Advantages of Living in a Small Town

From time to time someone asks what were the best parts of growing up in a small town. While there are several things that come to mind whenever I ponder that question, one story always replays in my mind.

While in high school, my Mom had bought a Yamaha Champ 50cc scooter. Because it was 50ccs, a motorcycle license was not required to operate the scooter on public streets.

My Dad had ridden a Harley 125 when he was in high school, and the scooter had got him to thinking. He decided he would like to get his motorcycle endorsement on his driver's license in case he ever decided to buy another motorcycle.

In our little Southwest Georgia town, the State Patrol came to the city court house once a month for driver's exams. Otherwise you drove 30 miles to the State Patrol post for exams. Dad elected to wait until the day the Troopers came to town. He rode the Champ to the court house and took the written test. Although the troopers had computerized testing a the State Patrol post, when they came out to the local court house, it was literally a written test - pencil and paper. Dad completed his written exam and gave it to the trooper. The trooper reviewed it and announced he had passed.

Dad then requested to take the riding portion of the exam. The Trooper asked if he had something to ride for the exam. Dad said he did and it was parked outside. So they walked out and he pointed to the Champ. The Trooper looked at the little scooter and said, "You want to take the motorcycle riding exam on that?" Dad said he did. The Trooper scratched his head a second and then said "OK. Here is how this is gonna work. If you can ride that thing to the corner and back without falling off, you pass." Dad rode to the corner, made a long slow U-turn, and rode back. The Trooper walked inside and completed his paperwork. Dad has had a motorcycle endorsement on his drivers license ever since.

This was a very different experience to the exam I was subjected to in Atlanta 30 years later. There are some advantages to living in a small town.

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