Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thriller Thursday - License to Thrill

Today's youth would be envious of 13-year-old Charles Fiock [FEE-ahk] who, in 1938, had a license to drive a 1933 Chevy. But he was permitted only to drive to and from school in Shasta Valley, California.

This restriction didn’t prevent him from frequently speeding across the Old Shasta River Bridge to provide a thrill for he and his passengers. Not only was the bridge narrow with a wooden floor raised in the center, but a curve in the road and a tree made for a blind approach. So blind, in fact, that on one occasion Fiock didn't see his own father on the bridge driving a load of hay. He couldn't stop the car until it became wedged between the bridge and the hay, where he found himself looking into his father's surprised face.

Today the road has been widened and paved with a gradual turn approaching the bridge, and the floor of the bridge is level. Despite these safety improvements, excessive speed has taken the life of at least one young thrill seeker.

Though a state license and proof of insurance is required today, that yearning for excitement has not changed.

Originally written by Nancy Bringhurst, May 24, 2006
Source: Shasta Valley Review, Issue # 4, page 17, compiled by Charles Fiock

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