The bus is short and only has seating for eighteen passengers. It is white on top, black on the bottom with a12 inch wide green stripe along the side of the bus and the letters K A T S, boldly displayed on the green stripe. There are 3 steep stairs to climb, to get on the bus. The day I rode it was raining and cold. The windshield wipers ticked back and forth, clearing the wind- shield of rain. There were three passengers, all of them where white; two men, one woman. The older gentleman was casually dressed. I think he was in his 60’s (I’m guessing, because he was gray headed). He sat in the third seat on the drivers’ side of the bus. Right across the aisle from him was a man, in his mid- 30’s, dressed in an olive green army surplus jacket. The woman on the bus was sitting in the front seat, behind the driver. She was wearing a pink wind breaker and was carrying a matching pink umbrella. She was approximately 50 yrs old and very thin. Wrinkles marked the corner of her eyes .I think she had a brain injury of some kind. Her eyes didn’t seem to focus on anything and she had applied her lipstick in such a way that it had smeared to one side of her mouth.
Shortly into the ride, the bus driver stopped and picked up an older heavy set black woman. The driver asked the woman “is it not too wet out there for yah, Lois?’ she responded with a big smile and said “how you doin’ Bill?” They knew each other and were on a first name basis. I came to find out, the driver “Bill” knew just about every ones name. Lois was wearing a ‘Burger King’ uniform and cap, she appeared to be going to work. Around the corner we picked up ‘Dwayne’.
The people seemed to genuinely like the driver; he addressed the riders courteously and seemed to take a real interest. The bus isn’t going very fast, though it feels like it’s flying by the store fronts. That sensation must be because of the noise and the feeling like I should hang on to something. When the bus takes a left or a right, I notice the passengers all lean in the opposite direction of the turn.
Arriving at the shopping center ,where Food City, Burger King and several other stores are, the older white woman (in the matching pink jacket and umbrella) gets off and ‘Bill’ reminds her he’ll be back around “15 minutes after the hour”. The older white man departs; apparently he needs “a few things” from Food City as well. Lois gets off and turns to address Bill, before he closes the bus door, she asks if he will be by to pick her up at 4:15 tonight, says he will be and asks her to not forget “some onion rings”.
The rain seems to be letting up some. As the bus topped a hill, the man in the olive green jacket said he wanted to get off “at the next light”. I was then the only rider on the bus. I noticed the seats were clean and the...