Last week I published a post about David’s adventure through the bureaucracy required to get a Texas driver’s license in place of his Florida license. All the talk about driver’s licenses reminded me of several stories about the subject.
Mom didn’t get her license until she was 30 years old. She began driving long before that, but for some reason hadn’t made it legal. The day she went to take her test, Grandmother Robinson was visiting us, so I stayed home with her. I was happily playing with my dolls when Mom burst through the front door, ran through the house, and threw herself on the bed sobbing hysterically. It seems that making a right turn on a red light, even after coming to a stop, was not legal in Snyder, Texas. I decided that day that, regardless of how many times Thomas Edison failed before he found a light bulb that worked, failure was not a good thing.
Eleven years later when I went to take my own driver’s test, I was a bundle of nerves. At that point, there was no insurance discount for taking Driver’s Ed, so the only reason to do so was to get your license early or take an easy class in school. I wasn’t in a hurry, and school was pretty easy for me anyway, so I studied the Texas Driver’s Handbook on my own, and on my 16th birthday, I got my learner’s permit. For the next few months, I practiced driving under the watchful eye of my dad, and when he thought I was ready, I went to take the driving test. I was pretty confident of everything but parallel parking, but when it came time to maneuver the car in between those two little poles, I whipped in like I knew what I was doing. If I had been doing it for real, I would have been several feet from the curb, but Officer Friendly didn’t seem to mind. Then it came time to leave he parking space, and my mind went blank. I shifted from Reverse to Drive several times and inched up or back a bit, but I couldn’t remember how to turn the wheels to get out. I didn’t think Officer Friendly would look kindly on my driving over the poles, so I looked up at him with my best puppy-dog eyes, shrugged my shoulders, and giggled nervously. I guess he was having a good day, because he coached me out of my predicament and, unlike Mom, I got my license on the first try.
My favorite story is when David got the motorcycle endorsement for his license. Like Mom, he had been riding a motorcycle for years but decided it was time to make it legal. He rode to the licensing office and went inside.
“I want to get my motorcycle license,” he said.
“Are you on the bike now?”
“Yeah, it’s right outside.”
“Okay. Go outside and get on it. Turn right and go around the block. If you make it back here okay, I’ll approve your license.”
It seems that standards vary quite a bit from office to office.
I ended my post last week by saying that we had the Texas license plates and our next step was to get the car inspected. I wondered how many trips that would take us. At least two as it turns out. We went today to one of those quick oil change places that also does state inspections (yes, we have one in Emory), but they said we needed two new tires. David went to Greenville and got the tires, and tomorrow we’ll see if we get that inspection sticker.
Oh, and about David’s driver’s license, today is Wednesday, so we went back to the office with all the appropriate paperwork in hand. There was a small orange sign taped to the door that said:
Due to staffing, the Emory driver’s license office
will be closed until further notice.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
I won’t tell you what David said.