It was the early 60’s and Aunt Ginnie and Dave and Rick had moved into the basement apartment. For years it was just a basement that had previously been what Sis and I called the “fekenberg:” better known as the confectionary. Then one day Mom said she didn’t want to work that hard anymore; so the confectionary disappeared.
When Aunt Ginnie sold her house, Dad and Mom renovated the fekenberg space into a small 1 bedroom apartment. Dave and Rick slept in bunk beds in the bedroom and Aunt Ginnie slept in the living room kinda like Bernie and I did so many years later at 410 Mildred, but I digress.
One day Aunt Ginnie bought a used car and she and Mom would drive around Cahokia so she could practice for her driving test. What she didn’t know was that the brakes were spongy and you had to pump them to make them work. Dave and Rick didn’t tell their mother because they knew she wouldn’t let them drive the car if she knew, but as you probably figured out from the blog post title, she found out!
No Name — (what Sis and I called the road by 565 Mildred) that intersected with Mildred Ave. — had a little hill; so it was difficult to drive up onto Mildred if you drove a stick shift. It was also very dangerous to turn onto No Name and drive down the hill to park where we lived; especially if the car brakes didn’t work!
Mom and Aunt Ginnie were returning from their drive when Aunt Ginnie turned onto No Name and started down the hill. She was already turning into our huge parking lot before she pushed on the brake. The pedal went down to the floorboard, but the car didn’t slow down. By then Mom had realized that they were in trouble and — she told me later — had debated about turning the wheel, but was afraid it would throw the back wheel down into the door entryway; so they braced for impact and hit where the window is.
It was like a comedy scene only this was real. The car crashed through the wall so hard that the gas sized apartment stove danced across the room as far as the gas line would allow: talk about luck or one powerful intervention!
Poor Aunt Ginnie was so shook up that she later sold the car and didn’t get her driver’s license for another 15 years. Mom was the one who called Dad and told him what had happen, and she later told me that all he said was, “Was anyone hurt?” (Sometimes Dad could be so cool.) Our Devine intervention continued because nobody asked if Mom had a license (which she did not which invalidated Aunt Ginnie’s driving permit on that day), and the insurance company cut Mom and Dad a check which they used to repair the hole in the building’s side. What a way to get a new window!