I’ve decided to give the post-retirement career as a school bus driver a shot and submitted my application to a local school system. I spent my primary and junior high school years riding a bus and have many pleasant memories of those times. Most of my bus drivers were old farmers that knew my father well and I reveled that they knew me via my Dad. I had one ole grump for a driver one year. However, upon reflection tempered with age, he was not really that bad.
In high school there were the “fan bus” rides to Friday night ball games. Those return trips took place under cover of darkness and if the stars fell into perfect alignment one might (in the seats towards the back) be able to steal a kiss on the cheek while holding hands. There were also the daily post final bell “activities bus” ride that returned me to Oxford after play practice and club meetings. These rides were an alternate experience because my passengers friends would change with the sports seasons and extra curricular activities scheduled
A prominent memory of that time was generated on the last day of class before Christmas break. Upon the disembarking at our homes, we all were bade to select a small white bag from a cardboard box that sat next to the driver’s seat. Contained therein was usually an orange, a hand full of mixed nuts still in the shell and a candy cane. A nifty little haul that I didn’t have to share with my brothers! My compatriots and I started counting down to that day starting the Monday after Thanksgiving break.
One of the things I miss the most since my retirement from DePauw University is interacting with young minds still processing all the newness of the world that surrounds them. I envy them in that they are still steeped in the realm of discovery and a cornucopia of options. Being around youth give me the energy to fight against the grinding weight of cynicism.
I look forward to my application coming to fruition and becoming one of those “old farmers that drive the school bus”. I passed most all of the online practice tests for the Class B CDL on the first try with minimal studying of the manual. So, all those years driving grain and scenery trucks did not go to waste. Obviously I need to delve deeper into the manual to learn how the inter-personal protocols have changed over the past 50+ years. The practical application aspect I hope to discover is that very little has changed in the hopes of children and they still look forward to a small white bag with simple treats inside…
TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS OF NOTE:
Greg Hedge – Greg is a peer Audio Engineer who has a sound company here in Greencastle. He was of great help to me during my days at Depauw.
Eric Wiley – I’ve know Eric since 7th grade. I was always envious of his skill at the game of golf when we were on Benton Central 7th and 8th grade golf teams. He was one of small number of my graduating class that remained home. He became a career industrial arts teacher and the golf coach at ole B.C. I have nothing but respect for his commitment to where we grew up.