Tuesday, May 30, 2017

School Bus Shopping


Living in a rural environment can mean long bus rides for the students in our school district.  When Secret Agent Farmer Man was growing up, it was no exception.  His family homestead was about 20 minutes from town, but on a school bus that could easily stretch out to an hour, with so many stops along the route.  

Thus, the kids on the bus had a system worked out with each other, and the bus driver.  As soon as the bus came off the highway, there sat a country store.  Yes, the kind with bologna by the pound, old men gossiping, and candy galore.  Those centers of rural communities that have, mostly, died away.  The country store, in this story, is pictured below.  Deteriorated with age and covered with trees, it was quite the place in its heyday.  



One kid on the bus would be the designated shopper.  My husband reports that all kids on the bus would take a turn at this.  The shopper would take orders, collect money, and wait for the driver to stop at the store.  


The driver would then leave said shopper at the store while he drove a 2-mile loop on the road pictured here.  He would drop off a family at their farm and drive back to the store.  


The shopper would get back on the bus and disperse all purchases and change.   



After hearing about this I don't know what disturbed me more, the fact that the driver let off an unsupervised kid, or that they sometimes bought cigarettes for the older kids on the bus.  Though, I suppose if any misbehavior went on, the parents heard about it before any of them arrived home.  


"A small town has as many eyes as a fly." 

Sonya Hartnett





28 comments:

  1. They hired high school students to drive the buses about 30 years ago, I haven't seen any driving recently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't imagine high school students driving the buses. What a crazy idea!

      Delete
  2. I love stories like this - times were simpler then. Beautiful pictures too - oh, to snoop around that little old place full of so many stories.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello, except for the cigarettes it is a nice story. I would think back then children were safe inside a local store. My son was on his school bus for about an hour, we live in a rural area too. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day!

    ReplyDelete
  4. My sister was a teacher too and she always knew what her kids were up to, much to the chagrin of her kids.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great story . . .
    (I wondered about that drop off school boy too!)
    And the photos, oh my . . . do they ever tell the story
    from the tuckrd away country store, to the 2 mike loop-t-loop . . .
    Hmmmm . . . really, cigarettes ??

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a fun story of your husbands bus rides! Our bus story here is our kids are the first on in the morning and off after school.. so we take them to school and the bus brings them home.. thus saving them an hour on the bus in the morning. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. My Dad drove a school bus and I did something like that all the time. I hated having to ride the whole route so he'd let me off at our country store shortly after he started the evening route. I'd hang out with Mr. & Mrs. Bartlett and have a coke or something and then he'd pick me back up on the way home. It was right on the way so no extra distance. Great memories for me.

    ReplyDelete
  8. While I feel bad about the cigarettes, leaving a kid in a country store back in the day was probably safe. I'm so glad that I was a kid in safer times and could walk or bike most places by myself at a very early age. It helped to create the very independent life I have lived.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It wouldn't happen these days but what a fun memory to have!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yeah that was rural life, much slower, much safer....

    ReplyDelete
  11. Loved seeing the bus route but if you were on the bus for ages, a treat from the store would help!

    ReplyDelete
  12. beautiful countryside. loved your story. we had an old country store in our town too.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This took me back many years to a long daily bus ride.
    Enjoyed your post today.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This life and level of safety lingered much longer in America's rural areas. You have documented it so beautifully.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, that is so funny! How times have changed! Loved the story!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh but....if mischief these days was only that innocent. These are such beautiful rural scenes. I bet that store was filled with many great things too :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Here, we don't even know some of our neighbors, sad !

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'd not heard this one before, but recalling some of the hijinks my friends and I engaged in, I'm not surprised. :) Love how you wove the story into the selection of photos!

    ReplyDelete
  19. It's amazing how times have changed! I had a lot more of that type of freedom than kids do today - it's a little sad. But what a wonderful memory!

    ReplyDelete
  20. It was a different time...you could never do anything like this now!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I enjoyed the nice visual!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hello Michelle!:) Thank you for stopping by this morning. I enjoyed your descriptive story, of your husbands bus ride to school,and the lovely rural scenes that are so well chosen. Oh yes, times were different then, safer, and simpler. I walked for 20 minuets through fields to my school, like other children of my age, and we played outside most of our free time, but that is going even further back in time.:=) Have a lovely day.:)

    ReplyDelete
  23. First Michelle, I really liked your Memorial Day tribute. Beautiful.
    Second...back in 'the days of yore'...I don't think it was too much of a 'worry' leaving someone unsupervised or cigarette purchases compared to things that happen today. Drugs, abductions, etc....yes, it can happen in rural communities too.

    I'd like to have seen that store back when....it's a great photo, and really says a whole lot of the area's history. I enjoyed this.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I loved this...I was just thinking this morn that I walked about a mile to school by myself when not much older than Lorelei but now I would not feel safe letting her walk that far by herself here or where she lives.

    ReplyDelete