OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As a retired air traffic controller, Jesse Dillon takes careful note of distance and speed when it comes to automobile traffic too.
“I drive carefully,” he says. “I plan.”
He turned 90 this year and credits his safety protocols to getting him this far in one piece.
“I guess I’m a cautious person to begin with,” he continues. “I’m not reckless.”
He bought his first car as a teenager for $25.00, a 1936 Dodge sedan, then took his father’s advice and joined the AAA car club.
Dillon says, “If it was good enough for my folks, it was good enough for me.”
His father was a fan of long road trips and so was Jesse, making meticulous plans, educating himself with AAA maps and tour books prior to every big drive.
Recalling, “I’d brief the family ahead of time as to where we were going and then hit the road.”
Among his many travels, a trip to Niagra Falls, a tour of Civil War battlefields, even driving through Dillon, S.C.
“Even when I added GPS to the car,” he says, “These books were still important.”
He’s sticking close to home this Thanksgiving, but old habits die hard.
This week saw him checking into AAA one more time for one of their free courtesy checks from manager Kevin Freeman and his crew.
“We check fluid levels. We’re going to check the tires, air pressure and tread.”
Kevin’s list is longer, but he concludes with, “Check belts and hoses. We want to make sure they’re going to be safe on their trip.”
Dillon is pretty well known around here.
Since joining AAA in 1948, he is now in possession of the state’s longest running membership which earned him richly deserved loyalty perks in the 100th year of the club’s existence in Oklahoma.
Company representative Leslie Gamble told us, “This year we gave Jesse a lifetime membership to AAA.”
Jesse Dillon is still the cautious type, which is why he still carries that card that buys him just enough peace of mind to go anywhere the road might take him.
For more information on AAA and their 100 years in Oklahoma, go to https://www.facebook.com/AAAOklahoma/.