A Tale of a Drivin' Grandma

Leigh Starlin sent the following letter

I completely agree with you on the Blue Hair Rant and can provide a personal example that used to keep me awake at night worrying.

About five years ago, when my late grandmother was well into her 90s, she went to the Department of Public Safety to get her driver's license renewed. While she was still fairly intact mentally, she was almost completely deaf and her eyesight was quite poor. So poor, in fact, that she failed the eye test given to her by DPS. According to the story my grandmother told me, the counter agent told her that if she would promise to get a new eyeglass prescription, she would go ahead and give my grandmother her driver's license. She did not have to retake the eye test with the new prescription; they just went ahead and gave her the new license, with restrictions about driving at night and on the freeway. Unfortunately, at her advanced age, her vision problems weren't correctable with eyeglasses.

A fiercely independent woman who violently resisted assistance and intervention by family members and neighbors, she continued to drive for a couple of years after that. It was only after one day when she was driving and couldn't see where she was going AT ALL, and became frightened about finding her way home, that she quit driving. Thank God she never ran over a pedestrian or cyclist along the country roads near her house.

By the way, I found out when she was 97 years old (just last year) and well into senility that she was sleeping with a loaded revolver under her pillow for protection. When she wasn't looking, I snuck it away from her house. On my next visit to her town, she told me someone had stolen her pistol, and she wanted to go buy another one to replace it.

I'd like to see you match that gene pool. My dad told me one time (when he was mad at me) that I was just like her. I have a lot to look forward to!

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