Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bus Driver

Long before I decided to be a teacher, I was a school bus driver.  No, really.  I was in my junior year at Seattle Pacific College.  A parochial school about a mile up the hill needed a bus driver.  I got the job.  What did I know?

The logistics worked quite well, even though I probably had no idea what "logistics" were.  I lived in a men's dorm about two city blocks from Royal Brougham Pavilion, a new athletic/classroom facility on the corner of Nickerson and Third Avenue West.  The alleyway between this building and the ship canal led to access of a vacant area to the north of the pavilion which was large enough to accommodate a parked school bus, and the generous powers-that-be allowed me to lodge my vehicle there when it was not in use. 

My class schedule was such that I could walk the two blocks to my bus, run my route which extended to Lake City and ultimately East 135th Street, then back to drop the kiddos off at their school on Queen Anne Hill, back to my parking spot, walk to class.  Be back at the parochial school at 2:45.  Sweet.

Big deal.  Yes, it is a big deal.  As a third-year college student trying to make my way in academe, I needed the money.  And that was to become an interesting issue.

The vehicle itself was a 1933 White School Bus, which may seem to be quite ancient; yes, looking through the lens of time, more than sixty years past.  But at the time, it was only twenty years old. And had had twenty years of hard use.  In terms of longevity, the bus had seniority on its driver. Another potentially interesting issue.

Among the children on my route was the son of the trustee who hired me and held the purse-strings.  This youngster was on the cusp of adolescence and deep into Knowitall Pond.  Interesting issue.

I thought to tell the entire tale in a matter of three or four hundred words, and yet I note that, as I approach that marker, I have told nothing of the tale, have merely set the backdrop.  Perhaps we can get some actors on the stage another day.  Say, curtain time: next Wednesday.

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