My First Driving Lesson—When Seat Belts Were Not Mandatory!

I remember the family visiting the Yorkdale shopping mall in Toronto shortly after it opened in 1964 and then detouring by accident to Downsview Airforce Base, then an operational airport, on the way home. Actually, we were completely lost and managed to drive out on to a runway and stopped the car while my father, the driver, got his bearings.
“Were on the fecking runway, dad”, I shouted, or would have if my schoolyard education had been more advanced than it was. I had not yet learned the word and its various and sundry derivatives.
“Look down the runway and you will see an idling airplane,” my brother, Dave, and I said loudly in unison from the backseat.
“What do you mean, airplane?” said our father, who had been in the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII, and should have known a thing or two about airplanes, and was forever in denial.
“There. Straight ahead.”
“Where?” said he, apparently with no eyes and minimal awareness of his surroundings.
“We’re on the bloody runway!”
We were sharply silenced by our father but our family of four did somehow manage to escape without incident or questioning but security in those days was not something that anyone was remotely aware of or interested in in any way.

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