Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Riding High

During the first couple of days this week I was feeling desultory, unable to motivate myself away from the comatose-like feeling I was under. (Okay I exaggerate, but not by much.) The first stirrings of wakefulness didn't come to me until I heard a ping on my phone late Tuesday morning and saw that there was an unscheduled early dismissal at the school district's high school. Encouraged by the fact that I could suddenly detect a heartbeat, I decided to volunteer to help out.

At that point, I hadn't driven a big bus in five years. I normally drive a mini-bus so I figured they'd send me out in one of those. Instead, our dispatcher (a very brave man) handed me the keys to a big bus and pointed me in the direction of the bus yard.

Walking toward the bus made me remember the last movie I saw, The Rider, the true-to-life story about a rodeo rider who suffers a traumatic head injury and strives to return to a way of life he can no longer have.

Standing at the foot of those steps getting ready to climb into that bus made me feel as scared as any rodeo rider, but once inside and behind the wheel, I remembered how much I loved being there. There is something about the inside of a school bus that is almost sacred. Even empty, I could hear the echoes of children's voices and of their laughter.

Even the windshield seemed panoramic compared to what I was used to. Finally, I turned the key and put that bus into gear and, although I can't say that driving it was as exciting as riding a bronco, still, there was a certain thrill just being high up in the driver's seat and feeling, once again, like one of the big boys.

My memoir, Dear Elvis, is available at

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