The summer before I set off to Cleveland for college I received my first and only fake ID. It was a real Maryland driver’s license. It just wasn’t my drivers’ license. It belonged to a guy named George John Hipple. He was four years older than me which meant that in Ohio Mr. Hipple could legally purchase adult beverages. Back then an eighteen year old could at least purchase beer and wine in Maryland. I needed a fake ID before I headed north.
I acquired Mr. Hipple’s drivers license from a buddy who worked for CA at the Lake Kittamaqundi boat docks. In order to rent a boat a person needed to leave his or her drivers license until they returned with the boat. Many a young couple returned to the docks a little distracted after a day on the calm waters of the lake whose name means meeting place. They often forgot to ask for their license back. By late summer there was a good selection to pick from.
In this ancient time a Maryland drivers’ license did not carry a photo. George John Hipple was simply described as, white, 5’10”, 170 lbs, blue eyes. Close enough.
You still had to be careful though. Every once in awhile, a suspicious clerk might try and trip you up with a question like “when’s your birthday” while holding the illicit identification away from view. Over thirty years later I still remember the guy’s birthday. It’s the same day as that other George.
Happy Birthday Mr. Hipple, wherever you are.
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