Licence was a one-stop process

What did you have to do to obtain your drivers’ licence?

Back in the early 1970s, Derek says he drove the inspector 100 metres down the road to a milk bar and pulled in. The inspector ran in and bought some smokes, then told Derek to do a U-turn and take him back to the station. That was it.

“And there wasn’t another car on the road,” Derek says.

“My grandson has just got his licence. That was after sitting a test to get his L-plates, 120 hours of driving on L-plates, an office-based test, then a practical test with an inspector. And he failed the first because he forgot to release the handbrake. 

“It’s fair enough, of course, because there are so many more cars on the road, but it’s amazing how it has changed.”

Des had fun telling his grandson about television in the early 1960s.

“He couldn’t believe that you had to get up whenever you wanted to change the channel and turn a dial on the set.

“And he couldn’t believe that we only had black and white. No colour. And that we only had three channels, and that there were no shows after a certain time at night.

“I told him I wasn’t kidding, but I don’t think he believed me.”

Chris knew a bloke nicknamed Minerals.

“His teeth were full of gold, his hair was silver and he had lead in his backside.”

Peta was married to Peter and they were known as Peter and Repete.

And Soapy was a teacher in Rosebud in the 1950s and his sons were known as Persil and Rinso.

Barry is a punter and he can’t understand why Sydney grey flash Chautauqua has caused such a stir in the racing world.

He reckons they should create an extra betting book – will he jump from the stalls or not?

In case you don’t follow the horses, Chautauqua has won six group one races, but lately has refused to jump from the starting stalls. Racing officials say this isn’t fair to the punters who back him. As a result, he’s not allowed to run again until after 22 September and only then if he has kept the stewards happy in barrier trials.

Barry reckons his issue adds to the risk.

“Bookmakers could set odds on whether he jumps or not. If punters want to back him to win, then they take the risk that he mightn’t jump.

“Just think of the cheer that would go up if he jumped. It would be fantastic.

“Racing needs all the celebrities it can find and Chautauqua is a genuine celebrity.”

Is it worse being hot or being cold?

Lyn, who is nearly 80, says being cold is worse.

“I was on a train to Scotland many years ago and the heating broke down. There was ice on the inside of the windows in our carriage. It was unbearable.”

And a parting suggestion, give your teddy bear a hug today for National Teddy Bear Day.

This week we have a special offer. The member who sends Steve what he considers to be the best story, anecdote, memory or photo will receive a signed copy of his book In Black and White 2. And if you know someone with a milestone birthday or anniversary coming up, let him know. Email [email protected] with your offering and don’t forget to include a postal address.

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YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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