The next morning we sat in the front with Mom sitting next to him and I
became relaxed on the afternoon trips scooting next to him if we picked up Mom.
At 16 I was old enough to get a driver's license. After being chauffeured awhile he showed up at the house front porch on a Saturday morning. When I opened the front door he asked.
"You want to get a driver's license?"
Nodded yes, he replied.
"I'll get a learner's permit application and test study booklet for you.
When you pass the test I'll teach you how to drive."
Putting a hush finger to my lips, worried Mom would overhear and say no, I
nodded excited agreement, closed the door and told Mom he came to say he would
pick us up as usual Monday morning even though he would be on spring break. She
was beginning to worry about his interest in me but still counted the dimes
With San Jose State’s spring break the week before Easter and Norte Dame’s
the week after I still had to go to school. He insisted, however, on still
driving us with the excuse he needed to study at the library. Monday on picking
me up after school he handed me a learner's permit application and study
booklet before we met Mom.
I hid it in my Pee Che folder, filled it out and read the study booklet in
my room. Tuesday during school lunch break, I walked to the county court house
and I got a copy of my birth certificate from the county registrar. I learned
my mother's maiden name; I was born at home and was relieved my father's name
was on it.
My next door driving instructor got an affidavit for my parent's signature
to allow me to get a license as a minor. I shuffled it among school papers for
their unquestioning signatures as neither ever read what the school had them
sign. With papers completed I subtly told him I was ready for the test while
driving to school with Mom. She assumed I was referring to a school exam.
That afternoon, before we picked Mom up he asked when I could take the test.
I told him to meet me at the old civic center park downtown afternoon Friday,
Good Friday. On Good Friday Notre Dame Students were trooped the half mile from
the school to Saint Joseph's Church for the Stations of the Cross which lasted
from noon until 3. As a condemned sinner, I no longer cared about church
orthodoxy. If the priest knew my soul on taking communion with Mom I’d be
excommunicated in my mind.
As students gaggled over to the church, herded by vigilant nuns, I drifted
back and as the group passed the park, dropped out and hid behind a tree. Soon
he drove up and I scrambled in his car when he pulled to the curb.