About 10 years ago, I was asked to take a bus load of kids to Oakland to play basketball. Oakland is 14 miles west of Tekamah. It was a Jr High basketball game.
As the kids were loading, the coach said "Dean said you'd be able to handle the team and the 8th grade cheerleaders by yourself, the other coach will be there when you get there". Dean was the Superintendant and has been a friend of mine since he moved here in the early 70's. I thought that sounded okay. I never did have any discipline problems as a bus driver, and didn't expect any then.
I had to drive the fully loaded 48 passenger bus, west, into the setting sun. The highway was very narrow at that time. I had noticed a truck behind me all the way to Oakland. I was so carefully concentrating on not letting a tire slip off the edge of the pavement, and trying constantly to not be blinded by the sun, that I didn't really notice anything abnormal happening behind me in the bus, and the few times I looked in the big rear view mirror, things were fine.
I heard some comments from the boys like, "Do you think he saw it, Jill"? (Jill is not her real name) or "Jill, show him your pa". What the heck are they holding up back there. It must have something to do with the truck driver. But I've got about 48 Million Dollars worth of school kids on this bus, I thought, and musn't break my concentration. "Jill, show him your pa again". Several times over "Jill, show him your pa again".
Well I finally made it. The ball team was met by the coach, who escorted them into the building. The cheerleaders also went single file into the gym. I sat there a few minutes, reflecting over the battle I had just won with the sun as well as to let the diesel cool a bit. Then I thought I may as well watch these 7th and 8th grade boys play basketball. I went to the far end of the gym, away from the cheerleaders and the grandparents. Sat there thru 3 quarters. At the 3rd period break, the cheerleaders spread across the gym for the 'Two Bits, Four Bits, Six Bits... yell. Jill was in front of me and as she twirled and swung her cute little figure in a circle,, "All for Tekamah stand up and Holler". Her flippy little dress flipped up in back to reveal her shiny gold, cheerleader issue, undies, with the symbol of the Fighting Tigers embroidered on her rear. A Tigers PAW! Jill, show him your Paw!
It's truly amazing how just a little more information can make your mind race back over the events of the day. I had wondered, right up until that moment, why that truck driver didn't just pass us. I was only going 50. The cheerleaders rode home with their parents. Good idea.