which was run by Mr. Dennis Williams
and was highlighted by a series of after-school behind-the-wheel driving lessons
that in my case were chaperoned by Mr. Henry Landis,
per a California state requirement for getting an instruction permit to drive a car.
FYI: Vista High School has not offered Driver Education classes for at least the last several years.
I got a driver's license shortly after my 16th birthday. I failed my first behind-the-wheel driving test - I made a critical error in the course of making a left turn, if I recall correctly - but passed on a second attempt.
Car-wise my family had
(1) a Volkswagen Squareback and
(2) a Kombi-type Volkswagen Bus
in the late 1970s. Almost all of my teenage driving experience was with the Bus as the Squareback was my father's 'baby' and he was touchy about letting me or anyone else in the family drive it, although I wasn't too upset about that as the Bus handled beautifully and was a pleasure to drive.
Motorist to nonmotorist
I left home for college shortly before my 18th birthday, and for the next ~33 years (excepting the summer of 1981) I lived in large cities - Cambridge/Boston, Philadelphia, London, and New Orleans - in which I didn't do any driving at all. As a practical matter, it just wasn't necessary for me to drive in those cities, and being a nonmotorist was the easy thing to do - gas, traffic, parking, maintenance, insurance, registration, smog certification, who wants to deal with any of that? - if you don't have to drive, then don't.
Be that as it may, I renewed my driver's license every four years through the mail until 1994, at which point the California DMV sent me a letter that in part read:
It will be necessary for you to apply in person at any office of this Department for renewal of your driver license. A $12.00 fee and all necessary tests will be required.Doing this wasn't feasible as I was in England at the time, and my license expired.
Fast-forward to late 2013 and my return to Vista, a suburban-in-character city in which a walk from my home to the nearest grocery store takes a lot longer than it formerly did. (I was going to say that the mass transit here leaves a lot of room for improvement, but that's true pretty much everywhere, isn't it?) Still without a license, I relied for a while on my elderly father to drive me around but, as recounted in the Perambulatorily yours section of my "Sods and Odds" post, this came to an abrupt halt in March 2015. Now what?
Nonmotorist to driver's license 2.0
Well, I have finally gotten my act together and gotten a new driver's license. I had been a nonmotorist for so long that the California DMV no longer had my original driver's license number in its database and had me take both a written test and a behind-the-wheel test.
(w) I took/passed my written test at a temporary, now-closed DMV office in San Marcos on 29 December 2015. (It's too bad that the 1706 Descanso office wasn't kept open as it was the one closest to my home and was easy to get to via the 305 Bus.)
(btw) I took/passed my behind-the-wheel test at the DMV office in Oceanside on 4 November 2016; my nerves got rattled a couple of times during the test and I didn't do as well as I would have liked, but I did squeak through.
"What's with the time gaps?" I was afraid you would ask that. Inertia and procrastination on my part deserve a healthy share of the blame although the situation was exacerbated by the fact that the registration, smog certification, and insurance for my father's car all lapsed in 2015 - more details to come in the following entry.