Friday, January 18, 2013

This morning, I wrote on my Blackberry during each bus ride from home to work, despite smoke. Muskegon @PureMichigan Area Transit System



To: Wandering Wilbo
7:30 AM (9 hours ago)

I arrived at the appointed minute, 7:12 AM. It didn't arrive until 23, and I had wondered if it had hit my stop early. I have been waiting, leaning against a telephone post. The actual bus stop edges a driveway for a dollar store and a beauty school. Sign is a metal pole that would flex and bend with my weight. The post for the mailbox would not be a good lean either. A second driver is standing, probably taking the route to pick up his bus. Getty Wood is waiting.

Getty Wood

To: Wandering Wilbo
7:42 AM (9 hours ago)

Getty Wood's driver has called in a mechanical defect. A brake seems to be hanging, so it sounds as if a second bus needs to be found to replace this one. Our driver, a party of three, one having disboarded, is the regular driver on the night time Harvey, which goes as far south as the mall and the Muskegon County border with Ottawa County. Apparently another driiver is calling in mechanical difficulties. "It won't move". The dispatcher responds, "Got any passengers?" A bus driver is being asked. I can smell the weird smoke of mechanical failure. Hartford and Terrace is announced by the mechanical voice, and smoke billows in when the door is opened. It's the rear passenger brake, or is it a tire, and the driver advises the passenger to close the window. I can see the Hackley Library, so at least we could walk to the terminal for the Lakeshore Henry.

The driver I always call Reverend, and he hands out his card to invite people to church. The church picks people up in a van.

Ivory Terminal

To: Wandering Wilbo
7:54 AM (8 hours ago)

Peck Sandford is the second bus with mechanical problems. I have six minutes to write at terminal because all these buses leave on the fifty. The Peck-Sandford doesn't go into the evening, running parallel to the Getty-Wood and the Sixth. Thank goodness the Lakeshore! Henry! Is mechanically sound. I have a slight carbon monoxide feeling in my head. Wish the Peck Sandford stayed on route later. It would be the official bus of Marsh Field and my favorite Mexican Restaurant, Mi Parral. Hope I spelled that right. I have stepped onto the Lakeshore Harvey, and the bus driver has stepped off to wash her hands. The hand sanitizer dispenser was empty. She is new.
Mi Parral
Muskegon's Field of Dreams
Lakeshore Harvey

To: Wandering Wilbo
8:18 AM (8 hours ago)

This bus rolls south on Western until Western dog legs west. I can see that Leaving Iowa starts today, and while one can take a Lakeshore Harvey to it, starting at 7:30 PM, the last bus that allows one to connect to Harvey must be caught at 8:50 at the Ivory Terminal. I am pretty sure of that and I will check the schedule. The Lakeshore Henry goes close to the Hume House for the Elderly, and I know that isn't a formal name. It also goes by the Catholic High School and the Women's Shelter. It drives close to Lake Muskegon before entering Lakeside, commanding an exciting panorama of the long lake, and it looks ancient. It is the official bus of Lakeside. There's not been much demolition at Sappi, and I can see where a landing has been left standing, a landing where a man could fall four floors to his death now. At Latitudes Market, the bus makes a loop. It heads into Bluffton, and at the turn onto Waterworks, I can catch a glimpse of breakers on Lake Michigan. A man gets on at Waterworks and Edgewater, near the boats stored on pedestals at the Muskegon Yacht Club. It is a three minute loop that closes as we pass Latitudes Market again, this time near Hagar's Hideway and the Viking Club. No one gets of the bus for Cannon, the foundry in the dunes of Lincoln. Some days, we are treated to sigghtings of deer crossing the road into woods surrounding the Nugent Sand Pits. Plenty of cars still in the lot of My Bar. Nine people are on the bus now, one works at Burger King and boards wearing his uniform. I am not too far from my stop, so I have to concentrate on when to pull the cord. I have traveled for one hour to cover a five mile distance.

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