How Gitta got her driver’s license


To listen to this post in French, click below

Gitta in 1943

The year was 1941, my father was a POW at Surgères, and Gitta decided that she would go and get him. The only problem was that she couldn’t drive. This was not going to stop her. She went to see the person in charge at the Town Hall and said she wanted to take her driving license. My father’s car was there, all she had to do was learn how to drive it. And so she did.
A week or so later, she took her driver’s license. I still remember her laughing voice telling us that story. The driving inspector (or whatever you called him) made her go downhill in Trouville and she told us how terrified she was, how she had forgotten where the brake was and started waving at the people around and shouting: “go away, go away!”, as the car was speeding down the hill.
Nevertheless, the driving inspector granted her her license. He knew she really needed it, she promised she would be extra careful and those were extraordinary circumstances, even for a driving inspector 😉

So she left a bundle of selling goods with the secretary of Deauville Town Hall, packed everything and everyone into the car, and off they left, Gitta, her mother-in-law Léa, her sister-in-law Fanny and her son Félix,
They got near Surgères safe and sound but Gitta never got around to driving again after that. I suppose she never even felt like it. But she was a pioneer among her family and friends. The first woman with a driver’s license even if she never used it.
Some 25 years later, I took and passed my driver’s license but never really drove until the death of my husband, Roland. I have been driving ever since, not because I like it, but out of necessity.

I was wondering why my recently born photoblog, which I just renamed Claude’s Daily Snap, (it seemed that One Photo a Day was such a popular name that my photoblog would be lost) was getting more visitors than usual. Well, I’m delighted to say that it has been mentioned in the Art and Culture section of Internet Weekly Report.


5 thoughts on “How Gitta got her driver’s license

  1. Gitta was a real brave lady.

    I remember way back in about 1953 when I got my first driver’s license
    My sister in law had just gotten hers and she told me all she had to
    do was start the car and a drive a block or two. My husband was teaching me how to drive and he had not yet gotten around to teaching me how to back up and use reverse or to paralell park
    I got up my courage, and based on SIL information, went and took the written test and then the driving test. And sure enough, all th examiner asked me to do was start the car, drive a few blocks and turn the car off.
    I got my license. And that was on a stick shift car which I never drove again
    We soon got automatic transmission.

  2. Hi Claude,
    I hope your get-away was wonderful. I had a wonderful time with the Grands and am happy to be back home now that Jack and Carole have returned from NY.
    First, kudos on the photoblog…quite an honor and one that will bring many lucky people to visit! It’s absolutely wonderful.

    Gitta’s adventures are all too familiar…I didn’t get my license until I was 40. Curious how it seems almost everybody has a yarn about getting, having or losing a driver’s license! It makes for a good read.

    I love it when you write about your family. In fact, it’s my favorite subject for anyone’s blog. It must be my age. The things I enjoy reading about are increasingly less philosophical. As the old saying goes, I no longer wonder how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Whatever is, is. And I find I learn much more about everything by reflecting on the ordinary “realness” of my life. I treasure your frienship.

  3. Congratulations on the photoblog. I will admitt all these stories about people getting drivers licences bothers me just a little, I still drive…..and, I assume, so do some of them…..

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