School Bus Ride 50 Years Later

by Loraine Faschingbauer

This reunion of grade school years at a one-room schoolhouse was a beehive of chatter. It was like getting back on the grade school bus 50 years later. A few of the students were missing, but I could picture them in their seats.

Everybody brought picnic foods and refreshments. Two long tables for food and refreshments were set up.

Temperatures were in the high 80s under a bright sun.

Looking over the crowd, I wondered if I would know anybody. Years had gone by swiftly, and I was now completely grayed (never did want to color my hair) and a bit thicker around the middle.

Through the door came a couple I recognized. We decided to take our potlucks to the tables and see who else we knew. A name tag was placed on my blouse. Immediately I was swamped by “Hello, what you been doing these years? Where do you live now? Are you retired yet?” Now the old memories of the school classes and the bus rides were brought back to life.

I confess I hadn’t kept up with these folks once I left the area. My curiosity was enormous about how they’d aged, how they looked, and what they did for a living. The one remark, “I almost didn’t come, because I thought I wouldn’t know anybody,” said we all had the same feelings in coming today. Fifty years was a long time ago.

How delightful to remember back to those “first crushes.” Old beaus asked if I remembered things that were said and done that made a lasting impression.

Many songs were sung on that school bus ride to and from school. I was reminded of the music, and I sang out with no fear of the sound I made. My laughter and singing were contagious. Eventually every student followed my example. One of the crowd spoke up and said, “We can’t sing like we did back then. Our breathing is more serious now.” And, oh, those yearly school pictures we had to take home to show our parents. One man actually brought along some old pictures to pass around. We all looked so different. The men had filled out from being so skinny. Some were bald. The distinguished gray heads stood out. Hair coloring helped a few of the ladies, and I was not the only gray hair. Some of the girls had added pounds, and the chunky ones had slimmed down. Whatever our lot, aging had been kind.

About the author
Loraine Faschingbauer lives and writes in Bloomer, Wisconsin.