There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep. Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you haven't time to respond to a tug at your pants leg, your schedule is too crowded. Robert Brault

Whats driving a bus like? Seventy of your kids in the back seat going to town. Mr. Brandon

Friday, August 29, 2014

"Things To Live For"

We have all looked at ourselves in pictures from the past, took in the styles and said, "What were we thinking?"  Fashion changes and so does music.  It seems every generation thinks their music is the best. Some music comes in a flash and is gone and some hangs painfully on.  But some music bridges generations and is born anew.  A student called out, "Mr. Brandon, I think something is wrong with him."  I turn to find a young man, with his Bass Pro Shop hat turned backwards, laid back in the seat, furiously playing the air guitar.  One look at me and he threw up his hands and yelled out, "I live for Rock and Roll and ..................peaches."  One look at his little rollie pollie self and I realized he lives for more than Rock and Roll and peaches.  I think there's some mash potatoes and gravy in there also.  Hey, I've got no problem with that, everything is better with gravy, even Rock and Roll.  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Guess Who?"

If it is true that necessity is the mother of invention then profit must be the father. Even at the precious, innocent age of six and seven I had a group of boys scheming, well planning ways to make money. They discussed  and rejected a number of plans and then settled on one they felt showed some promise. Arrow heads, if they could just find enough Indian arrow heads they could sell them and make a lot of money.  Places that they might find such items were talked over and then one of them was hit by a tidal wave of genius. "No, no wait" he said. "Forget that I've got it." There was a short pause all attention was on him. The lack of money problem was forever solved. "A time machine, all we have to do is make a time machine and we'll be rich." "The only problem is I don't think I have all the parts we will need at my house." The momentary monkey wrench in the plan was removed when another spoke up and said, "But I do at my house." Plans are now being formulated. I'm not sure if I'm pulling for their success or not. I do know that these boys are a hand full in the present. If they start popping in and out of my past or my future I'm going to need a break.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"No Tolerance"

A young man wrote a note calling another young man on the bus a derogatory name and then handed it to  him.  There was the expected "What?" and then he started showing all the students around him what he had been given.  They were all in disbelief that someone could write in such a fashion.  The verbal flogging the writer received was vicious.  His little brother even showed his disapproval and told him what he did wrong.  I looked out of the corner of my eye to see the writer slowly sliding down out of site with a very distraught look on his face.  I don't think he will do this again and if he does, he will do it properly.  I mean in an educational setting if you are going to call someone an ugly name you had better spell it correctly or they will be all over you. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"Information for Future Use"

The young boys gave out several bits of information one morning that should be filed away for future use.  

1. Do not walk behind a horse.  He will kick you where you don't want to be kicked.  Especially in the peanuts. (Personally, I can't think of a place I would want to be kicked by a horse.  When one of them asked if they knew what he meant by peanuts.  One of them replied, "I'm not sure but I've always liked cashews.")

2. If you are going to throw a rock at a snake, it has to be a flat rock.

3. My route goes farther South than I thought.  While they looked at a compass that one of them had removed from his book bag.  I was informed, "Mr. Brandon, we just passed South."

So the next time you are headed to or past South, run into a snake and cannot find a flat rock you know what to do.  Throw him behind a horse to get kicked in the peanuts or cashews whatever you prefer.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

"A Boy From The Past"

He paused to take a look in the mirror before he went to sit down. Pulled out a comb and started working on a style of hair cut I had not seen on a young boy for a long time.  As he worked on it he said, "Mr. Brandon, you really need to train your hair if you wear a flat top." He continued to slowly comb with an upward motion. He put each hair in place in a way that would make a child of the fifties proud. I asked if he could continue his training in his seat. The next young man to get on set next to him and his hair was all spiked up in the middle.  They looked at each other and almost at the same time said, "Don't touch the hair." Then they compared hair styles and hair products.  One said, "Flat top and Brylcreem, smells good."  The other said, " Spike and Hair Gel, no smell." I'll let you guess which one lives with his Grandfather.

Monday, August 11, 2014


"Hey, Mr. Brandon I'm going to tie myself up." Was the cry that came from about two seats back.  It was a young man that has always been quite "mobile", let us say.  So it sounded like a good idea to me.  I had often thought of it myself but the school system is a little picky about tying up students on the bus.  Yes, political correctness run amuck.  He went to work with a long string that he had brought from home and seemed to be succesful.  Yet it was not long and he was moving about again.  I gave him that "What are you doing?" look.  "Well, sorry," he said "I did a Houdini on you."  Next time I may supply chains and locks and see how that works out.

Friday, August 8, 2014


A first grade girl, that usually got on the bus full of excitement, set down behind me and I heard a deep sigh.  There was a pause then in a small soft voice she said, "You know Mr. Brandon, my Papa died."  This is always difficult because you never know what their understanding is of the situation. I told her how sorry I was about what had happened.  "Mr. Brandon," she started "now that I don't have a Papa I'm going to need another one.  I've been thinking and I think it could be you."  How do you turn down an offer like that?  I had never been adopted before.  After that she would tell the kids at school that I was her Papa.  When they asked if I was, I always said yes. Later there was a change of schools and now several years have passed and it has been some time since I have seen her.  Then my bus route changed and I stopped to pick up a group of older students and who got on the bus?  A beautiful young lady, that I had known as a funny full of life little girl. I thought do I say something and take the chance of looking like a foolish old man, you know Papas are like that sometimes.  Oh well why not, and I said, "How has my granddaughter been?" She smiled and gave me a hug and said, "Just fine". As she got off the bus she said, "Goodbye Papa."  It felt as good as the first time she said it.  Family, it either makes you crazy or makes you smile there's not much middle ground.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

"Out of Context"

As anyone that has ever worked in a school setting can tell you, school employees do not exist outside the boundaries of the school.  When you meet one of your students in the grocery store or in a restaurant or Wal-Mart, the mother land for most of your students, they look at you with little puzzled faces wondering, trying to make the connection.  Well, as the start of school comes to a reality, bus drivers will make a trip around the route that they will be driving to check to see who has moved out, who has moved in, and who has rearranged their cars and basketball goals in the road to test your driving abilities.  As I was making my rounds in my truck I pulled into a drive where I turn around each morning of the school year.  There sitting on the porch was my best buddy Mr. Mucus drinking a coke.  I rolled down my window and yelled, "Hey, bring me a drink of that."  He looked for a few seconds than ran out to talk to me.  After an exchange of "How was your summer?" we came to the question that was really perplexing his young mind.  He started with a very surprised look and said, "Mr. Brandon, how did you know where I live?"  A short pause from me hoping that the answer would come to him, no luck.  "Could it be that I've been picking you up and driving you home from school each day for four years?"  The eyebrows went down and the look of deep thought came over him, he was not going to be tricked into giving a wrong answer.  Then slowly a grin appeared on his face and he said, "Oh!"  Another mystery solved.