A 99-year-old Southern Tier woman is now back behind the wheel, after getting her license revoked this over the summer.
“Everything is fine, and I got my license, and I feel so happy,” Willie Wheelock laughed.
At the end of June, Wheelock said she was parked on the road, outside the grocery store. But before she could pull out into the street, she was hit from behind.
“It didn’t hurt me any, but it jarred me so bad that I thought I was going to faint or do something,” she said. “So I sat down and I guess that’s where they got the idea that I was not well.”
A few weeks later, Millie said she received a note in the mail, saying her license was revoked, due to poor health.
“I couldn’t believe that they would do it to me!” she said. “I did go to my doctor and she said I was in perfect health.”
The only way to get her license back was to take a driver’s test, which was something she hadn’t done since she was 17 years old. So, she went to Aadvance Driver Training, in Jamestown, for help.
“All of a sudden, this little old lady walks in my door, and I go, ‘ oh, this must be Sophia from the Golden Girls,'” Bob Triscari said, the owner of the driving school.
The oldest student Triscari ever had before Millie, was 91 years old. But he made it his goal to help her get that license back.
The two did about 10 lessons together. And they had a lot of fun. Triscari adds a lot of humor to his driving classes.
“She didn’t know how to parallel park, and she didn’t know how to 3-point turn, but she was great on the road,” he said.
“He was so good to me, and he’s such a good teacher,” Millie said.
Finally on November 14, it was time to take the big test.
“I didn’t know which way it was going to go… good (or) bad,” Triscari said. “And (then) I saw her hands go up and she went like this,” he said, putting celebratory fists in the air. “And I started crying. I was so happy for her, and the tester was real happy too. He said, ‘she’s a good driver. She’s a real good driver.'”
At 99, Millie Wheelock passed her road test.
“I couldn’t believe it, I just felt like I was looking in on a movie or something because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.”
And her advice for others? No matter your age, and no matter the road blocks, you can achieve so much if you put your heart, and a little gas, into it.
“If it’s in your mind, go ahead and do it,” Millie said. “Anything I feel like doing, I do. I don’t worry about my age at all because I just never have.”