I’ve never taken a school bus to school. From kindergarten through third grade I walked roughly a half mile to my now nonexistent parochial school, St. Catherine of Siena, through an urban environment somewhat resembling that portrayed in the 1979 movie The Warriors. Sometimes I passed drunks or drug users but, oddly, I rarely felt danger. Even as a kid I had a pretty good sense for such things.
After we moved to the house my mom lived in until her death a few years ago, from fourth grade through eighth grade I walked. My dad hacked out a path along the service easement in back of our house. My dad, ever the lawyer, didn’t want us walking on the sidewalk-less street and also didn’t want us to cut through our neighbors’ yards. Hence, the easement. That took me to a golf course. My dad had extracted permission from the club for us to cross the golf course on our way to school. After that it was past the local public grade school, Price School, along sidewalks to our local parochial school. Roughly, a mile in all. Sometimes a mile in the rain or frigid (for St. Louis) weather and a golf course covered with a foot of snow.
In freshman year I hitched a ride with one of my classmates whose dad’s office was right next door to our high school. I walked a mile to the end of our street, was picked up, and rode the eight miles to school. Sophomore year of high school I walked the mile down to the bus stop at the end of our street and took what was laughingly known as Bi-State Rapid Transit eight miles to my high school. If the weather was nice and I felt like it, I walked.
In junior year and thereafter I got a ride from the end of our street from my best high school buddy who’d received a car for his 16th birthday. It wasn’t particularly stylish—his family’s old Mercury Meteor. My, but he loved that car! And it got us to school without any problems.
But I’ve never ridden a school bus to school.