Riding The Bus

Wilbur Huff on his last day of driving school bus in Lone Tree. Photo from The Gazette of Cedar Rapids.

An article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette and also in the Iowa City Press Citizen got my attention today.

It was about Wilbur Huff and his last day of driving bus for Lone Tree schools. He’s been driving the big yellow taxi for 50 years. Now, it is time to retire.

I rode the bus for most of my trips to school growing up in Jesup. We would look out our farmhouse window and see the bus making the turn down our road, knowing we had to start making the sprint to the driveway or road to get picked up. If you didn’t make the bus, it was a long walk to town. Thank goodness that didn’t happen very often, because if Dad had to drive us in to town, it wasn’t a fun drive.

My first driver I recall was Phip Stoddard on Bus 11. We also rode with Dorothy who took over for Phip and would back into the ditch on occasion, Mrs. Dempsey, Tom Versluis and I’m probably missing someone else in my 12 years of riding the bus.

It was fun, sometimes long. Early on, we were some of the last kids picked up, then with Tom, we were nearly first, so that 7a bus time was tough, but it was fun. I got to know my neighbor kids who I didn’t know where they lived. It was always a big deal to be old enough to sit over the wheel, or if older,  sit in the very back seat.

One of my favorite stories was when my dad would imitate the sound of a bus to get us all panicked. It worked for a while.

I also got to ride the bus to sporting, speech, band, choir and field trips. To this day, I find something romantic about riding the bus. The sounds, lights and togetherness that it brings.

Or were your memories more like this from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

What are your bus memories?


3 thoughts on “Riding The Bus

  1. Ahh…..I share the same memories 🙂
    Dad imitating the bus sound, still brings a memory to my face….he could get us riled up! Phip would take us out for pizza and a movie if you made the honor roll. Those were fun times, too!

  2. I apparently entertained Clarence Weber a whole bunch by jumping over the porch with bare feet – shoes, breakfast and school bag in hand. Of course those were the days AFTER I would purposely miss the bus so I could ride with you to school. 🙂 Those years when you had gone off to college but I wasn’t old enough to drive to school were painful!

  3. The bus ride to and from school was always interesting. Susie Schares (now Sue Foster) and I were the only kindergartners on Marshall Zuck’s bus route in 1959-60. During the winter we got to sit up front by Marshall on the heater box. Can’t imagine that happening today. Tommy Versluis , Harold Seaman, and Vernon Sommerfelt were the drivers that I remember. The route changed every year. Sometimes going east towards Independence, or southeast to near Brandon, or south west towards LaPorte City. It was usually only about a 20 minute bus ride, no matter which route. (got home in time to watch Dr. Max)
    EVERYONE rode the bus, even the high school kids…..very few kids had their own cars to drive.
    At Christmas time, the oldest girls on the route would collect 25 cents from everyone for the bus driver’s Christmas present.

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