It is 6:45 a.m., and time for school bus No. 6 to begin its morning route. The driver is good-natured Bill McCann. His daughter Marcia and son Marvin get on with their father. The McCanns live 12 miles northeast of Osceola.
The next passenger is Linda Keller, whose bright personality also helps spark off the day. And, now on to pick up neat and quiet Rhonda Perry. Connie White enters next at 7 a.m. How many school mates are still sleeping?
Next, bus No. 6 picks up Myron Manley, who always livens up the place by slapping fellow students on the back or telling some tall tale of what he did the night before.
Going southward then to Ottawa, four happy Griffins — Jared, Cheryl, E’lyn and Sharrane — climb on board.
Soon, Raymond Carson gets on, too, talking loudly and funny, as usual. Then, Melanie and Melinda Fleming saunter toward the bus. They never seem disposed to hurry.
Soon, quiet Shari Smith steps on. A watch says 7:15 a.m. Rumbling along for a few more minutes, No. 6 gathers Judy Cason with her saxophone. It must be a lesson day.
Since the weather is good, Bill Holts, who always “saves a seat,” takes the short cut to Diane for her pal Judy Page.
Ottawa at last! Here, 11 Woodburn students climb on — Lyle, Phyllis and Eugene Rychnovsky, Jerry Showers, Carol Sue and Lloydene Ewoldsen, Merrilyn and Jay Butler, Jerry and John Woods, and last but never least mischievous, David Weaklend.
By now, the bus is pretty well filled, and the incessant laughter and talking sound like utter confusion.
Now, the driver heads the bus west to pick up Gene Page and his sister Judy. Of course, Judy finds the seat beside Diane. At the next stop, Bonita Diehl climbs on and slowly wanders her way through the bus.
Now, Mr. McCann turns south again to get tall and lanky John Peterson, who, with his arms full of books, climbs aboard, grinning. The time is now 7:40 a.m.
Then, southwest one mile they go to Chipp’s to pick up Ron and Merna. At the next stop nearer to the highway, bus No. 6 picks up two bouncing little boys — Garry and Larry Richards.
In a few more moments, quiet Joyce Drinkall steps in. A little later, it is Mary Lou Liggitt, as always, smiling.
Finally, No. 6 is humming along Highway 34. Going west, it stops for Bonnie and Phil Gibson. At the corner, Katy Horton joins the riders, and shortly, Marie and Mary Gardner are with them.
Students are jammed three in a seat and talk, talk, talk. There is no end to it.
At the next stop west, Jim and Jerry Smith squeeze in. Both are always ready with anything to say to anyone. The last stop is at the city limits where Patty and Kathy Kearney get on.
Now full of students, the bus heads toward East Elementary where five people get off and run into the building. Then, on it moves to West Ward where Mary and Patty leave it.
Then, off again it is to the junior high. Only a few continue toward the high school. Here, the rest of the load unloads.
Good old bus No. 6, which had covered 50 miles, is through now until evening.