Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mr. Lindstrom Drives Off Into the Sunset

Glen Lindstrom, er... MR. Lindstrom, was my high school driving instructor. He had kind of a quirky personality, was very forthright, and pretty much fearless -- which I expect comes in handy for high school student driving instructors. Literally the first time I drove a car, with him in the passenger seat and ready on his set of Driving Instructor Brakes (tm), he had me head out and drive on the freeway! That was the only time I did that during the driving instruction course, everything else was driving around my home town's residential streets, with lots of parallel parking practice. When it finally came time to take my written and driving exams, he was there and was very interested in how I and the other student taking her exam at the same time did. (I got an 87 on the written and 88 driving, I believe you needed 80 to pass).

In checking the obituaries in my home town newspaper on the web, I see that Mr. Lindstrom passed away.

This photo pretty much does him justice, he looks pretty much as I remember him from 30 years ago (though I don't know when this one was actually taken).

What I just learned now, though, from reading his obituary, was that he served in World War 2 on the battleship USS Alabama, which happens to a) be the name of the state in which I now reside (the "Alabama" part) and b) anchors an exhibit a few hours down the road from me in Mobile. The Alabama was quite active in the Pacific theater, and Mr. Lindstrom got his share of medals as a crewman in these campaigns.

He was a good man, worked hard to make his students good drivers, and while his quirkiness sometimes resulted in students making fun of him out of earshot, he deserved a lot more respect, not just from the students, but I see now from all Americans.

Thanks, Mr. Lindstrom, drive safe.

P.S. I've been at fault for only one minor fender-bender, and gotten one speeding ticket in 30 years, so you did good.

No comments: