The passing of an Era

can be marked by such a simple thing. Today I saw this fancy bus pull into the Heidelberg Shopping Center and realized from the sign on the front that it was the Route A bus.

In 1995, it was a Blue Bird that ran the routes. It was another of the same ilk that we rode, full battle pushing us forward on the seats, sliding off at potholes and around corners from Slav Brod to the Blue Factory in 1998.

Blue Birds were the school buses that I remember from childhood, and seeing them reincarnated out on military deployments was a shock. Many times they had a cheap paint job over the yellow and the stop sign arm had been unscrewed; rusted holes marking the side of the bus. Suspensions are best described as non-existent.

It became a right of passage and you always knew it was the right bus, that shuttle bus, because no other organization with any kind of compassion would have such hulking, uncomfortable transportation. Soldiers just endure, happy that the ride is free.

This bus was silver. Not yellow, white, blue or various rust speckled paint jobs I have seen over the years. It probably meets current safety specs including the presence of seat belts. Adults no longer jamming themselves into seats that best serve elementary school children and make sardines with the feeling of knees around your ears for anyone of late teens and up.

I took a picture, but then realized it is only a bus. One without history or charm to its comfort.


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2 Responses to The passing of an Era

  1. kv says:

    i feel the same way about the big old checker cabs in new york–i think there are finally none left.

  2. Kristin L says:

    Blue Factory. I heard lots of stories about that place 😉 I’m not sure they had busses at all yet when hubby was there in 96 though.

    Oh, and I want that entrelac sweater from Helsinki.

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