My father taught me a lot of things over the years.
The thing that has stood out the most though, was simple.
“Back up as far as you need to, or at least as far as you can, to start with.”
It makes good sense. Driving in reverse is more difficult than driving forward. Your body position is less comfortable. You sight lines aren’t as clear. The best way to spend as little time doing that as possible, is to get it right the first time.
Why does this stand out the most? I guess that makes sense too. I back up pretty much every time that I drive. It also occurs to me every time I am in a parking lot watching somebody back up two feet, pull forward a little, back up two more feet. They are hesitant and want to back up as little as possible to get on their way, and in doing it in this fashion they just lengthen the amount of time they are in the way and more likely to encounter, or cause, a problem.
A while back I mentioned it to him. That out of all his advice, and all his teachings, this is the one that I firmly attribute to him and has stuck with me all these years.
He laughed, and at first I thought maybe I had insulted him a little. Surely he had shared more important things with me in our time together.
He said, “Well, that’s really interesting, because I’ve often thought it was the most useful thing your grandfather said to me.”
And so it goes.
I love you, Dad.