Driver's License Story

By Brenda S. Brown


Learning how to drive is a daunting task; sometimes filled with unanticipated responsibility.  When a Georgia State Trooper is a friend of your immediate family, the days of learning are sometimes overflowing with unexpected surprises. 
His name was Joe White, a high ranking Sergeant who was later promoted to Lieutenant, and someone who was subject to drop by our gas company business several times a week.  His uniform was always immaculate, and his dark hair was cut in a traditional flat-top.  He had a booming voice, and was considered to be as good looking as a swashbuckler. 
He rarely patrolled the highways in the surrounding counties; rather spent his time working with the Knights of Columbus and presenting educational programs during school chapels.  Once I obtained my learner's permit, he made sure to check on my progress; frequently asking quizzing questions that came directly from the driving literature.  I knew not to give flippant answers; Lieutenant White was serious about the business of safe driving.     
A few days before my sixteenth birthday he stopped by the office on the pretense of offering early congratulations on the upcoming celebration, and to issue one last series of questions; but when the verbal lesson concluded he requested that I drive him to neighboring Lumpkin.   Although at first I felt intimidated by his presence, it became clear that he want to be sure that I could successfully complete the driving examination.  The trip included passing vehicles, hand signals, and parallel parking in front of the Stewart County Courthouse. 
The day before my birthday he again stopped by the office but this time he entered the door with a big smile on his face, and after talking privately with my parents, he made a surprise presentation.  Lieutenant Joe White offered this startled teenage driver with her first permanent license; signed, sealed and delivered in person.   


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