My 87th birthday is coming up and my driver’s license was about to expire. When I got it five years ago, I figured that I would expire long before that license did but such was not the case. I have been having trouble with my eyes recently. I have one of those “ism” conditions that comes and goes every now and then. Well this time it wanted to stick around. The air conditioning seems to dry my eyes out a bit too and I have been reading and writing on my computer and watching old movies way too much. Anyhow I had some anxiety about taking that eye test for my new license. I went in to our DOT License Renewal office arriving at five minutes to ten and the computer in the outer lobby printed out a ticket so we’d be called in order, sort of. Then I waited to be called. It was twenty minutes before they called anybody and then just one and five minutes later another. And there were over twenty of us waiting to be called. It was not encouraging.
One hour and thirty five minutes in, my left eye started cloudin’ over. Between that crowd and an air conditioner which had been blowing on me, my eye had plumb dried out. It did. I tried every manner of blinking I know of and it stayed dry. I’d forgot and left my eye drops on the kitchen table so then I tried spittin’ on my finger and trying to work a little spit up into my eye. It didn’t work. Well, there was this here African American young man I had talked to some sittin’ there and we seemed to get along well and so I felt comfortable asking him. I explained my dry eye and I asked him plum out if he’d mind a spittin’ into my eye. He looked kind of funny and then he turned away from me and looked all around the room. About 80% of the folks were Afro-American too and I was the old white guy in the crowd. He smiled at me real friendly like but then he explained that this just wasn’t a good time in our community for him to be spittin’ in my eye and he hoped I would understand.
Just then this big ole white woman with a cane came a limping into the room and she took a ticket and looked around and I was about to stand up and give her my seat when she asked a fellow near her if it was possible to make an appointment. I had just read a card they had there and I spoke up and told her about the card and appointments and she picked one up and smiled and thanked me and left.
Well, that encounter had took my mind off my dry eye and darned if the eye hadn’t wetted up by itself and my number came up and I was called in. It wasn’t more than seven minutes or so and I had gone through the whole test and I had all the right answers and I sailed right through that eye test and sure enough, they gave me a temporary license and this lady promised me that I’d have my new license sent by mail and it would be good for five more years. So there it is. Just more proof that when you figure out a way to do something nice for somebody then sure enough you will soon be blessed back. You will. (Andy Griffith might have given the account of this true story in just this way. He joined Barney and the others in the next life four years ago – July 3, 2012.)