mrs. Evelyn (my Mom) what had happened. It was the only time Mom ever had to go to school for me. In the meantime, I had collected several friend's lists of supplies needed and none had a needle on it. I was allowed to take my exam that afternoon...thank you Mom. She had made a big deal of planting azaleas in the circle in front of school and everyday we had driver's ed we would march around the circle with each step being in the middle of her azaleas. Before you judge me too harshly, I was 15. They aren't known to be the most special kids on earth. I felt bad about it much later but not at the time. She remained ugly to me after I showed her the other people's lists with no needle on them even though she had to let me take the exam. She was ruffled and never did apologize for her mistake. That was my last year of Home Ec.
written by Jean Raby Nelson
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