Many people have dreams they never realize. One woman, a 97-year-old great-grandmother from New Jersey, has a bucket list of goals she still wants to complete. This past week, she notched one of those goals off her list when she drove a semi-truck, a dream she’s had for most of her life.
Vera Abruzzi has wanted to drive one of the big rigs for about 80 years. Last Wednesday, with the help of her grandson, Gary Kadi, she saw that dream come true.
Kadi arranged for his beloved grandmother to take semi-truck driving lessons with Winsor’s Tractor Trailer Driving School. The instructor spent the day with her as Abruzzi learned to drive the 70-foot long rig. At the end of the day, she got to drive it around in a Linden, New Jersey parking lot.
Prior to her big day behind the wheel, the grandmother of 4 said she was looking forward to the experience probably as much as she’d looked forward to anything in all her 97 years. She explained that the 18-wheelers have always intrigued her and she’s longed to experience driving one firsthand.
Her instructor said she did just fine and handled the truck’s gear system well up to 20 mph. The great-grandmother of 7 told a WABV-TV reporter after the momentous drive that given the opportunity to take the rig on the highway, she would have gone 90 mph. She said she isn’t afraid of trying anything.
So what’s next for Abruzzi? She said she’d love to fly an airplane. Kadi said whatever she wants to do, the family is on it.