How I learned how to drive stick shift.

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Well-known member
Feb 7, 2018
Ok..stuck inside, raining, story time! Here goes...

So in the 60's when I was a young teen, me and a couple friends were doing the sneak out after midnite routine, usually on a Friday night with no school the next day.

Back then, Philly had the 10 pm curfew for us young upstarts, as still do a lot of cities today.

The characters tonite are me, Jimmy, and Libby. Jimmy comes running up to me after school this Friday, says his mom had company and had asked him to get something out of the trunk of her brand new 64 Beetle. With mother distracted by the company, Jimmy runs up with the key still in hand and gets another one made at the hardware store. Game on.

My trick to getting out of the house at 1AM was to go to the only bathroom in our tiny rowhouse, which was next to my parents bedroom, flush the toilet, using the noise as cover and run down the stairs out the back door.

We all met up, got in the car, and started joy riding. Jimmy seemed to pick up driving stick quickly, not much longer for me but after a couple luggings and stalls I got the hang of it. Libby sucked, so he was stuck in the back seat.

So we were cruising around, taking turns driving, visiting kids in the hood who also sneak out and were hanging out several blocks away.

Meanwhile, a couple of cops were stationed at a local hang out at the corner close to where me and Jimmy lived, keeping members of the "H" gang away, where one of the members had punched and killed someone in a fight (fell and fractured his skull).

A couple of these gang members (hot rodders) were a block away, passing around a bottle of Four Roses. I had jumped out of the bug to talk with them a sec, (got a swig), and they told me that the cops were walking around looking for you guys and to cool it. "Here comes one of them now". I look down the block sure enough a cop walking up the street.

Suddenly Jimmy comes back, (<--insert sound of Jetsons flying car here--->) and carelessly runs up on the curb.

I told him the cops are on to us one is coming we better park the car, which we did. So we are sitting in the car, nobody around, looks safe but about 5 minutes later I turn around to talk to Libby, and I see through the rear window a figure in black with a shiny badge sneaking up to the car.

"Were you kids just driving this car around? And why aren't you home?"

No officer...we werent driving...

Tell me the truth and nothing will happen, you can just go home. (wrong)
Jimmy admitted it.

Ok..Come with me.

We go back to the hangout, were being questioned, when one cop says, "What is that light in your pocket son?" Jimmy had a pen light in his pocket and was switching it out of nervousness.

Me and Libby looked to see Jimmy's crotch blinking off and on. Me and Libby laughed so hard we couldn't stop..all the way to the precinct, where the phone calls started.

My dad showed up first, and he acted concerned but was pretty cool about it. So I didn't hear what happened..except as told later by Jimmy.

Libby's dad showed up and kicked the S*** out of him all over the precinct.

Jimmy told me that his mother picked him up last. Being her baby of the family, to this day, his father, a tough roofer from Ukraine, doesn't know what happened.

So...that is how I learned how to drive stick shift...and come to think of first arrest (age 14)

A couple of Fridays later...we were back at the midnite shift..this time no car to shift....

Hope you enjoyed.:)
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Great story, back in the Good Ol Days. If that happened now a days there would have been 20 cop cars, two helicopters and sixteen media vans on ya.
great story. man would i have ever been in trouble. my dad would have got me for sneaking out and the car part would have been another story.

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