Thursday, June 28, 2007

Catholic School Adventures #2 - " The Bus Accident of 1963"



When I first started attending Bishop Gibbons, we rode on a big bus with all of the students in Rotterdam, who attended BG and Notre Dame. Then the boys and girls were in separate schools. For a crowded school bus it was relatively calm.

Like everything else when you're a kid there's a pecking order to things. The back of the bus was Seniors, then juniors etc.. Nick and I sat in the middle.

One morning, early in the school year, while we were stopped at a light the bus was rear ended by a small delivery van. We used to call them panel trucks. The bus driver pulled over and set the emergency flashers flashing. He got in the aisle and asked if we were all right? No one said they weren't but he walked up and down the aisle and looked at us to make sure.

He turned to us and said," Guys this is serious, so be on your best behavior." He smiled when a bunch of kids said,"Yes, Sir."

He exited the bus to talk to the guy that hit us and as soon as he did kids started falling out of their seats pretending injury.

Someone from the back told everyone that a Schenectady Police car had arrived and that the bus driver was talking to him. Shortly the two of them got on the bus. The Policeman went through the same " are you all right" thing. He told us, while standing at the back of the bus, that he was going to pass around a clip board and that he wanted our names for the police report. He handed the clip board to the Seniors in the back seat saying, "Put your John Hancock on this."

It took a while to get to the front, after which the two exited again. Almost as one the entire bus chuckled.

The Seniors kept us posted - "He's looking at it", "He's not laughing", " The bus driver looks pissed" and "Quiet down they're coming back!"
"O.K that was rather funny!" said the policeman. "Let's try it again."

Every single one of us had signed JOHN HANCOCK.

1 comment:

Nick Marino said...

Then there was Paul Maddelone, who claimed he hit his head and groin and was in "considerable pain", as he described it. He was taken off the bus and wisked away in a police car. He was out of school for about a week. During lunch hour, he was telling all with listening range that the results of his head injury were negative, but he would need an operation to correct the hernia caused by the collision....AND....his family was going to "ligitate for damages." After all these years, I ran into Paul at a clothing store and the results were the same as 40 years ago...there's nothing in his head!