Kids These Days

“Whaddaya mean you’re in no rush to get your drivers license?”

“I’ll get around to it.”

I remember I lived and breathed to get my hands on the keys to my mother’s ’68 Dodge Coronet 440.  (Dad’s Buick was verboten.)

And (as the oldest grandchild) when I inherited my grandfather’s ’64 BelAir, it was a spiritual experience.  (But first, my father had to teach me how to drive a car with manual transmission.  That was fun.)

A reasonable facsmilie of my '64 BelAir, had it been in better condition.

So I’ve been at a loss to understand why my niece and at least one nephew were never in a rush to get their licenses.

To us, a drivers license meant instant connection with friends.  Freedom.

But this article in The New York Times makes it clear how much times have changed.

“They think of a car as a giant bummer. Think about your dashboard. It’s filled with nothing but bad news.”

Kids don’t find freedom in car keys anymore.

They find it at keyboards.

Given the price of gas, that’s a deal.

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About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
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12 Responses to Kids These Days

  1. Chip Gorra says:

    What a great article, and so very true! Both my 26 year old daughter and 18 year old son were ambivalent about getting their driver’s license. I never understood their feelings about cars, as, like you, I couldn’t WAIT to enjoy the freedom of having wheels. My daughter lives in Boston these days and doesn’t even OWN a car, nor does she want one, and my 18 year old son is only slowly growing into the car culture. What a difference a generation makes!

  2. Bill Nealon says:

    yeah at 29 cents a gallon filling the tank wasn’t an issue (yes I’m old)

  3. Rick B. says:

    I feel for the kids today in this respect. I too couldn’t wait to get my hands on my dad’s car. It was a 68 Chevy Impala Super Sport 427 4 barrel carb, posi traction with dual exhausts and of course gas was 25 cents a gallon. I think under those circumstances any modern day kid would love to experience driving a machine like that. I eventually saved enough money to buy my own car a 65 Mustang. The thing was easy to work on and soup up too . With today’s cars you need an engineering degree to change a headlight. I can understand their plight completely.

  4. Sherry says:

    I still consider the time I spend driving my “me time”. It’s freedom – no phone, TV or pets vying for my attention. Just me, the open road, the windows down and the radio up. Life doesn’t get better than that!

  5. richb says:

    I must assume it was a 3 speed on the column? I suffered the indignity of dating a girl who had her license while I did not. How humbling it was to have her pick me up in front of family and friends and have my dad yell out for all to hear “Have him home before midnight.” Once the license was obtained, I inherited dad’s ’59 Chevy station wagon. Good times….

  6. Kathryn D. says:

    Oh, My mom had a 1970 Dodge Coronet. It was nice. I couldn’t wait to drive. Just like you, Gerry, I inherited my grandfather’s 1964 Oldsmobile F-85. I was so happy!
    Great article

    I hope you had a nice trip. Welcome back – I guess we’ll see you live at eleven!

    Best,

  7. Cat says:

    Mine was a 57 Chevy, she was a beauty…No key needed, if any of you remember those.
    I remember the day I started driving lessons, I think at the time there was only one agency in our area… My dad drove me to the place, I got into the drivers seat and the instructor took his place.
    About 5 minutes down the road he turned to me and asked ” so how long have you been driving Miss” 😀 ………. Guess you can say I practiced a great deal when the foks weren’t home..
    Anyways, I went through the lessons required and in the words of the instructor, our time together was “stress free”……….. He could keep a secret too, never told my dad I was an Ace….
    Today I drive a Wrangler and I have to agree with Sherry, nothing like the open road and my tunes…

  8. Li'l Em-Kel (Not his real name, which is Mike) says:

    Cat,
    My experience corresponds to yours – up to a point. My unauthorized and underaged joyrides in Dad’s T-Bird eventually landed me in the Englewood, New Jersey Police Department with my mother in tears. I was put on probation (my P.O. had been a high school classmate of my older brother. Heh heh) and my eligibility to drive was postponed for a year.

    Was it worth it? Except for my mother’s tears and the fact that I can never be elected President, you bet your sweet bippy it was!

  9. Gerry says:

    Love the comments. Thanks!

  10. Chip Gorra says:

    My first car wasn’t as ambitious as a 427 Chevy: it was a1965 Volvo 122s, but that didn’t stop me from driving all over hell’s half acre just for the fun of it, Oh yes, the radio was AM, and the music was MUCH better than anything you hear on the radio today!

  11. Rick B says:

    My dad was in the car business hence the 427. The Bpt police department had ordered a bunch of Plymouths for their fleet at one point, police packages. They wound up not taking delivery on some of them for some reason. So the dealership sold them without any of the markings but they still had all the high performance components. At the time my Grandfather was in the market for a new car he was finally getting rid of his Desoto. So my dad got him a deal on one of the Plymouths. Then my Grandfather passed away and I got the Plymouth it was what you called a sleeper didn’t look like much but was fast as all get out. I had the thing all the way through college until one night I was rear ended by a drunk driver in front of the Meritt gas station on the Berlin Tpke bye bye Plymouth, the good thing no one was hurt.

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