Apr 12-07

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2007: April: Apr 12-07
Bus stop with a view    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Carl Kiilunen
School bus    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Carl Kiilunen

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 05:17 am:

Carl Kiilunen captured a Keweenaw School Bus in action, dropping off a youngster after a day of absorbing knowledge. I'm sure the bus drivers appreciate the snow-less roads of spring, after driving them twice a day for the slippery winter months. This is a job that often goes unnoticed, until of course something goes wrong with the bus run. Up until that time though, most folks just take for granted that the bus is going to be there day after day picking up our children (or grandchildren) and safely returning them at the end of the school day. Next time you get a chance, let your bus driver know how much he or she is appreciated with a thank you and a smile. Maybe a treat of homemade cookies now and then would be nice too!

By Smfwixom (Trollperson) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 05:20 am:

It certainly is a bus stop with a view! Don't have any of those around here.........

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 07:24 am:

After my grandfather retired from the mines due to health
problems, he became a school bus driver. He had to do some
heroic driving on those back roads outside of Ishpeming during
many a winter storm. Once at university, I met a "girl" who had had
Emil as her bus driver. The way she talked about him made me feel
like my grandpa was a hero.

By Rowdy (Roudymi) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 07:38 am:

School closed before noon. Our bus and the Bootjack bus were told to wait for the snowplow as the storm was REAL bad. Up on the Rice Lake road we got into white out conditions and the bus got skewed in the track the plow was making. A couple of us got out and gave the driver some directions to get straight on the road again. Then at the place we usually turn around, the motor quit. Enough blowing snow had got into the engine compartment to melt and short out the ignition. A cable was hooked to the bus from the plow and we were off again. The banks the plow was making were almost to the top of the windows of the bus. Remember the plow was PULLING us at the same time as he was opening the road! Back at the bottom of the Rice Lake hill all the kids from the Jacobsville bus had to get in the Bootjack bus for the rest of the ride home. A bit of a crowd for a while. We followed the plow the rest of the trip which wasn't nearly as exciting as what we'd just been through. As luck would have it the Superintendant was with us, out of concern that day. The road conditions were BAD. He and our driver had to WALK back to Lake Linden in the storm as there would have been no way for them to get home if they had continued on with us.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 08:20 am:

Now that's SISU!

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 08:32 am:

That's the making of a great memory for those kids. We were the second ones on the bus for an hour bus ride. I remember many a snowy winter morning when the bus driver had to put the chains on the tires to get us going again. We were, of course, always disappointed when he got us out of the jam. Just another day in the life of a bus driver. What would we have done without them???

By Dale Beitz (Dbeitz) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 09:24 am:

I was raised on a farm in Michigan's Thumb, and likewise experienced a bus ride of an hour or more every day. I remember one bus driver, a kindly older lady named Mrs. Ross. She was a good driver, but not very confident of her ability to see behind the bus. To this day there are some roads in the Thumb that are gravel, are quite narrow, and often are flanked by shallow ditches (those from the UP also know what I'm talking about). We had one family that lived down one of these roads, and the bus also turned around there. This involved pulling into the driveway so the kids could get on the bus, then backing onto the narrow gravel road. One wintry morning, Mrs. Ross was having trouble seeing where the back of the bus was due to blowing snow. As she backed onto the road she asked one of the older kids at the back of the bus to watch for her. He kept saying "back up! back up!", and backed her right into the ditch. (no, really, it wasn't me... honest!) We sat there for a couple of hours until a wrecker could come out and haul the bus out of the ditch, obviously making us late for school which was the student's goal in the first place. What she ever did to get saddled with kids like us is beyond me.

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 09:46 am:

Love that first picture particularly, and also love the bus stories!

By eugenia r. thompson (Ert) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 09:48 am:

Accolades to all bus drivers! As a teacher of many years, sometimes I would talk to them, and they would ask me how I did it. I would always tell them I had the easy part -- the kids were in front of me. They had the kids BEHIND them and then they had to DRIVE! They must have a special kind of bus driver SISU!

By Nate (Nalwine) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 09:52 am:

hey all, anyone know how much snow is on the ground in Wakefield/Presque Isle River area of the Porkies? Planning a kayak trip there and just curious.

By kay Moore (Mskatie) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 10:31 am:

I had considered becoming a local school bus driver at one time. But I'm afraid I would take only take so much guff from the smart alick s'(sp). and I'd smack one of them! :O And it would probably would be the the school board's president's kids. God bless the school bus drivers of our country.

By Charles In Esky (Charlesinesky) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 10:47 am:

I admire school bus drivers a lot. Theirs is a dangerous, scary
business. I knew a lady bus driver down in Lenawee County who
somehow ran over one of her kids at a bus stop one dark winter
morning. His death was awful for the family, of course, and you
can imagine how it affected the driver. I have thought since then
that our time changes each year should take the darkness of
early morning bus stops into consideration more than the
politicians seem to want to. Then when you consider everything
else those bus drivers have to consider, you really have to
admire the folks who take our kids to school and then back
home at the end of the day.

By JH (Thumbgardener) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 11:26 am:

Dale, I don't know what part of the thumb you grew up in, but I live in the thumb area on a gravel road. We have a lot of those narrow gravel roads in our area and I know the bus drivers have trouble sometimes getting up the hills when the back roads are slippery.
I grew up in the northern LP and we had a 45 minute ride to school. We had a lot of fun.

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 11:52 am:

When I was in school, when we went on band trips or other field trips, etc, we used to sing a song, "Here's to the Bus Driver"! Bus drivers are a great group of people. I can't imagine driving some of those new, even bigger buses with incredibly long wheel bases, full of kids. Some groups of kids are great, but others are less than wonderful. In fact, it is my understanding that part of the reason that the federal government does not mandate safety belts for all passengers is that the bus drivers are afraid that the students will use seat belts as a weapon (to hit other students near them with the hardware). That's not a good situation at all.

Anyone, to be able to drive a long bus, on less than great roads, in less than spectacular condition, sometimes in very low visibility, and in spite of all of the distractions of the various kids plus all of the noise, requires a very special person indeed! We should let our bus drivers know how much they are appresciated! Thanks, Mary, for bringing up the topic.

And, by the way, when I first saw the pictures, I somehow missed the fact that the top of them was not the sky, but rather the lake! Super scenery!

By Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 01:59 pm:


Just out of curiosity, do you remember who your bus driver was that day and the Superintendent too? I'm thinking either Mr. Short or Mr. Graham was the Superintendent. Could the driver have been Ahti Hiltunen or Oliver Rheault?

By Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 02:31 pm:

We had a bumpy ride on the bus since I grew up down a dirt road. Our problem was they always would grade the road early and we would have to jump over a huge dirt pile to get on the bus in good weather, in winter they had days that were "main roads only" so that made up for it.

By Paul Oesterle (Paulwebbtroll) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 02:35 pm:

True story! I attended a small rural school (class D) in mid Michigan. Our driver was a Mr. Williams. I can still see his eyes when he perused the bus occupants in his over head rear view mirror with his stern look. Generally that was all it took to bring his charges under control. He was also a constable in the small town our school was located in. One day after a particularaly loud outburst, he pulled to a stop, called the instigator to the front of the bus and produced a set of handcuffs. He proceeded to handcuff the individual to the post that separated the front seat from the drivers seat! He rode the rest of the trip to school in that position! That got everyones attention and I don't remember any problems after that from that individual. That was in the late 40's. Can you imagine the ruckus that would cause today? Jail time, lawsuits.

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 03:17 pm:

Three cheers for Mr. Williams! You're right, though...if that happened now there would be civil rights attorneys invovled. What a crazy mess it would be...and the instigator would still be an instigator and headed for his own jail time.

By Cotton (Cotton) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 03:26 pm:

I could never be a school bus driver. I wouldn't have the patience.They have so much responsibility on their shoulders. They're trying to concentrate on their driving & listening to those kids sitting behind them. Something like 48 kids seated in such tight quarters. OMG!!!! The noise alone has to give them a headache. Some (not all) of the kids are sassy, mean to the other students & then disrespectful to the driver. Maybe they can't have seatbelts but I think they should have cameras. Let some of those parents that think "their kid can't do any wrong" see how their kid behaves. Maybe it would curb some of the problems that occur on the buses. It takes a SPECIAL person to be a school bus driver. Hats off to them!!!!

By Uncle Chuck @ Little Betsy (Unclechuck) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 08:55 pm:


By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Sunday, September 13, 2009 - 06:24 pm:

Good pictures. I like the view + the lake in the background.

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