Dad was a bus driver



Dad in his bus driver uniform. There was a jacket for cold weather.


Dad and Gordon tried farming to make a living when they first got married. They kept records and discovered that they got just a few cents an hour for their work so they gave it up. Gordon moved to town and drove a bus. Dad got a job at Allen Morrison Sign Company and we stayed in the country.


About 1945 dad went to work for the bus company and we had to move to town so that he could be ready to take an extra run at a moments notice. Dad liked his job as a bus driver and continued until he had a stroke about 1952 and had to give it up.


Now driving a bus might not sound like an exciting job. But every Saturday the Rivermont drivers would pick up hoards of RMWC students going down town to shop or to go to a movie. And there were the people that you would see every day on a regular run that would become like friends.


And there would be unusual happenings. Dad drove the Rivermont run second shift; from about 3 to 11. One night he saw a man lying on the sidewalk. Every passerby was assuming he was drunk and ignoring him. But dad stopped the bus to help the man. He was having a heart attack. Dad helped him into his house. The family wanted to give dad a reward but he refused. They ended up sending dad a dress shirt for Christmas.


Another time dad was driving along Main Street when a pool ball bounced from the table, rolled outside and into the street, and the bus tire caused it to bounce up and break a window. Dad had to go to court to help straighten that out.


And dad had to go to court and pay a fine when someone had almost missed the bus and accused dad of leaving him, calling him a bad name. Dad got off the bus and had a fight. For this he had to pay a fine.


When I became old enough to walk city streets alone safely it became my job to take a hot supper to dad each day. I would have to walk several blocks to the bus route and wait for dadís bus to arrive. I would then hand him his lunch box, a relief driver would get on, and dad would sit at the back of the bus and eat his hot supper that I had brought him. Then dad would take over and the relief driver would transfer to another bus to let another driver eat.


Mary Steppe Booth remembers staying at the Ocea Bailey home on Pierce St during the summer. She and Ruth would take a lunch to the bus line on 12th St for the driver to deliver to officer Bailey downtown.


Linda Moore

Special and Extra busses and drivers lined up in front of the car barn. Dad is at the far right of the picture. When a regular scheduled bus filled up an extra bus would be sent to carry the extra passengers.