A Bus, a Bottle, and a Boy

Back in the 1970s, the gas crunch called for creative measures. When I was in the first grade and my older sister was in the third grade, the county’s Board of Education decided to transport high schoolers and elementary schoolers on the same bus . . . at the same time.

The bus was heaving, mostly with rowdy teens, and the experience was quite terrifying for my sister and me. Fortunately, a high school-aged boy who lived down the road sensed our fear and took us under his wing. He’d save us seats and regale us with folksy tales, such as “The Lady Who Lived in a Bottle.” He was an excellent storyteller, and he sparked our imaginations.

I wonder why he went to such effort. He wasn’t a weird-o, nor was he an unpopular boy. Perhaps he did it because he was raised well and had a tender heart. Whatever his reason(s), my sister and I look back at his kindness with gratitude.

“Our Sunny Day Bus Ride” – artwork from the 1st grade