Learning to Drive on Central Ave. in Humarock

It must have been 1940. I was coming up to 6 years old. On Saturdays, late afternoon, Dad would drive his old Chevy to Steads store to get a bottle of Ballantine Ale and a cigar. I would beg him to drive to Fourth Cliff. We would drive over the hump in the old wooden bridge, pass Dick Smith’s garage, and make a left on Central Ave. Stopping near the Humarock Lodge, I would climb into his lap so I could steer and shift.

Dick Smiths Garage & Residence, Corner of  Marshfield Ave. & Central Ave., Humarock. c.mid 30s.

                                                      Humarock Lodge. c. mid 1930’s.

Dad taught me how to shift the 3-on-the-floor. Dad would operate the clutch and gas; I would steer & shift.

“Okay, into first,” he would say. Away we went.

“Okay, into second.” We went faster!

“Okay, into third’.” We were flying! Maybe 30 miles an hour past Hatches boat yard.

We turned at the base of Fourth Cliff and returned to the Lodge. I would take my place in the passenger side, then urge my Dad to go fast over the hump in the bridge — which he did. All the wheels flew into the air! Or at least that’s what I thought. No, we didn’t tell Mom ’til years later.

During the war years, there were fewer trips to the Cliff because of travel restrictions. Dad worked for the Boston Record American Newspaper and had a news reporter pass, so we were let through the barricade, and no, he wasn’t a reporter. Dad did not allow me to drive in Humarock during those times.

After the war, I could drive without sitting in Dad’s lap, so off to Humarock for a drive out to the Cliff, or south Humarock to Carl Moreheart’s parking lot next to Rexhame Beach.


W. Ray Freden, Marshfield/Seaview 70 Years.

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