Just Pull Over

Grandma Kc wrote this on July 31st, 2015 39 Replies

While AmaraLand is usually all about Amara, this is a special memory from my own childhood.

By now if you’ve read some of the posts from my own childhood, you’ve probably figured out that my mother had some issues and she certainly didn’t set a very good example for my sister and me. This was just another one of those times.

We were on our way from Jonesville to Hillsdale. My mom was driving and my sister and I were both in the backseat. I told you she was a terrible driver and she was always late for wherever we were going. I remember exactly where we were on the road when I first noticed the police car behind us with its lights flashing! I was struck with fear because I knew she was speeding! But she wouldn’t pull over!

Uncle Putt pointing at the no u turn sign

She wasn’t always the most rational person and she was convinced that it was my Uncle Putt, who was a policeman that was driving the police car. She was livid. I should explain about Uncle Putt’s name. He was the youngest of the four boys and the story I was told was that when he was little he would push his toy car around on the floor going “putt, putt, putt”. So my Uncle Lynn named him Putt and it stuck! I think Jenna was about 11 when she found out that wasn’t his real name!

But back to my mother and that trip to Hillsdale. Lights are flashing and sirens are blaring and she wouldn’t pull over! This happened during the time my parents were getting the divorce. I told you that she wasn’t just divorcing my Dad but his whole family and she was sure they were all out to get her. And since Uncle Putt worked for the Hillsdale Police Department, she was sure Dad had told him to be on the lookout for her and to pull her over every chance he got. This had never happened so it wasn’t as if she had reason to think it but she could come up with some of the craziest ideas.

Uncle Putt when he was promoted to Assistant Chief of Police

My sister and I kept yelling at her to just pull over! Of course, that made her madder; we were probably taking Dad’s side. I think Judy and I were both crying when the police car pulled up alongside of us to try to wave her over since the lights didn’t seem to be having any effect! I remember yelling at her, “That isn’t Uncle Putt!” She finally pulled over and after yelling and screaming at the officer she got a ticket! She was still convinced that this was all my Dad’s fault. He’d probably told all of the police officers to pull her over.

I bet my Uncle and the entire police department talked about this one for days afterwards! While my Uncle Putt was never really in this story, it is always one of the first to come to mind when I think of him. I do miss him and think of him often.

Uncle Putt with 2 other officers as he rang the bell for the Salvation Army

In planning this post, I was trying to find a picture of my Uncle Putt in his police uniform. His daughter, April mentioned this to Aunt Phyllis who immediately sent me the two newspaper clippings above – plus a bunch of others! The photo is courtesy of April.

39 thoughts on “Just Pull Over

  1. Launna

    Your mother certainly was paranoid Kc… she would have been in major trouble in this day and age. I can’t believe how foolish she acted. It’s awesome yoh turned out so great :-)

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      My mother certainly was something! As we got older she would embarrass so many times! And you’re right, she could have never gotten away with her behavior these days.

      Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I did survive in spite of her! It is interesting how it impacted me so differently than it did Judy. I don’t think she really survived it. I think she would have turned out much differently if she had been raised by Dad.

      Reply
  2. Joyce

    That was harrowing. Especially for a child. I think your mom got off easy for that act of defiance. And I’m glad you were able to determine right from wrong and steer away from that kind of behavior yourself. So sad when kids are victims of a parent’s mental instability. But what a victory to be here today, having passed on a responsible lifestyle to two generations after yourself!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I think the police office probably thought he was lucky to get away! You see those videos of some woman on the side of the freeway going crazy — that could have been my mother. She certainly taught me what kind of mother I didn’t want to be but it would have been nice to have a good role model. I didn’t Mom 2.0 until I was 20.

      Reply
  3. KImberly

    Putt, putt. How cute, though he might not have enjoyed that name. Even if I’m doing nothing wrong at all (generally true I hope), my heart leaps into my mouth when a siren sounds behind me while driving. I will say again, I am amazed you got to adulthood. You are kind of opposite, your later years, so much calmer than your childhood.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Since my sister Sandy is married to a retired police man and since she used to be the AA for the Chief of Police I asked her once if a police car behind her scared her — it does! I’m the same way today if there is a police car behind me in traffic, even without his lights I panic just a little! It sounds so wrong and cruel to say it but my life got better when her’s ended.

      Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I have lots of good memories about my Uncle Putt that don’t include my crazy mother. He always played Santa Claus at Christmas when I was little. I can’t remember when I found out it was him but I never told the younger cousins! He was a great Santa!

      I think you and I both watched the Donna Reed Show, Father Knows Best, Ozzy and Harriet and those kind of shows and kept waiting for that life!

      Reply
  4. Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs

    You poor girls must have been terrified. Not just during this incident but for most of your childhood. Your stories of your mother make me want to hug little Kc.

    The love for your Uncle Putt shines through your words. Funny nickname.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      It sure wasn’t an easy childhood that is for sure! As I got older she got worse. My Uncle Putt was awesome!

      Reply
  5. Joy @ Yesterfood

    It always amazes me how resilient you were (and are!) to have survived the bizarre experiences you did. Thank you for sharing your stories- I think they help everyone to get a little slice of life from another person.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Thanks Joy! It often amazes me that I survived everything that I did. It is interesting how our childhood impacted my sister so much differently than it did me. She didn’t come through it as well. Stories for another day.

      Reply
  6. April

    What a traumatic event for you both! I am so sorry that you and Judy had to go through all that you did. I am so sorry, too, that we missed out on growing up together and sharing our childhood. So missed my cousins and all the fun we had! Very happy we are able to share our stories now. Thank you for sharing this one and the pictures of Dad! Miss him so much. You do such a beautiful job of writing your stories.
    Love you!!!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I am still very angry with her for taking us away. We missed out on so much because of it. Plus we didn’t have the technology of today. We couldn’t stay in touch on Facebook! I am very glad you are still in my life!

      Reply
      1. April

        I am very glad you are still in my life too! No one told us what had happened or talked about it at all, except I remember hearing you and Judy took a train to California with your mother. Not sure that you actually did, but that is my memory. Although no one said it out loud, I knew you weren’t coming back. I had no idea why. It was so upsetting. I know it was much more difficult for you and Judy. Facebook would have been great back then.

        Reply
        1. Grandma Kc Post author

          We didn’t take a train although now that you mentioned it I do think it was discussed at some point. I think for a long time she used the threat of moving to California but that it was just idle threats. If the developer hadn’t come to the door and offered to buy the place I don’t think she would have ever really done it!

          Reply
  7. Debra

    What amazes me is back in that time era (at least when I was 11) we never wore seat belts. Today she would have gotten more than one ticket! The newspaper clippings are priceless. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I think Jenna was about 11 when they enacted the seat belt law. None of our cars had seat belts back when we were children. I can remember many times standing on that back seat as she sped around corners in the snow. I remember landing in the front seat once. Amazing that any of us survived!

      Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      There were many! The hardest part was not knowing what kind of mood she would be in when you came home. And it could turn faster than you click your fingers!

      Reply
  8. Olga

    You have certainly had a colorful life and you were obviously able to learn from it.

    I think your ability to write about it is a gift for us all.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Thanks Olga. I am glad Deb talked me into sharing stories of my own childhood. Do you tell your grandchildren stories of when you were young? I’m betting you have some interesting stories, too!

      Reply
  9. Stephanie Faris

    I had a rough childhood, but I think it makes us stronger. We also appreciate the great adulthood we have, surrounded by wonderful people! So sorry you had to go through such a dramatic experience at such a young age. Sounds like you’ve been able to use the experience to make you a better parent.

    Stephanie
    http://stephie5741.blogspot.com

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      You are absolutely right! My childhood did make me stronger and I think it has made a more understanding person. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful life now surrounded by family and friends — even though some of that family is TO FAR AWAY! My adulthood has made up for the pain of my childhood!

      Reply
  10. Lux

    Sometimes I look back in my childhood and think, “wow, how did i survive that?”
    My mother could be a little over the edge too. :P But it’s all fun. And the lessons stick to you, doesn’t it?

    Reply
  11. Vicki Valenta

    I think your mother and my mother had a lot in common. You could say my mother also had issues. I love your stories from your own childhood. I’ve been considering writing some of mine. I’ve not figured out how to tell some of them in a kindly fashion. I like the way you tell yours. You are inspiring.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Thanks Vicki and I really think she you should do it! Who is going to tell the Princesses about your childhood if you don’t do it? And they will love it! I understand about how to tell the stories. There are some stories that I am still struggling to decide whether to share or not. Stories that Amara knows about but that I haven’t written about. My whole reason for writing them was so that they would be written down when I am long gone but how to share them… SO I started with the easier stories!

      Reply
  12. An Enchanted Cottage

    Thanks so much for your kind words on us losing our Tiger. I really appreciate it. My gosh, you certainly did have a rough childhood. It’s wonderful that you learned that that was not now you wanted to go through life, but it’s still so sad that you had to experience it at all. Especially the separation from your dad and his family. That is so heartbreaking. I loved the stories and photos of Uncle Putt!
    Donna

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Losing Tiger after 22 years had to be devastating. Lots of children don’t live at home for 22 years! I love animals and I know how much pain has come with losing them. You can never replace them but you can get a new furball to help fill the void — and to make sure you still have plenty of cat hair around!

      Reply
  13. Kristi

    You do a nice job of telling your childhood stories, and I love reading them. I imagine that they are even more significant to your family. Good for you for writing them down! You might consider sharing them on familysearch.org–then they would be preserved, and easily accessed, for all of your relatives down the line, even those who are distantly related. Just a thought.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I really like your idea and I shared it with Jenna who loved it, too. Neither of us knew we could share them there. A few months ago, at your suggestion, I tried to set up a family tree on familysearch.org but I made a mistake and got frustrated because I didn’t know how to correct it and just never got back to it – and I really do want to. The next few weeks will be very busy with PTA stuff and getting ready for school to start. But once the dust settles and I figure out my problem with my family tree I would love a little more direction on how I could share my posts.

      Reply

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