Sunday, April 4, 2010

Screwin' the Pooch

I'm not sure if that expression is related to Greyhound Bus Lines or not, but I did my share of riding Greyhound buses back in the late 70s. I'd hop a bus at Ft. Lewis, headed south through "Olympia, Centralia, Chehalis, and all points south." South usually took me through Tonopah and the Mojave desert before I got to Albuquerque. It took me about 30 hours of continuous riding. I think. Maybe that was when it was snowing. But you would smoke on the bus. Smoke, read, sleep, stare out the window at the scenery, take a leak, hit on chicks. Sometimes all of that at the same time. When the bus would get stuck in the mud, all the men would get off and push it out. If we had to ford a river or some such thing, why we'd all strip down to our skivvies, and tote that sumbitch across on our backs! Why, I recollect one time, just outside of Salt Lake City, we had a blow out on the left front tire. We all took turns running along side the bus, holding that axle up, listening for the driver's shouts of "Left! Turn left you bastards!" and "Right! Goddamn it your 'military right!' you hopeless dogs!" 'Course, we were a helluva lot tougher then. I ain't shittin' ya, neither!

Arriving in Albuquerque -- often with no notice to anyone, I'd call Vance from the Bus Depot downtown to come and get me. But, of course, that was assuming he was at home and not working somewhere or off with Virginia doin' whatever it was those crazy kids did then. See, kids, back in those days, we didn't carry our phones in our pockets. And even if we could have fit them in there, there was a cord attached that limited range. When I did reach him, though, we'd grab a six-pack of Olympia and cruise around in the heat, smokin' dope and suckin; down oat-sodas.


  1. Toledo Ohio to Portales N.M., (ENMU) and back, of course. 2 days, didn't need a passport then and hoped there were no delays, cuz my ride from Michigan was planning on my arriving at a certain time at the Ohio depot.

  2. Yeah, trying to connect with people in pre-cell phone days was hell.

    You went to ENMU?! In Portales?! New Mexico?! Although you do say Toledo TO Portales. Were you visiting someone there, or did you go to school there?

  3. Go Greyhounds, by Greyhound Bus.
    Need I say more? (OK . . . Peanut Festival)

    Work summers in Michigan, August back to school, December up to Michigan, January back to school, May back to Michigan for the summer.

    The most insane ride was after my final semester, (December), all the way to Boston, (via yankee-ville). One bus with a broken heater broke down in a blizzard, I think we ALL ended up sick.

  4. After I picked up Rick and we drove around for awhile, we decided to forge the Oregan Trail and navigate the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and then we became Lewis and Clark, a great bunch of guys.


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