Thursday, February 18, 2016

The 37 Bus

It’s a numbing thing driving a garbage truck

There’s a route. Designed to be the most efficient. There’s the routine, the house that always puts it’s can a little too far back. The other house where the neighbors park in the street blocking a can.

Jack used to drive by that can until the day he realized that an elderly lady lived there. Then he would stop the truck and wrestle the can into position. And on snowy days he’d drag the can back up the driveway for her.
Then home again, a new route in the morning, with different hassles.

But Tuesdays. He lived for Tuesdays.

On Tuesdays, on Jefferson Street a school bus stopped, the 37 bus, and She drove that bus.

Seven kids would clamber onto that bus taking a minute or so, and if he’d time it perfectly he would be stopped at Her red sign with the flashing lights while the children boarded.

He knew nothing about Her, probably couldn’t tell you why, perhaps it was Her carriage, or the familiarity.

Perhaps he just recognized a kindred soul.

The summer break came and went. Had ever a summer taken so long to end?

But in the fall, he was there on Jefferson Street.

And a stranger drove the 37 bus.

He pulled up to the next can. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Each mine had a steam engine, for pumping and operating the lifts. The steam whistles started being used to sound the schedule for the day. The morning whistle to start, the lunch whistle for break, then the final whistle of the day. The surrounding towns soon became accustomed to the schedule, as the whistles could be heard throughout the valley. With the different mines each having their own whistle, and each whistle having its own unique sound, as the individual notes from the mines rose in the air a chord would sound. 
This could be called the song of the valley. But occasionally. An unscripted note would break the melody. There’s been an accident, an explosion, or a collapse. come quick. And some wives would say “Thank God, it’s not his mine” While others would say, “Oh God, not him”