How Old Were You When You Began Driving?? I relate this story NOT TO BREAK MY ARM, PATTING MYSELF ON THE BACK, but rather to give but two examples of the CHANGE we have experienced during our time.
I am reminded infrequently of this story. When filling out “on line” information with regard to how long one has been driving, I enter data to support the FACT that I obtained my Driver’s License at the age of 15!! The damn computer advises me that I have made an error, and they go on to say that it is not possible to obtain a driver’s license at that age???? I am now going to explain that, in fact, it was not an error!!
AT this time, July of 1951, the Ontario Driving Testing office was on Mill Street in Oshawa. Within days of turning 15, my Mother drove me to the Test facility. I cannot remember if the examiner had any pertinent questions with regard to my age, but I do know within minutes of arriving, Mom, in the back seat, and I at the wheel, were headed west on Mill Street. He instructed me to make a turn or two, or possibly 3, AND THEN SAID, “Return to the office, you can drive as well as I can”. I did, and was given my license.
The above would be “bad enough” >> BUT HERE IS MORE, AN INCREDULUS STORY > BUT TRUE!!
Growing up 7 miles out of the city of Oshawa in 1948 presented transportation problems if one wished to go into the City. These problems were compounded when you did not have a driving license. In 1948 I was 12 years old. In 1948 there was a Bus Service to Oshawa, albeit the service was 2 miles from our home. In the early evening, my sister Phyl, one year younger than I, decided we would like to take the Bus to Oshawa. We asked our Dad if we could drive the car the 2 miles to the Bus, leave it there, take the Bus into Oshawa and pick up the car on our return.
He agreed; we set off for the bus. About one mile into our trip we decided that it would be “kind of neat” to take a girlfriend and a boyfriend. Accordingly we drove to Columbus and picked them up; Don Flemming for her, Thelma Scott for me. Things were going so well that collectively we decided it would be better to drive the car to Oshawa, in lieu of taking the Bus. ((For the first time ever, I am asking myself why their parents agreed??))
We make our way safely into Oshawa, and do a few loops around the downtown, passing each time through the “Four Corners” of Oshawa, King St and Simcoe St. I cannot remember whether or not we went to the show/theater which was our original plan.
Moving on with the story: We make our way home by way of Columbus, dropping off Don and Thelma. Upon our arrival our Dad asked us how we made out and of course we said FINE. He went on to explain that our older brother Howard, after we left, decided that he needed the car. He went on to explain that after walking to the corner where the car was to have been parked, it was nowhere in sight???
We avoided harsh punishment, I believe in part, because at the age of 11 and 12, Dad sensibly decided harsh punishment was not indicated!!!
Stan McCormack. 2015 08 28. NOTE: I “believe”, got that, “believe” this is the car. Man in the pic, on your left, in black, is my Dad.