About Me

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Hi, I'm Darryll and I live in Pullman, Washington with my wife and two kids. I'm a licensed Architect and am employed as a Project Manager at Washington State University. In addition, I have my own business doing residential designs in the greater Palouse area. I am a self-taught pianist, song-writer and singer and am involved in the music department at my local church.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

School Bus Days 3

Today, I’ll finish up this little discussion about riding the school bus – especially as I remember it when I grew up.

If you were lucky, you had a “cool” bus driver. I don’t know that I was that fortunate all of my school years, but in my last years in High School, “Jim” was our driver. He played KJR (our great local rock and roll station) nice and loud so we could rock out the latest tunes (remember – we didn’t have the option of our own music in our ears). He also drove aggressively. This is not to say he was reckless or dangerous, - he just punched it here and there, took corners kind of fast, you know – just made it a bit exciting for us kids. Of course he looked the part – long hair, cool sunglasses, smoked. Anyway – he was a great!

For the record – when I was in school, almost all the bus drivers were guys. There was one woman driver, and that was “weird” back then.

One thing that was always a big fear was if you missed the bus. My mom had a part time job by the now and so we didn’t really have a backup plan. If I missed the bus, I had to high-tail it to school. That was a mile and a half to Junior High, and three miles to High School. Skipping class wasn’t really an option, so I did my best to get there asap. Missing the bus after school wasn’t as big of a deal. I had to call mom from school to let her know I would be late – from, you know, a phone that was connected to the wall at the school – but I still had to walk home. It only took a few times of doing this in bad weather to help convince me to be a little more careful to make sure I caught the bus after school.

So – to wrap this all up – I know that plenty of kids still ride school buses. Probably the biggest differences today is that they can totally disconnect from their surroundings from the minute they get to the bus stop until they get to school using personal electronics… be it a phone, mp3 player, hand held game, PDA, etc. I would also hazard a guess that while there are still the many different cliques and social levels that kids either fall into or try to attain, the advent of video surveillance on the buses has probably reduced the fears that we had of the consequences of sitting by the “other” ones.

The public school buses are a great and safe thing for kids. They’re also a great memory that helped to define my childhood, and probably plenty of yours, too. What memories do you have about riding the bus? (And for those who youngin's who might think this is what our buses looked like - we're not that old!)


Hairball said...

I vividly remember riding the bus on the first day of Kindergarten. When we pulled up to one house on the route, there were two women and a little girl outside waiting for the bus. The little girl was sobbing her heart out. As she got on the bus, she cried out that she wanted to stay home with her mom and aunt because they were going to make homemade pickles.

Funny how you remember stuff like that!

roob said...

I never ever had a woman bus driver! I remember the bus drivers would start the bus going as soon as you got on the bus. They certainly did not wait until you were seated. I remember holding on for dear life. I also remember people smoking in the back of the bus and the bus driver smoking. Times have changed.