Tuesday, April 17, 2012

School Bus

Don't those headlights look like eyes?

Reviewing some posts in my draft files, I came across these shots from last year of an old school bus in a yard off of Ridge Road, otherwise known as the Dump Road.

Actually, the dump moved a long time ago to a new location off Route 14 and subsequently sought to upgrade its image with a new name: the Mathews Convenience Center.

But before goin' all fancy and convenient on us, the dump was located on Ridge Road, which connects Routes 14 and 198.

(Note to folks who live in civilization:  Unless we hire someone, we Mathews folk must haul all our trash to the dump.  It's quite the experience, let me tell you. Thank God my father and our neighbor take care of it for me. I don't own the Mandatory Mathews Pick-Up and would otherwise have to stuff all my garbage in the back of my Saturn, even though it might be argued successfully that my Saturn is barely discernible from a garbage truck on any given day.  The point is I could not haul bags of trash to the dump in it without making matters worse.)


I have some rather vivid--and pungent--memories of riding an unairconditioned bus down Ridge Road in sweltering heat and humidity, which was bad enough.

However, at the time (back in the 1970s), there happened to be a pig farm on this road.  And we had to drive past the pig farm. Every. Day. Including days so hot and full of humidity you weren't sure if you were in Mathews or Singapore.  Or the Congo.

If you've never been drippin' sweat trying to catch your breath when the humidity is 150%, and you happen to find yourself crammed into a poorly ventilated death trap school bus with lots of other sweaty, miserable kids, let me just add that the very last thing you want to be experiencing at such a time is the stench of pig manure.

(Just in case you ever wondered about that.)

Words fail to convey the magnitude of that smell, especially on a hot, humid day trapped on a bus filled with sweaty, rambunctious kids.

But back to this particular school bus.

As I said, these pictures were taken about a year or so ago.  The last time I drove down Ridge Road the bus was gone, much like the pig farm which has been converted to a perfectly pleasing lawn with nary a nasty lingering smell.

Except for the memories, which linger like a loiterer in my mind.

Do you have any unusual memories of a school bus?  Pig farm?  Amazon jungle level humidity? Singapore? The Congo?  Hauling trash to the dump?  How about Fisher Price toys (see below)?

Now that I think of it, we used to have a Fisher Price school bus with
 headlights which were eyes that went up and down when the wheels turned.
See?  I wasn't hallucinating about the bus having a face.
I was just pulling up an old memory-- one that didn't involve pig manure on a hot day.
Click here to see the Fisher Price bus..


Anonymous said...

I am wondering if the person who broke the bus window might have had similar demonic memories of steamy, malodorous, pig manure-invasive fumes of the bus misery rides ?
I have a memory of a traffic jam, creeping along Highway One on a 95 degree day--stuck near fields freshly ( ! )spread with chicken manure, my parents arguing in the front seat of our family car....but that was only one day, and CA does not have the monstrous humidity, so I must bow to you, as a survivor of a supreme childhood trauma.

deborah said...

Oh the stories I could tell about riding the school bus...warm weather was the worst, the air so thick and sticky on an overcrowded bus. I think the kids on our bus literally drove our bus driver crazy, I remember him jumping off the bus and chasing one of the boys. He didn't catch him, but it made for an interesting day!
Those were the days, weren't they?

Ann Marie said...

I always see faces on cars.. I am insane.

I dated a pig farmers son in the 2nd grade.. is that considered dating or just going together.. or is it two kids who have no idea what either of those mean but they like each other so they have to be something.

I have lost my mind ... if you find it tell it to wait for me.

Daryl Edelstein said...

you took a bus to school? wow .. we walked .. many long blocks in all kinds of weather ... sort of like Abraham Lincoln .. tho we didnt use chalks/slates otherwise it was the same .. practically ...

Windsmurf said...

I have many memories of malodorous school bus rides. We were almost the last ones to get on the bus because we only lived about 4 miles from town so I usually got the seat over the tire with the hole in the floor, I was usually damp by the time we got to the school.

I did however get stuck in a traffic jam on the way to Ocean City MD in early August (100 degrees and 100% humidity)right behind a pig transport truck in Smyrna Delaware. Double decker, 50 foot long, full of very unhappy, very big, very smelly pigs. For well over an hour - everything was uphill after that start to our vacation.

Rodney said...

yep a had a pull along school bus too however never had the opportunity to ride a bus to school my Mom took us and sheltered us from the evils of a yellow school bus ride, we always wondered why were were not allowed to ride the bus......

Anonymous said...

LOL I'm such a city dweller (well.... suburbanite, anyway). I have no idea what a pig farm smells like. I remember reading books when I was little about pioneer families hunkering down for the winter. They would have 6 people, two dogs and the sow in a 2-room cabin for four months, with snow up to the roof (so no windows to crack). I used to wonder how they stood all that with the dogs, never considered the sow...

My school bus memories are mostly non eventful. When I was really young our bus apparently was caught in a crossfire and someone shot at the bus. I remembered being told to duck under the seat but had no clue anything scary was happening until we got to the school and some of the parents were there. I guess I thought ducking under the seat was just a game to play on the bus or something like that, ha ha. Makes you wonder what other events you glide past in life, clueless as to what is happening all around you. --Betsy

Anonymous said...

Oh by the way I found Ann Marie's mind. It was in DC. It claims it wanted to see the Discovery fly over today but I suspect it was really just here to check out the guys. I put it on a bus and sent it home. Not a school bus, though. --Betsy

Meg McCormick said...

Heh, growing up on the farm, we made our OWN dump... my dad just took a loader and cleared a space, and we would load stuff in the pick-up and drive it up to the ridge and chuck it into the hole. That was for non-burnable trash; the rest of it, we burned in our very own little cinder block incinerator (most people use a "burn barrel" but we built a bigger version).

Now, in the suburbs, we pay for trash removal, and the non-trashable stuff we take to what we euphemistically refer to as the "Waste Transfer Station." Which is a dump, except that you chuck your stuff into a train car and they haul it out to West Virginia.

And I could write an entire BOOK about riding the school bus - my driver's name was Nila but she looked like Witchie-Poo. We tortured her and she tortured us right back. And there was no happier day than the day I got my driver's license and could drive myself to school instead of boarding Bus #3.