Huynh Van Lay 1976 Malibu

10. Learning to Drive

10. Learning to Drive

I needed a car after moving in with the DePhillips,
So I applied for a learner’s permit.
My adoptive Mom taught me how to drive,
Rural roads were always good places to try.

The first time I took the driving test,
I bumped the front wheels into the parking barrier.
The trooper’s face said it all,
Better luck next time,” he said.

After getting my driver’s license,
I wanted to buy a car but had no money.
Jim had a blue Chevy Malibu,
Rarely used, so Jim said, “Lay, it’s a good car for you.”

One thousand dollars, do you want to buy?
It was a lot of money, wishing against wish.
Stella, a very kind waitress, offered to help.
I’ll lend you the money without interest,” she said.

It’s the first car of my life.
Just last October, I was a refugee, and now I had a car.
Having a car made me feel like American.
It was the first milestone in my American Dream.

One day Jim said to me:
Lay, I need you to work the Smorgasbords
Roast beef and baked ham on each side,
You carve the meat when customers ask you.”

What would you like, Sir?
The man said, “A slice of ham, please”
I’d also like your roast beef,” he said.
Give me a rare cut and some bloody juice too.”

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