Sunday, August 18, 2013

Do As I Say, Not As I Drive

This reader's Grandpa preached perfect driving to his grandchildren, but it turns out his own record wasn't spotless.

Ford Crestliner
My grandfather liked to brag to his grandchildren about his impeccable driving record. He often warned us to look both ways twice before crossing the street. Not all drivers were as careful as he.
Still, I remember him winking at my grandma as he spoke about his driving skills. It made me wonder.
When the time came for Grandpa to teach me how to drive, I was afraid I wouldn’t live up to his expectations. Yet he was patient and showed me how to drive with confidence on forgiving country roads. His firm reminders kept me from developing a lead foot.

Many years later I became the official family historian. I wanted to learn more about my grandfather’s years of service in World War 2 and my grandparents’ wedding day in 1953. So I searched local newspapers for stories about him on, an online database of public records and newspaper articles.

Under a newspaper listing called “Municipal Court,” I found his name, Gordon Collins Hertz. I was shocked to learn that in 1957 he was fined $5 for rolling through a stop light in his Ford Crestliner.
Of course, I never told him of my discovery. While I would never tell a lie, I must protect even the not so innocent.

Jacob Miller • Ames, IA

Source: Reminise


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