Beating the System

“One year license plates would be black with white lettering, and the next they’d be white with black lettering,” my dad told me as we sat drinking coffee at Silver Diner.

“One time, the state trooper came right to the house to take the tags off my car.  He could have taken the tags off my motorcycle, but they were expired, so he left them.  They were  ’63, but I painted ’64 right over it and it looked pretty good. I did such a good job, it fooled the police. They didn’t look too close though.”  He laughs, remembering.

“Daddy saw me painting the license plate and said, ‘I’m not gonna bail you out if you get caught!’

“The ticket you got, when it was the one where you knew you would lose your license, that was when you went right to DMV, say you misplaced your license, and they’d give you a duplicate. After you went to court and they took your original license, you had the duplicate. They didn’t have computers back then.

Sonny [one of Dad’s friends] lost his license in Virginia until he was 21, so he went to West Virginia and got one there and lost that. He was always racing and speeding.

My brother Frankie, he used to pull into the coffee shop all the cops used to go to [in Fairfax City] and he’d smoke his tires in the parking lot then race off.”


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