For many kids, riding the bus was an integral part of the school experience. I lived within easy walking distance of my Grade School, but was bussed to both Junior High (we didn’t have “Middle Schools” in the ‘70s) and High School.
There is a whole mindset and culture that exists for those who are subjected to riding school busses. This discussion will undoubtedly span a couple of entries, so for today, I will address the different personalities and the roles they played on the buses.
Stoners: Yeah, you know who you were. There was only one place for you - the back of the bus. Since most bus drivers tried be cool and played the local rock and roll stations you, were in your element. You’d get on the bus with that “certain sweet smell” emanating from you and would head straight to the last rows – passing by the rest of us with your unwavering glassy-eyed gazes and plop down. Your ride was filled a few customs. You’d take out your pipe and admire it, to the horror of us who caught a glimpse of it. You’d let out a few expletives here and there to scare us all, and you’d talk in low hushed tones among yourselves, only to shoot some sly looks and laugh under your breath with each other.
Geeks. Just like you would think – glasses; pocket protectors; nice neat clothes; belongings on lap and held close; sit as close to the front as possible for safety. If a few of them were together, they might share about a latest chess conquest or exciting science experiment. If they were alone, they sat in complete fear and just prayed that they would get to their destination without getting beat up or made fun of.
Jocks: Sat together; wore their letterman jackets ALL the time; sat next to and flirted with any pretty girls; talked loudly about their latest game, the party last night, or how much they benched in the weight room. They passed the time by punching the nearest unsuspecting kid. Fortunately, during their respective seasons, they didn’t rid et he bus much.
Cheerleaders: Sat near the jocks; did their make-up all the way to and from school; dressed impeccably and were the object of every guys quick peeks.
Te Rest Of Us: We were band members; serious students; good kids; and a whole lot of other things. We just tried to get on the bus and ride without getting into any sort of a situation. We did our darndest to look cool, fit in, and just get by without making any mistakes or looking stupid.
We all had our own way of “existing” on the bus. More on this subject later.