ARLINGTON, TX --It may be unsettling to know that the DMV would allow a 102-year-old woman with a walker to renew her license.
As Helen Maddox walked out of the DMV doors, she proudly announced with a grin on her face, "I got my papers for two more years,"
WFAA reports that she was afraid she might flunk the test to keep her permit. Her eyesight is good, but she's having some trouble with her hearing these days.
"Passed with flying colors," she said. "You can't get better than that, can you?"
Actually you can. Just take a ride with her.
According to Maddox, her father purchased the first Dodge sold outside of Detroit.
Reminiscing in her home in Arlington, Maddox says, "My dad got the car, and we all got in. We had a great time,"
She was born July 28, 1914, the day World War I started.
She fondly recalls the first car she ever drove. "Yes. The Buick," she said, recalling how she took the car without her parents permission.
"About 1930. I had the car," Maddox explains. "I said to the girls, 'Let's go for a ride over to Ann Arbor. That's where the boys are.'"
A couple of years later, Helen and her sister split the cost of a Chevy. "In 1937, we drove to Key West, Florida. You know the story about that one," she laughed. "There was Hemingway."
Unbeknownst to her at the time, she had run into one of the most famous American novelist of all time, Ernest Hemingway. She says there was just a guy in a pub with an offer for a boat ride. She didn't take him up on the offer.
Her life would continue to be interesting. A 50-year marriage to her husband, John, and long relationship with politics.
Covered with political photos, autographs and keepsakes, her wallpaper is barely visible.
"With best wishes from Dwight Eisenhower," she reads.
And why a signed photo from Ike? "Just because I'm a good person."
And a very good Republican.
She proudly displays pictures of a private tea party with Nancy Reagan, meeting Charlton Heston. Also a full-page letter from former President George W. Bush. She says, "We trade birthday cards back and forth".
To her, these memories are all something to be proud of, but getting her new driver's license is just as worthy of pride for her.
"I just want to be able to have my driver's license. I don't want to give it up," she said. "I guess it's because I feel like I'm losing myself if I don't have a driver's license."
Although she almost never drives and never very far.