With more than 20 years of bus driving for Jefferson Transit, the job has provided enough material to write a book. Every day has a mix of comedy, tragedy, drama, suspense, horror.
For example: a delay at the park-and-ride because someone carried on a life-size, naked female mannequin, and someone else on board had a problem with it. With paper bags from Safeway, we fashioned her a decent travel outfit and got underway.
And once we put a Shetland pony on board because 12-year-old Maddie was uncomfortable riding her home in the dark, back to Jacob Miller Road.
Someday when I look back on this colorful career, the evening of Dec. 26, 2016 and the snowstorm on Mount Walker will stand out. That night, just before leaving on the 5:40 p.m. busy commuter run to Brinnon, the 2 p.m. Brinnon driver warned me of deteriorating road conditions on Mount Walker.
Dispatching that night was Paul, a 25-year veteran driver filling in for the regular dispatcher. He was already in contact with the Sheriff's Department and DOT, getting constant updates. As we started over the mountain, the weather quickly changed from bad to worse. It wasn't long before cars in the ditches and large tree debris brought traffic to a halt both ways.
It's easy to feel alone and isolated. But that night as other drivers were finishing their shift and signing off the radio, each one took a moment to pass along words of encouragement to a comrade stuck on Mount Walker. “Take it slow. You'll be home soon. Be safe.” Even Tom the mechanic stayed late.
I'm so fortunate to work with an exceptional group of professional drivers and mechanics who get so little recognition for the hallmark of quality they bring to their job every day.