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A Father's Legacy: Eddie Duvall and the Art of Driving

A Father’s Legacy: Eddie Duvall and the Art of Driving

The Heartwarming Tale of How Eddie Duvall Taught His Young Son Denny to Drive in a 1935 Ford

The Beginnings of a Borego Legend

Eddie Duvall, a long-time resident and prominent figure in Borego, was admired for his strong work ethic, sense of community, and dedication to teaching valuable life skills to his children. As a storekeeper, postmaster, and Deputy Sheriff, Eddie was an essential part of the community fabric. In the early 1950s, he decided it was time to pass on the art of driving to his son Denny. Born in 1940, Denny was just 12 years old when he began learning to drive under his father’s guidance. Little did they know, these driving lessons in a 1935 Ford would become an integral part of local lore and shape the rest of Denny’s life.

Learning the Ropes at Clark Dry Lake

Eddie began teaching Denny to drive out at Clark Dry Lake, an area where the family, in fact, owned property. Uncle Glenn DuVall had proved up a homestead near Clark Dry Lake in 1929, as did their uncle Gilbert Rock. Driving during that time was quite different, with cars like the 1935 Ford featuring mechanical brakes and lacking seatbelts. Under his father’s watchful eye, young Denny mastered the art of the circle 8, a maneuver that would later save him from countless accidents. As their lessons progressed, Eddie had Denny practice driving at increasing speeds: 10 mph, 20 mph, 30 mph, and eventually, an impressive 40 mph and possibly beyond. Through Eddie’s tutelage, Denny not only learned to drive but also grew to appreciate the responsibility and freedom that came with it.

Adventures in the Soft Sand

Once Denny had honed his skills on solid ground, Eddie introduced him to a new challenge: driving on soft sand. Eddie took Denny out to a sandy area, where they practiced doing donuts, a skill that would later prove to be both entertaining and lifesaving for Denny. It was during these exhilarating lessons that Denny truly bonded with his father, learning to navigate the often unpredictable terrain of the desert.

The Lasting Legacy of Eddie Duvall

Eddie was a stern father at times, but from Denny’s recollection, he thoroughly enjoyed teaching his son to drive. The skills that Eddie instilled in Denny not only saved him from numerous accidents but also shaped him into the man he would become. In their small town of Borego, the story of Eddie Duvall and his son Denny is a beloved tale, passed down through generations. 

I had the pleasure of sitting with Denny at the Christmas Circle “Art in the Park” event, where he reminisced about his father and the driving lessons that left an indelible mark on his life. These moments not only demonstrated the strength of their bond but also highlighted the importance of the lessons learned from our parents and the lasting impact they can have on our lives.

Denny Duvall Wrote a Book

If you’re interested in reading more about Denny’s life and his experiences growing up in Borego, I highly recommend his book, “That’s My Story and I’m Stickin’ To It.” To get your hands on a copy, you can visit “Graphics You Can Trust” in the Borrego Springs Mall.

For an extra special touch, consider purchasing a signed edition of the book! To do so, simply contact Denny at 619-823-0701 or mzfire50@yahoo.com. Don’t miss the chance to dive deeper into this heartwarming tale of family, community, and the art of driving.