Driving with Susy by
(306 Stories)

Prompted By The DMV

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Driving with Susy 

Susy’s family lived on our block,  just a few houses away,  and our parents were close friends.  In my mind’s eye I can still see our mothers sitting together in our kitchen,  me watching in fascination as Susy’s mom twisted the string around her teabag to get the last drop of flavor.

And I remember calling for Susy after school and we’d roller skate together for hours around and around the block.  (See Skate Key)

And I remember running down to their house early one morning to tell them my baby sister was born,  and discovering the date was Susy’s dad’s birthday as well.

A decade or so later I danced with her dad at Susy’s wedding and he told me,  “I’ll dance at your wedding too, Dana.”,  and he soon did.

But back in high school,  altho we were still close friends,  Susy was a grade ahead and we began to hang out with different crowds.  And yet one June day in her senior year it was me she called to say she’d gotten her driver’s license!

Her dad had agreed to lend her the car, and she invited me to drive with her to Orchard Beach that Saturday.   In Pelham Bay Park,  and situated on the western end of Long Island Sound,  Orchard Beach is the only public beach in the Bronx.  It may not have made the list of best beaches on the east coast,  but for us it might as well have been the French Riveria.   It was the place for nighttime hanky panky in cars,  and on summer days it was our beachy Paradise.   We even went to Orchard Beach to study for our final exams,  or so we told our folks – naively thinking they believed us.

Truthfully I don’t remember what we did once we got to the beach on that memorable day – surely we met friends there and Susy proudly showed off her new drivers license,

But I do remember that long-ago drive  –  two young women feeling very grown up and very free,  driving all by themselves to Paradise!

– Dana Susan Lehrman 

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Characterizations: been there, funny, moving, well written


  1. Khati Hendry says:

    What a lovely essay, capturing that feeling of youth and friendships. It reminded me of a trip I took with a friend to another beach, without family, just a couple of kids off in a car feeling very grown up and free. Wonderful memories.

    • Thanx Khati.
      Susy and I kept in touch but for the past 20 years or so she was living afar and we saw each other seldom.

      Then several years ago her husband died, it had been an enviably happy marriage, and she mourned him terribly.

      Then her brother called with the sad news of Susy’s death. I asked him the cause and he said altho she had various minor health issues, he believed she died of a broken heart.

  2. That’s a sweet remembrance of Suzy calling on you as her companion for her first drive with a license. It packs in a lot of emotion.
    I was driver #4 in my one-car family. I didn’t rush to get a license, and when I did get it, I am sure I did not make any such “maiden ride” to a special destination. PRobably just waited till it was my turn to be the one called upon to go pick up a jug of milk and maybe a half-gallon of ice cream too.

  3. Laurie Levy says:

    There is something is liberating about getting a driver’s license. Two of my granddaughters have theirs and it feels like they have suddenly grown up.

  4. A beautiful, gentle reminiscence of a time gone by. Thanks for the visit, Dana!

  5. Betsy Pfau says:

    Charming story about friendship, using driving as a vehicle (see what I did there) to tell us about your dear friend, Susy.

  6. Jim Willis says:

    Dana, What a fun coming-of-age story of newfound freedom behind the steering wheel. I remember begging my mom to let me go buy groceries for her just to have an excuse to go driving. When I succeeded, the shopping usually took 10 minutes, but the town cruising took another hour! Often I’d wait to pick up the ice cream on the way back home.

  7. Dave Ventre says:

    That license is definitely one of the great milestones on the road of life. Cute how much of a milestone Susy’s was for you!

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