Maria Andretti

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Since my sister Michelle moved to Marin, she’s discovered a new strength — her lead foot. As an SF resident she used to walked 4 blocks to work at UCSF. Now she drives 18.4 miles daily each way. Her new favorite thing — evading CHP in her convertible turbo engine coupe while trying to set a new PR for door-to-door drive time. Her current record is 22 minutes. Not too shabby considering the school zone, toll bridge and surface streets she has to travel. A cool and collected MD, Michelle transforms into Mario Andretti’s fiery female counterpart on her commute.

Witnessing Mom’s motor scooter maneuvers suggests a strong correlation between genetics and the need for speed. Mom seems mild-mannered until she’s in pinch and needs to make something happen. Waiting for slow elevators in a medical building yesterday, she loses her patience. “This is a bitch,” she declares as the far right elevator comes and goes without room for us a second time. Immediately Mom zips to the front of the stack all the way to the left. A woman holding a baby watches her own toes. Once out of the building, I walk quickly to keep up with her in the parking lot. She’s not driving a sports car, but she might as well be considering her handling skills. Given Michelle’s new hobby and my own plethora of speeding tickets, it’s safe to say these apples don’t fall far from the tree.

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