I used to ride Greyhound bus whenever and wherever I travelled. Way back, many years ago, I took my brood of five kids ages 3 to 13 from Los Angeles to Mendocino, and we had a blast. Probably a 15-hour ride, but it was great family time.

The ride was almost as great as our stay in my friend Laurel Moss’ tepee

where she was living while her house was being  built.

     I took Greyhound to a conference on welfare reform ( ha, ha) in 
Washington D.C.

     I went to a Black Journalist Convention in New Orleans, ridin “The Dog.”

     I was young back then.

     But even with age creeping up on me, I was still a loyal passenger taking the Greyhound to Atlanta GA – several times.

     My last rides took me to “The Springs” where one of my daughters lives. She didn’t like picking me up at the cute little station, there, and offered to buy me airline tickets for my visits.

     No, thanks!

     Okay, I took the train. However, the train didn’t go to the Springs and it only went as far as a place called Raton, New Mexico.

     But daughter was willing to pick me up there, even though it was a two-hour one-way drive from the Springs.

     Amtrak would have taken me to the Springs via one of their busses BUT it would deposit me at the Greyhound station Dear Daughter objected to being at.

     Ho, hum!

     I was invited to visit a relative of her’s who lives in the Gambling City and it was suggested I ride The Dog with this relative, as she had come to Los Angeles for a visit.

     You guessed it. The relative, my age, had a roundtrip via Greyhound. It had to have been a first time!

     If my late mother were to return to us by some magical “Restore the Dead” formula, and it was said she would greet us all if we came to Bakersfield by Greyhound (probably a short  four-hour ride),  I would have to miss this special event.

     I forgave the crappy bus company for, while on my convention trip, not equipping bus drivers with mobile devices so the guy who held the knife to a passenger’s neck for about three hours as we rumbled down a dark highway could have been apprehended.

     But now that I’m an eighty-year-old woman, I’m not about to forgive them for not letting passengers prop their swollen legs/feet up on a seat. I tried to do that on my last trip.

     Further more, I’m not about to forgive the passengers who ride The Dog who haven’t washed themselves for about a year.

     And I will never forgive the fat woman with the screeching baby who did not have it’s poop diaper changed from when they boarded in  Atlanta to when they disembarked in Los Angeles.

      My final reason for missing my mother’s possible return to earth is I will never go to the bus station at 7th and Alameda St. in Los Angeles and be forced to be witness to the stench, the poverty and the heart-wrenching view of destitute people  Unknown

in a city where the Walt Disney Concert Hall, fancy hotels and skyscrapers are just a few blocks away.

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Bill Allen, Jr.

    Shirlee,

    Another GREAT Blog! The disparity between “the Haves” and “the Have Not(s)” is becoming wider than the Pacific Ocean. We’re living in the land of “opposites.” But “the Powers That Be” don’t care. You would think that they would at least make sure that—- “The Dog’s ” “Dog House” (Bus Station at 7th and Alameda;and other locations) would be made presentable and appealing. Then, at least you wouldn’t have to worry about “The Dog” catching “fleas” before you would embark upon traveling. An “electronic collar” (read as your referral to a mobile device)—-would have definitely guarded against “human lice” endangering “The Dog’s” passengers;and “The Dog” itself. There is enough money in these U.S. of A. to build more shelters and/or affordable housing, so that unfortunate people whom are destitute/down on their luck (there but for the GRACE of GOD go I)—-would not have to “camp out” at bus stations. If we’re not careful, one day “The Dog” will have to “limp along” instead of “running” his passengers to their destinations. And then, the people will only be able to “dream” of the places that they wanted to go. All Aboard???
    —-Bill Allen, Jr.

  2. -Nate

    I too Ride The Hound , not for a few years but it’s a great and inexpen$ive way to travel and see America ~ I don’t like seeing the down and outs in our rich country but they’re part and parcel of who were are , I’ll never forget my early years of poverty .

    I spent much time traversing the East Coast on The Hound as well as Trailways and lesser companies , all long gone now .

    I cannot imagine telling my Child ‘ I won’t pick you up _there_ ‘ no matter where ‘ there ‘ might be .

    I suppose no one here will actually go try bus travel , my Lady and I are pondering taking our Foster boys on vacation out of state via bus to show them that there are -no- limits if you don’t want any .

    -Nate

  3. Jean Troy

    I remember my first trip on the hound was to a convention for the future Homemakers of America in Monterey California. I will never forget it. I remember the horrible condidtions of the depot here in Los Angeles when I went to pick up my son when he came back from Santa Cruise as a student. I am so sorry that the greedy powers that be refuse to recognize the pain and suffering that is going on right here in our community. thanks for the memory shirley I’m considered old fashioned because I take the train to Reno to visit my Son.

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