After spending last Friday night with her 3-year-old grandson, Jesse, and the next day with him and four more of her seven grandchildren, CDL or Bust student Anna Basham got back to work on the final two days of the holiday weekend.
“Sometimes you wonder…” the former school bus driver said when asked how she had the energy to study her pre-trip inspections all day Sunday and Monday after spending all that time with a quintet ranging in age from 9 months to 3 years.
Basham will get more family time this coming weekend in order to celebrate her 51st birthday and Jesse’s fourth. But in the meantime, she’s all business. Unlike some of her classmates, she brings her lunch every day so she can study while eating rather than wasting precious time by going out to get food.
“Some of the maneuvers I still have to tweak and get [them] down to where I’m happy with [them],” said Basham, who’s particularly focusing on the 45-degree-angle turns required in offset parking a large truck. “I’m not happy with [them] right now. But on the highways, I’m very comfortable.”
She showed that yesterday by driving the traffic light-filled 28-mile stretch of Dixie Avenue from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, to the Gene Snyder Freeway with aplomb.
“It gave me good practice on downshifting,” Basham said.
Along with classmates Russell Durgasingh and Teddy Flener Jr., Basham will take her Class A exam Sept. 14. The three will drive themselves to the testing area at the State Fairgrounds in Louisville by 7 a.m. that day. The other four will follow suit next Thursday. All of the CDL or Bust students will begin practicing there Thursday so that they can become familiar with the course.
“I wish there was more time,” Basham said before adding, “But I’ll be ready. By that time, you know it or you don’t.”
— By David Elfin, Transport Topics staff reporter. Photo of Basham and instructor Ed Stephens by John Sommers II for TT.