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'Two outa three ain't bad'

• Oct 26, 2019 at 7:30 PM

I havn't heard anything about the old firehouse lately.

It has a special place in my mind as that is where I got my first drivers license. Back in the early 50s the Ohio drivers license office was a one-man operation upstairs in the firehouse. So when I turned 16 I was chomping at the bit to get my license just like so many other 16 year olds. After several days of my dad saying he didn't have time to take me to Norwalk, he gave me the keys to his 1950 Chevy pickup and told me to be careful and don't get caught driving without a license.

So away I go to Norwalk, on the way, I got to thinking that when I attended school on the hill in Clarksfield by Ohio 18, I would see lots of trucks go by all the time and it made me think I'd like to be a truck driver someday. Since I was over 6 feet tall, I thought maybe I could pass for 21, old enough to be a truck driver. So when I filled out the application I put a birthdate that showed me as 21. The officer didn't bat an eye.

He had me take the written test, I passed, then he locked the office and we went down, got in my dad’s Chevy pick-up and drove around Norwalk city streets for my road test. I passed that. Then back up in his office to get my temporary license which showed my age as 21. So as I started for home I thought "let’s try this out.” So I stopped in at Friendly Corners and had a sandwich and a beer. As I got near to Clarksfield I decided to try my new age at the Branding Iron, no problem again. Then down in the hollow ready to turn on Zenobia Road: "heck lets try the River Side Tavern" or as we used to call it, simply "Gordie's.”

As luck would have it, ole Al Gordy was tending bar at that time. He recognized me from when us school kids used to come down the hill and buy pop and chips and candy in the side door of the saloon. So he said "GID OUTA MY BAR KID" so as I left I thought "hey, two outa three ain't bad.”

Lawrence Cutting

New London

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