There was Red…everyone called him that. He was the first, then The Old Man, Grumpy, and Sexy. My only transportation was the Southern California Rapid Transit District, so I knew plenty of bus drivers. The years have erased most of the names I had for them. The Old Man was one of the few whose name I learned and we were friends for years. Grumpy was my least favorite, as he would never even speak to a passenger, just point to the sign that prohibited conversation with the driver when the bus was in motion.

But I ran into Grumpy everywhere. Continue reading


Then what?

I grew up in one of those small churches where two or three families pretty much ran everything and my family was one of those. Church was serious business. I was one of those “good kids” who didn’t sit in the back of the church and whisper and giggle.

By age twelve or so, I was really getting too old to sit with Mom and Dad every Sunday, so I often sat on the second pew from the front with my aunt, the church organist. When the sermon began, she would leave the organ and come sit with me. When the pastor finally got around to “in closing”, she’d go back to the organ and begin to play softly. Once in a while, she’d even increase the volume slightly if he didn’t wind it up promptly. Continue reading

Intro to BiSci

For someone who had intended to major in biology, it was strange to find myself taking Introduction to Biological Sciences. Reality had set in when too much chemistry and not enough preparation killed my teenage dreams of being a doctor. So here I was in a general education class with 80-some students who really did not like science.

One week our instructor announced he was willing to take the university van and order box lunches for whoever would like to take a field trip on Saturday. No extra credit, just the chance to learn something that probably would not be on any test. Continue reading

Ride With Me to the End of the Line

It was late June, 1969 and I had gone home to see a cousin who was visiting from the Midwest. He didn’t show up and I had to catch the last bus back to the dorm.

Somewhere around 9:00 pm, the bus stopped for me and I took my usual seat behind the driver. I was the only one on the bus and soon he struck up a conversation. It had been a slow night and he was glad for company, despite the “Do Not Talk to Driver” sign posted above his head.

He was short, potbellied, nearly bald, and old enough to be my grandfather, yet he had a daughter younger than I whom he had just taken fishing on his days off. We talked all the way to my dorm, an hour and a half ride, and a mile or so before we got there he asked me to ride to the end of the line with him. Unh… Continue reading