From scooter to steering wheel: the Tom Hawes story


Sophomore Tom Hawes focused on driving out of the parking lot.

Ed Grijalva, Staff Writer

When high schoolers finally get their license and a car, it usually means the end of taking the bus, riding a bike and parents driving them to school, friend’s homes, practice and any other social nuance of the high school experience. For sophomore Tommy Hawes, it means the end of the razor scooter he used often to get where he needed to go.

“My parents were pretty busy and I don’t like the bus. It’s the only thing I had to ride because my bike broke and it beats walking like I used to,” Hawes said. “I think I used to ride eight miles a day on it, I rode it to school, [basketball] practice, Lifetime [Fitness], Stoney Creek High School and even Lake Orion High for basketball.”

Hawes had the luxury of learning to drive from his father, Mr. Tom Hawes.

“I learned how to drive from my father because he’s a driver’s training instructor,” Hawes said. “Four of my six segment one drives were at  6 a.m. in the morning, so that wasn’t fun.”

Even though Hawes is on a new set of wheels, the places that he frequents has not.

“I drive a Honda Civic now, and I usually drive to basketball practice and Lifetime, so it’s not that different from the scooter I guess,” Hawes said. “But now I can get food with friends, or go to the mall with girls. I’m not gonna say who though.”

Some of Tom’s friends are sad to see the scooter go, like sophomore Cris Sandler.

“Of course I preferred Tommy on the scooter,” Sandler said. “That thing is legendary; he’d ride that thing everywhere.”

When you drive with friends and family, they have a tendency to formulate an opinion on one’s driving skills.

“We always get to where we need to go,” Sandler said. “We haven’t gotten in an accident and it’s usually a good drive with Tom.”

While Sandler appreciates Hawes’ driving skills, sophomore Hunter Schattler has a more critical opinion.

“Yeah, it’s pretty scary driving with him,” Schattler said. “He’s probably one of the worst drivers I’ve ever ridden with. That’s still my boy though.”

Junior Ahmed Anthony, another usual of the “Tom Hawes taxi service,” has a more precise analysis of Hawes’ driving.

“It’s not that Tommy is a bad driver. It’s just that he tries to look cool driving and tries to do things all smooth and stuff,” Anthony said. “One time, Tom went through three lanes of traffic without stopping trying to get into a gas station. All the cars were just honking at us; it was funny and scary at the same time.”

Hawes acknowledges he has some things to improve on as a driver, and like a lot of young drivers, he can recall the first time he was close to an accident.

“I know I’m a good driver, I’m safe and I follow the rules,” Hawes said. “But one time I was close to getting into an accident once, I was trying to switch lanes and I didn’t check my blind spot.”

Hawes’ counted down the days until he was finally able to take his road test and rid himself of the well-known scooter he takes everywhere. Hawes admits, however, that the scooter could come back.

“If my car ever breaks down,” Hawes said. “Then yeah my razor scooter might make a comeback.”