Thursday, May 08, 2014

Driver's License

This afternoon I went to an appointment with the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). I had to take a written test of my knowledge of the DMV code in order to obtain a driver's license here in the State of California.

When my son David died back in 2010, I lost my California address at his home. So, I began using the services of Americas Mailbox located in South Dakota in order to obtain a South Dakota address. Americas Mailbox had a good reputation among the RV.NET crowd. And that was good enough for me.

I registered MsTioga in the State of South Dakota, and also got myself a South Dakota driver's license. However, when I moved into my Guava Gardens apartment last month, it became very clear that it was time for me to once more get a license in the State of California.

The DMV has their Motor Vehicle Handbook downloadable on the internet. I've been reading that Handbook for awhile, and believe that studying it has made me a better driver!

I past that test. Only one error.

Began driving in 1948
I first got a California driver's license in 1953 when I was 16 years old. But I began driving a tiny Harley-Davidson motorcycle without having a license in 1948 when I had only 11 years! My Dad was very permissive and my Mom went along with what my Dad said.

I drove that little Harley all over the place. When I was about 15 years old, I took off for Death Valley. That was quite an adventure, because that Harley had a top speed of only 25 miles per hour. I remember bunking down for the night in a gas station that was under construction in Baker, California. Back then, the Town of Baker was tiny. Very different from now.

I was a naive kid back in 1953. Everything that I knew about that Death Valley trip I learned from watching "Death Valley Days" on TV. Remember that was when Ronald Reagan was the host of that show?

I really believed that if the Sun came up and shown down on me during the day while I was inside that Valley, that I would die!


  1. glad you got them back for your state. Love the story!! I wish we still had the simpler times of long ago!!

  2. Sounds like you were a vagabond when you were 15 years old too!

  3. Travel is certainly in your blood. Good story. I only went on a motorcycle once. My brother took me but only for a few blocks because I made him almost have an accident. Every time he leaned into a corner, I leaned the other way! Not good so he made me walk home.

  4. Back when I was 15, I had a learner's permit in California. That was all it took to be able to rent a little motorcycle - no instruction, just take off. I still don't know how I convinced my Dad to let me do this but I did. Fell over and skinned my knee so I drove the thing to my house and told my folks I had to use the bathroom. Patched up the knee and continued on my 1 hour ride with them none the wiser. Good times!! Glad you got your CA license again.

  5. '...when I only had 11 years.' Hmm...your years of speaking Spanish are poking through...

  6. Great Story George....thanks for sharing....Got any more?
    I love "old" motorcycling stories.

  7. I love when you share this kind of stories!

  8. Yes George--do you have any more stories to share? I love to hear your sharing of things like that. Aileen