Saturday, July 31, 2010

Remembering Bus 17

My family moved in the middle of the school year in 1976. Though we only moved a block, it moved us from one school district's busing to another.

And that meant a new bus. That bus was Bus 17.

When I first rode it, I think it was the oldest bus I'd ever seen and the oldest driver too.

The driver was a stereotypical bus driver. Though I can't remember his name, his stubborn streak was unforgettable.

If you were late to the stop, even if he saw you running to it, he'd keep going. More than a few of us can remember looking through the windows in the folding door up at him. He'd ignore us and keep accelerating.

Fortunately for those of us who lived at the far end of the city limits and the subdivision, we had the last laugh. Miss the bus at our house and all you had to do was run through the backyards and catch up with the bus at the Wachtels' house. Worked every time.

Then there was the "Bus 17 Bruiser." I don't remember her real name either, but her stubborn streak was unforgettable. She was ready to fight everyone, no matter how big.

There were plenty of stories.

We all had to laugh at the first graders that were sent home by the teacher with tape on their mouth and who obeyed her enough to wear it all the way home.

I have vague memories of people getting kicked off the bus for smoking (one person rolled up wisk broom pieces) and fighting (I was three seats back from a knife fight in fifth grade). I and my ears somehow escaped the ear-flicking thing and bic pen spit wad shooting.

Wish we had video cameras on cell phones back then. Then I might remember more of these things.

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