Tube City Almanac

April 06, 2005

Short, Yes, But Sweet ... ?

Category: default || By jt3y

No time for the kind of finely crafted drivel that Almanac readers have come to expect, except that we can't help notice that Benderson Development Co. is apparently confirming --- in a backhanded way --- that Eastland Mall has a date with the headache ball:

PennDOT is closing the driver's license center in North Versailles April 23.

The driver's license center is closing because the building in which it is housed, the Eastland Mall and Marketplace, is clearing out its tenants to make way for the demolition of the building. The demolition of the mall, owned by Benderson Development Co. Inc., was announced back in February.

The license center will close permanently, meaning people who would ordinarily have their photo taken in North Versailles should now visit the centers in Belle Vernon, Bridgeville, Penn Hills, East Liberty or Monroeville. (Post-Gazette)

The Almanac first speculated back in January and February that this was Eastland's destiny. (Big whoop for us.) I still hope, for the sake of the people in Green Valley and Crestas, that they nuke the bugs and rats before they start demolition. Otherwise, the vermin that pour of that place will be truly mind-blowing.

Back in my day we used to get our driver's license photos taken on Long Run Road in Our Fair City. I also took my written test for my learner's permit at the McKeesport YMCA, and my road test at the Troop A state police barracks in Greensburg.

I took the test at Troop A instead of Troop B Washington Boulevard because the word in the junior class at my alma mater was that people who took the test in Greensburg didn't have to parallel park.

Having failed to confirm rumors about the mechanics of sex, drugs, rock 'n roll, and a thousand other topics of interest to high schoolers, it should come as no surprise that this rumor was wrong, too. When the trooper asked me to parallel park, I nearly had an accident --- and not the motor-vehicle kind, either. Needless to say, I jumped the curb, which the trooper informed me was an "automatic flunk."

"You also forgot to put your turn signal on when you pulled away from the barracks, so I would have had to flunk you anyway," he informed me.

Bless his soul, my maternal grandfather then decided to teach me to parallel park, if it killed him, me, or the transmission in his Ford Escort. Every afternoon after school for the next month, he watched as I parallel-parked against every curb in McKeesport, Glassport, Versailles and Port Vue.

I sailed through the next driving test and to this day, can parallel park just about anything just about anywhere. And that, and a quarter, buys me what? Thirty minutes on a parking meter.

Of course, it also allows me to stand by and smirk confidently when I watch someone in a Honda Civic jump the curb while trying to get into a space where I could park an 18-wheeler, two Buick Electra 225s and the Kennywood trolley.

Was there a point to this reminiscence? Not that I recall, no.

Your Comments are Welcome!

My mom hired a driving instructor for me, who, of course, was a retired state cop. He happened to be friends with the cop who tested me. I had been told that you could back-up twice if necessary to get close to the curb; I was preparing my second attempt when the tester said, “Oh, that’s close enough.”

You could have fit another car between mine and the curb if you’d wanted to.
Jonathan Potts (URL) - April 06, 2005

I put the car within a foot the first time, and was about to try closer when my inspector told me “good enough, let’s go”. Of course, I went to Washington Boulevard.
Derrick (URL) - April 06, 2005

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