Monday, September 9, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- Bus Kids

I barely recognized many of the people I saw back home in Fort Assinboine on Saturday, but many of them recognized me. That's just one of the many things for which I am grateful.
People who rode a particular school bus driven by a particular gentleman decided to have a bus kids reunion. The fellow, Clyde Evernden, drove from 1951 to the 1965/66 school year.
That's a lot of former kids. As the main organizer noted some of those former kids are gone.
He drove me for Gr. 1 and 2. That's 48 and 49 years ago and my excuse for having to look at name tags and then ask the bearers of those tags for further details.

Bus Kids 031
Bus kids and others

Organizers opened up the reunion for other locals who wanted to drop in and visit. That was a grand thing to do and I am grateful for it.
I saw people I hadn't seen for decades. We ate. We talked. We laughed.
Someone organized horse and wagon rides for touring the hamlet. I went. I am glad.
A fellow I went to school with gave a fine commentary. He's on county council and the fire department and knows a great deal about the area. He's also the grandson of the above-noted bus driver. I hadn't known that until I asked him why he was there. In fairness I may have known once and forgotten, but that's as good as not knowing at all.
I spoke to the woman who taught me in Gr. 4 and a bit of Gr. 6. She told me I was sharp in those days and noted how I'd  come at things in a different way than others,  but I was right. It was good to hear and I am grateful for it.
It was a wonderful day and one of the finest reasons ever for a reunion.

Bus Kids 047
Fort Assiniboine
It's a three hour drive from here to there and the same again back. It was long day, but a good one and for it I am grateful.

ETA: By popular demand here are the names of some of the people in the photo.
Front going clockwise Dorothy Utas, ?, Bob Janssen, Jean (Utas) Janssen.
Second row from left: ?, Dorene (Stauffer) Williams, Louise Borg Patrick.
Third row from left: Gary Davidson(?), Hilda Storseth Froese, not sure but possible her mother Florence Storseth.
Fourth row from left: Orriel (Olson)Vobeyda, not sure but could be Ruby(Olson) Schmaus or Avis(Olson). Far right between Dorene and Louise may be either Bev (Evernden) Kluin or Shirley (Evernden) Ashby.
In the kitchen on the left is Laurie (Graham) Budney.
If anyone can supply missing names or can correct my mistakes please do so and there's no need to be gentle about it.


Crabby McSlacker said...

Love this! What a novel idea to bring folks together and that's so great that you ran into folks you remember from so long ago.

The teachers comment cracked me up because it's so YOU! Sharp and prone to coming at things in a different way. Lucky for us who enjoy your blog!

Leah J. Utas said...

Crabby, it was a very cool day. And thanks so much for shoring up the teacher's comment. It's good to read.

Virginia Lee said...

I'm with Crabby. That's a fantastic thing. I've often wished for a kindergarten reunion. Perhaps I shall get on that now, having read this.

Leah J. Utas said...

VL, a kindergarten reunion would be deeply cool.

messymimi said...

It's good to be able to stop and remember, and get together with old friends, and rekindle relationships. He had a fabulous idea.

Your teacher is right -- all one has to do is read your stories to know that.

Chris said...

What an interesting idea. I'm not a reunion guy, but this sounds like fun. And I'm always up for a road trip.

Leah J. Utas said...

It was, Chris. And road trips are great, too.

Red said...

Reunions with people you went to school with are always exciting. When I go home I still visit my school buddies.

Leah J. Utas said...

So true, Red. And good for you for keeping in touch.

the Bag Lady said...

Love this. And am pleased to see that the Fort looks much the same as ever! (Although some of those names you mentioned don't go with those "old" people pictured! LOL ... oh, gosh, I hope none of those cousins of ours read your blog! eep!)

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, Cousin. I know what you mean. I don't think you have much to worry about, cousin-reading-wise.

David Cranmer said...

What a unique idea for a reunion. First time I've heard of a bus reunion.

Leah J. Utas said...

First time for me, too, David. But it was a wonderful idea.

Hilary said...

Oh I love that you honoured the bus driver. He must have be very special. So nice for you to be able to attend and see everyone... including your astute teacher. And that's a lovely setting for a reunion.