The dorm was new this year.
The building I lived in the previous year.
The building behind which the bus was parked.
Bus. Close, but not accurate. Couldn't
find a picture of a '33. This is a '37.
The early morning walk across the quad and across a very busy thoroughfare gave me time to awaken sufficiently to be ready to run the checklist before starting the bus. On board, contact! And we are off.
The students are in grades one through eight. I have only twenty-one passengers, and although the route is a 22-mile round-trip, I have only six stops. It has been arranged that neighborhood clusters meet at a pickup point.
I drive across the Fremont Bridge, drive through Fremont and make my first stop in Wallingford, picking up four kids. Out 45th NE to Roosevelt, right on Bothell Way. Stop. Five kids. North on 15th Avenue NE to 98th Street NE, turn right, stop, pick up three children. East and down the hill-- did I mention that Seattle is very hilly? Steep hill, too. Left on Bothell way to Lake City. Stop in LC, collect five children. Then on to the store which is operated by the trustee who is my employer, where I pick up his children, two. Over to Aurora where I pick up the last two passengers at 125th. Book it to North Queen Anne Hill and drop these urchins at their school door. Must arrive no sooner than 8:35 and no later than 8:42. Anyway, that was the theory.
Now, if all has gone according to plan, I have just time enough to drive the bus down the hill, make the mile back to campus, park the bus and run to class.
At 3:00 p.m., I must drop whatever I am doing, rush to the bus, get it up the hill, and be at the school door at 3:15, for the darlings are dismissed at 3:20. The evening route is identical to the morning drive, except we start at the school. First on in the morning, first off in the evening, and so on, thus every child rides the same distance, and all get to see the entire route every day. And the driver gets to see it twice.
"Hey, Mr. Driver!" Directly in my right ear. "Hey, I gotta pee, right now. There's a station." Said just as we pass the station at Northgate. She is the last stop, and the rain is coming down rather hard for a March afternoon. Aside: I have since learned through much experience that the female of the species always "gotta pee" just past the exit.
"Sweetheart," I croon, "it is only two minutes to your stop."
"You stop right now, or I'll pee on the floor."
I didn't. And she did. And she didn't get her panties wet, either.