Calvin Coolidge was president and Babe Ruth was having the best season of his career when Edythe Kirchmaier took her first driving test. Last week, she passed her most recent road test at the age of 105.
The California great-grandmother, who has never had so much as a parking ticket, said the test was a snap — and she never even thought about turning in her card and leaving the driving to someone else.
“I just couldn’t imagine myself without a car,” Kirchmaier told FoxNews.com. “It just didn’t feel very good.”
The Santa Barbara resident started out driving on the streets of Chicago in a Model A Ford Coupe back in 1927 while attending graduate school. That was long before the days of traffic jams and $4-per-gallon gas, and Kirchmaier said plenty of other things have changed, too.
“When I learned to drive, there were no rules of the road,” said Kirchmaier. “The roads were narrow and there were no signs saying 55 mph or anything like that.”
Through it all, Kirchmaier, who now drives a 1997 Dodge Caravan, has maintained a perfect driving record for 85 years — with no accidents, speeding tickets or parking violations to report.
“I think I’m a pretty good driver,” said Kirchmaier. “I feel safe about getting my driver’s license renewed because I’ve never had an accident.”
Kirchmaier took her latest DMV driver’s test on Jan. 23, the day after she turned 105. It’ll be good until 2017.
Born in 1908 in Dayton, Ohio, Kirchmaier moved to the Santa Barbara area with her husband after the couple were married. She has worked as a volunteer for a local non-profit, Direct Relief International, for the past 40 years. The organization has a Facebook app dedicated to Kirchmaier, which allows visitors to light a candle on her virtual birthday cake. Her goal is to get 105,000 likes for the agency “For nearly 40 years, Edythe has been a volunteer at Direct Relief International, supporting the nonprofit’s mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by disaster, poverty and civil unrest. Edythe’s invaluable service spans across many of Direct Relief’s historic disaster relief efforts, including Haiti, the Japan earthquake and most recently Hurricane Sandy,” states the site, which has nearly 70,000 likes.
Kirchmaier is also one of the older drivers on the information superhighway: Kirchmaier, who has an active Facebook profile of her own, is reportedly the oldest member on the social media site.