Weird Ramblings from Marcia…

Okay…you know I’m a terrible blogger…and I’m trying to do better, right?  Well, I’m still terrible at it!  Even with all the great prompts everyone kindly offered when I asked!  Still, I was rereading something in my journal the other day…a goofy rambling that I never even finished…and thought I’d share it with you…just so you can have more evidence of what an idiot I am!  It’s TOTALLY random!  You’ll see what I mean!

  1. I was also thinking about School buses this past week.  I hate them, you know. They give me anxiety even now.  And, for posterity’s sake, I thought I should explain why…thought it’s completely psychological and silly.  School buses give me anxiety because they always did!  My first bad school bus memory is of an incident in 1st grade.  Though it really had nothing whatsoever to do with the school bus, I guess I just associate this bad memory with it.
    1. I’d been walking on a curb at school…you know, balancing on it like a gymnast would a balance beam.  I stumbled and twisted my ankle.  (Mom thinks I actually fractured it slightly, because my right ankle bone has always been enlarged ever since and I had so much pain for so long with it.)  Anyway, my ankle was really damaged!  I couldn’t walk on it at all!  I remember getting onto the bus (I think with some help), but when the bus driver let me off there at our house in Lago, I remember acting like everything was fine, even though I hopped off the bus instead of walking.  I waited for the bus to leave and then crawled on my hands and knees along the sidewalk, up the stairs and into the house, crying all the way.  When I got in to the house, I tried to call my mom (who was down at the barn milking or something), but these old ladies that we shared a party line with were on the phone and simply got mad at be for interrupting them!  I remember my ankle hurt so badly, and that I was mad at the school bus driver for not helping me and making sure I was okay.
    2. The next bad bus incident that I remember, happened my first day of school after we’d moved back to Albuquerque when I was seven.  This one wasn’t the bus driver’s fault either, and ironically, this particular bus driver grew to represent relief and safety to me.  It was my first day of school here in Albuquerque after we’d moved back from Idaho.  That, in itself, was horribly traumatizing…however, it was the field trip we took that day that freaked me out about busses.  Remember, I’d just moved from this tiny little farming community where just about everyone in class at school, was in my Sunday School and Primary classes at church.  Well, welcome to Los Ranchos Elementary in Albuquerque…way, way, way different!  My first day, the 2nd grade was taking to a field trip to who knows where.  I don’t remember the destination of the field trip, all I remember are three things:  The little redheaded girl named Carolee who befriended me, the bus driver letting us off at some park to have lunch, and most of all…the bus driver…who was affectionately known as Hairy Jerry!  Hairy Jerry was not only literally hairy (he had long black kinky-curly hair that hung over his shoulders and down his back), he was also a biker…the sleeveless denim jacket he wore said “Hell’s Angels.”  Hairy Jerry was enormous!  At least he seemed like he was…no…he really was!  He filled up the bus driver’s seat completely!  He had a loud, booming, raspy voice (and in later years I think he wore glasses).  Anyway, imagine this little seven year old girl who has just left the little town of Downey, Idaho… getting on the bus her first day of school to go on field trip to who knew where…and the first thing she sees is Hairy Jerry the bus driver!  Now, although I was entirely terrified of Hairy Jerry that day, I grew to know why all the kids favored him.  He was kind, always laughing and telling stories.  As I got older, I saw less and less of him, but whenever he drove the bus, everyone was happy.  Hairy Jerry was the first person I ever heard use the term “cherry” when referring to a car.  As I said, his voice was booming and raspy and echoed through the bus so that no matter who he was talking to, everyone in the bus could hear him.  He told all kinds of stories on the way to and from school while I was in elementary school, and was always in control of the passengers where discipline was concerned.  Looking back, I think his stories were his crowd control.  Nobody acted up when Hairy Jerry was driving…we all just listened to his biker stories and stuff.  After all, they were mesmerizing.  In middle school Bobbie and I walked to and from school, so I didn’t have any interaction with ol’ Hairy Jerry the Hell’s Angel bus driver.  However…
    3. …bus trauma story three begins here…and this is why I hate school busses the most.  In high school, riding the bus my freshman year was terrifying for many reasons.  One reason being the ol’ “bullies on the bus” scenario.  Although I was never bullied on the bus, I lived in constant fear of it.  I watched other kids being bullied…mostly by the mean “cholitas” who rode the bus.  (Side note…I remember one girl in particular…though I don’t remember her name.  She’d get on the bus every morning with her hair still in “sausage curls” from the curling iron.  She’d always wait until we were almost to school before she’d brush her hair out and hairspray it.  She’d cross herself every day as we’d pass the little Catholic shrine which I think was on San Isidro, and I remember her talking about the fact that she was giving up red lipstick for Lent.  Anyway, she was scary!  She never bothered me…but she really intimidated me!)  Anyway, potential bus bullies aside, we had a bus driver that year…a young guy…but he looked like a Hairy Jerry wanna be.  All the bus drivers I remember having in elementary school and high school were bikers…though I’m not sure how many rode with Hairy Jerry.  Anyway, this young bus driver started passing joints (you know…in the 80s that’s what we called Marijuana) around the bus on the way to school!  I mean, not only was he smoking it while driving a busload of kids to school, he was sharing it with the students!  I know…it sounds unbelievable…but it’s true!  Naturally, I eventually told my parents (though I remember waiting quite a long time to tell them because I knew I had to ride the bus to school and I didn’t want my mom to worry).  The next day, we had a new bus driver…good ol’ Hairy Jerry!  We didn’t have him for long, or consistently, but I remember feeling so safe and relieved getting on the bus to see good ol’ Hell’s Angel Hairy Jerry there!  I quit riding the bus after soon after that.  At first, Cindy Saavedra (who lived across the street to the right of Bobbie) took me once in a while.  But then I got my driver’s license and Mom walked to 4th Street and Pueblo Solano every morning to catch the city bus to work….just I could keep the car and wouldn’t have to ride the school bus any more.  It was a profound sacrifice for Mom…though she never seemed to think of it that way, and never uttered one negative word about it.
    4. So there you have just a few reasons why school busses give me anxiety!  Luanna (my sister) is the same way…though she loved Hairy Jerry, too!  It’s why my kids never rode the bus to school!  Fortunately, when they were in elementary school, we always lived close enough that we could walk to school on days with nice weather…yet I drove them most of the time.  I’ve always been thankful to be able to do that…
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10 Responses to Weird Ramblings from Marcia…

  1. Teresa says:

    Your funny! I agree though, all buss drivers did seem to be a little rough/biker side. When I was kid I had this buss driver that made me feel safe also. He was around 60, bald and always ready with a smile. He let us do the things the other buss drivers wouldn’t, like chew gum and stand up (while he was driving) to open the windows. You know the really important stuff. Lol. I’m also the same regarding my kids, I drive them to school. It’s the highlight of their week when they take a field-trip and get to ride the buss. It goes right up there with what kind of special lunch they get that day. You know how they special lunch and field trips go hand and hand? At least for me and my own that’s how it is. BTW- Loved the last e-book Take a Walk with me. It was like hot chocolate, left me cozy inside. Randomness form my side.. I own every book and e-book you have ever written. No Joke. Looking forward to 2011. Keep them coming!

  2. Karen says:

    The worst things I learned and witnessed in school were on the bus!! I remember a guy sticking a huge safety pin, at least 2 inches long, through the skin on the top of his hand and fastening it up. It wasn’t just through the surface skin either. It was deep and so nasty!
    It’s such a bad environment for kids, especially little kids. 60+ unsupervised kids!!! There should be a law agains that! We have had so much trouble with bullying on our bus, I’m going insane trying to figure out how to handle it. We live 20 minutes from the school, and with little ones still at home, it isn’t really in the cards for me to drive to school three times a day. I really wish I could though, just so my kids wouldn’t have to ride that dang bus!

  3. Becki says:

    I love the randomness of this! I don’t have a fear of school buses, but I can say that I have never loved them either. We never had biker drivers like Hairy Jerry though! Growing up it wasn’t “cool” to ride the bus so we rode/drove in what was known as the “Green Booger”. It wasn’t a pretty car, but it sure beat the big yellow bus! You were such a nice mom for driving the kids to school. My kids love just a mile away, but I am thankful the bus picks them up and takes them for the fact that I still have little ones sleeping early in the morning! Anyways, I enjoyed your post. Funny!!

  4. Sandy A. says:

    Thank you for driving me to school every day 🙂 I really do appreciate it!!

  5. Stacey says:

    Oh Marcia! I love this post! I HATED the bus!! I was bullied by a couple mean boys because of my red hair, freckles, turned up nose..anything they could think of! It would give me stomach aches just dreading getting on the bus! Then I finally learned how to hit em where it hurts…literally!! 😉 I got really sneaky about it too! Then I would just make sassy comments back( I am a red head!!) It was a dreaded thing that big yellow bus!! I am glad you had a nice hairy Jerry bus driver! 🙂 Luckily later, as Becki said, we had the “green booger” to save the day!!
    Love this post and love you!!

  6. Katie says:

    I, too, had to ride the bus. All the way through my senior year in HS! I can totally relate to your post–intimidating people, crazy drivers, etc. We had a lady driver in HS who was a big, tough biker chick and scared me to death! Anyway…that’s a big reason why we live where we live today–all 3 schools are within walking distance for my kids. 🙂

  7. Kachina says:

    Marcia! I love you sharing these sort of things! It makes the rest of us feel better about ourselves. “If a super fabulous lady, like Marcia, has super random thoughts, it must be normal that I have them as well.” 😀
    Well out of all the scary school bus stories you shared, what I got most out of this blog was that you have ties to Lego…I knew you had ties to Downey, Idaho so I have to ask…are you talking about Lego, Idaho? Next to Thatcher? If you are I may feel even more warmed by are connection because I went to school at Grace High School. <3

  8. Trina says:

    I have to smile at other’s memories of riding the bus. My dad drove me to school every day– as the bus driver. He didn’t put up with much horseplay, so there were a few kids who spent a lot of time riding in the stairwell. He always threatened one boy whose voice lacked volume control that he was going to stop the bus, take off his sock that he had wore for weeks, and stuff it down his throat. (Of course it was an idle threat but there were many times I wanted to melt into the seat when Dad’s temper was povoked.) My husband, who grew up in another part of the county, always says that he was slightly terrified of my dad because he seemed so onery. He was known to have the cleanest bus in the district though. He kept a push broom in the back of the bus and as soon as we were off the interstate there was a mad rush to sweep the isle and under the seats. The incentive? Usually a tootsie roll or dum dum sucker. Dad would also stop at this dinky little gas station just of the interstate once a week. He would let all the kids get off and buy themselves a treat.
    There were definite benefits to Dad being my bus driver. As an elementary student, I always went with him when he drove student body buses to athletic events. I never had to worry about leaving my backpack on the bus. It was parked in the yard. As a spacey teen-ager I often called to ask if he would bring whatever I had forgotten to the office after his second run in the morning. This included deodorant, my bra (I hated that thing), assignments, and lunch money. Because the middle and high school got out an hour before elem. I would stay after, go to the library, then catch the elem. bus home with him. Because the bus ride home was about 45 min. I could really get a lot of reading in. Still as soon as my older brother had his licence and a car, I rode with him as much as possible. I also prayed that by the time my brother graduated, I’d have my own car and could avoid the bus.

  9. Lisa J. says:

    I hated the bus too! It always was a source of anxiety to me. Sometimes I still have weird dreams about riding the bus to school, (or missing it – my dreaded fear!)- even though that was over a decade ago!

  10. Oris says:

    Marcia,
    I well remember your school bus days. The lunch I packed for you on your first day at school in Ranchos Elemantary has got to go down in history as ‘The Lunch of All Time.’
    Your Dad

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