Sunday, July 26, 2015

Driver's License

 My parents wanted me to take lessons from Baldwin's Driving School.  Mr. Baldwin was a nice man, when we started, but I think I gave him a nervous condition, while he was trying to teach me.  We went out to Fort Jackson for him to teach me the art of applying the gas and then the brake.  I finally got the hang of it.  I got pretty good over time, so he took me out on the freeway.  That day, we were going down I-20 near Broad River Rd., and we got behind a lumber truck that had a board sticking out.  It was going slower than we were.  I asked Mr. Baldwin if I should pass the truck.  I have never forgotten his answer.  He said, "If you don't, we are going to die."  I passed the truck.  Sage words on his part.
 I went to take the driving test and failed the written part.  Over the next few weeks, I failed the written test 3 times before passing it on the 4th try.  As for the driving test, I failed the first time, because I broke the parallel park barrier.  I thought the car was in drive, but it was in reverse.  When I stepped on the gas, the car lurched backwards, and I rammed into the back barrier.  I looked in the mirror to see a portion of the wooden barrier falling down.  I retook the test later and passed it.  I think they gave me the license just to get rid of me. 
 Except for being a little careless with speed, I only have gotten one ticket for failure to stop at a stop sign, which I don't think was justified.  It was around 10:30 one morning on a school day.  It was raining.  I was going through a neighborhood and saw a box lying in the road.  I thought it would be fun to run over it, so I went around the block to go back to the box.  I slowed at a stop sign but didn't stop.  I made the right turn, and the policeman stopped me.  He said that kids could have been playing out there at that time.  I told the officer that I didn't think they would be out playing in the rain on a school day.  I found out that you are not supposed to reason with the police, because instead of a warning, he gave me a ticket.  It took a whole week, before I could muster up enough courage to tell my father.  He paid it.
 I have had only one wreck, and that was in 1977.  I had left work to go back to my dorm, where I was going to school.  It was lightly raining, and the roads were slick.  I came off of the interstate too fast, and the exit ramp was very short.  I put on the brakes, and they locked.  I slid into the car in front of me.  It did $600 of damage to my car, and 50-cents to the car that I hit.  For a long time, I didn't like to drive in the rain.
 Even though I haven't driven a car since 2013 (mine blew up in 2009), they tell me that I am a very safe driver.  I guess practice makes perfect.

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