Jon and Adam Both Drive Before the Age of Four


One thing that Adam and Jon have in common is that they each drove before reaching the age of four, although they did it in slightly different ways. Adam was playing in the yard in his home in Tullahoma and could not resist climbing into the drivers seat of his fathers car, which was sitting in the driveway. The driveway sloped gently towards the back yard and the back yard sloped at a greater angle, about ten degrees. Apparently he proceeded to do all of the things he had seen his father do when his father was behind the wheel. He managed to release the hand break and somehow put the car into neutral gear. At this point the car began to roll. By the time it had reached the end of the driveway, it had gained sufficiently speed to continue into the back yard, where the increased slope added yet more speed. The car stopped only after reaching the end of yard and smashing into a small shed. When Ruth ran out into the yard, she found Adam still behind the steering wheel "driving like mad".

Jonathan played to a different audience. I had planned to take some materials from my home to my office, and I had just placed Jon into a car seat and opened the garage door. At that point I went back into the house to retrieve the materials. Inside the house, I was having some problem finding what I was looking for and Ruth and I were discussing where it could possibly be when the doorbell rang. At the door was a somewhat distraught, young lady, who asked if it was our little boy in the car sitting in the middle of the street. Somehow, he had gotten out of his car seat, climbed behind the wheel and put the car in gear. The driveway slopes enough that the car rolled backwards all the way into the street. Fortunately, no one was speeding down the street the way they often do.

I had a slightly different kind of driveway experience with Adam in Tullahoma. It was at a time when I had just started a company in Tullahoma with Science Applications International Corporation. I had interviewed Adam’s mother, Ruth, and was considereing hiring her as a secretary and business manager for the office. My boss, Chris Bush, was in town to help me with some of the details, and I decided to introduce him to Ruth. I called her and ask if she could meet us somewhere. She was eager to meet Chris, but she had not planned anything for Adam, who was about four at the time. She invited us to come to her house, which we did. As we drove up to the house, Adam was standing in the driveway with his pants down, taking a pee. When he saw us he turned to face us and began to wave his stream back and forth, tracing circles on the driveway, accompanying the operation with great laughter.




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