When I started out at Ahoskie Elementary School back in 1966 my mom would drop me off at school in the morning. As a first grader I didn’t have to stay the whole day so about lunch time I would walk the mile back home through what I thought were extremely nice neighborhoods. I think about how crazy that would seem today but I know my parents never thought a thing at all about letting a 6 year old walk home.
By the fifth grade we had moved back to Elizabeth City. We lived outside of the city limits which meant I would be attending Central Elementary, on the other side of the county. This meant one thing…. the second stop every morning for bus 10 would be at the end of my parents drive way.
Bus 10 was a very old bus, but it seemed to have so much character. the heater was located at the very front next to the driver so the entire bus would finally be warm about the time we pulled in at the school. Being one of the first on the bus meant I got pick where I sat… and, as you would expect, I sat all the way in the back.. where the coolest of all the cool people sat. Well, at least we thought we were pretty cool anyway…. It was interesting that while there weren’t assigned seats, everyone always seemed to sit in the same location with the same people…. kinda like going to church.
I don’t remember exactly when we switched from Bus 10 to Bus 32 but I think it was sometime when we were at PW Moore or Elizabeth City Jr. High. All I can tell you, is once we got to EC Jr. High, I started walking to school every day. The walk home was always better than the walk to school…. not why you would think… but because I usually stopped by this little place call The Country Kitchen to get a hamburger and a drink. I always felt so grown up getting food like that without my folks. And the hamburgers were pretty darn good too!
I never road the bus when I was in high school. I would catch a ride with my cousin Christa to school in the mornings. But once again, I would walk home after school. People thought I was crazy. It was over 3 miles to get home. The bus always carried a bunch of elementary school kids home first before it came back to the high school to pick up students. By the time it got back, I would already be as far as Nu-Quality Ice Cream (for those of you not familiar with EC.. you are truly missing something not knowing about Nu-Quality… but that’s another note..)
By my junior year I was driving to and from school every day. The days of choosing one form of transportation over another were done. But you know… there are still days that I miss bus 10… and bus 32… and walking to The Country Kitchen… and the long walks from Northeastern High… yeah, the bus rides and the long walks weren’t so bad at all…