Thursday, February 7, 2008

Fort Wayne Public Transportation Corporation (FW-PTC)

I didn't get my driver's license until I was nineteen gasp.

Neither of my grandparents drove - EVER. My grandfather's eyesight was too bad and my grandmother just never felt the need. Living with them in downtown-ish Fort Wayne, our choices were to walk or to take the bus.

Yes, you read that right - the bus.

I don't know when my first PTC bus ride was however, I wouldn't be surprised if it was before I was able to walk.

There are things about the PTC that I remember like it was yesterday.

* The fishbowl-type shape of the front of the bus

* The changer located to the right of the bus driver (gosh! but I loved dropping the coins in!)

* Oh! And at one time, all of the bus drivers carried one of those silver coin changers on their belt too.

* The thick, silver-like string that I lived to pull. You know - it was the thing that made a ding - signaling to the driver that you were ready to get off at the next stop.

Now, about that string you pulled - there was quite an art to how you pulled it and a science to when you pulled it.


You had to be really mindful of giving the bus driver enough time to stop. Some of the bus stops though were close enough together that if you didn't time it right, you may have to get off at the wrong stop.

So are you wondering where we had the bus take us?


To the mall (Southtown - yes - really!). To downtown. To Times Corner. To Franke Park. To McMillan Park.

When I was around eleven, I was allowed to board the bus by myself (as long as my mom or grandma knew where I was going).

I was never scared or intimidated.

People never bothered me.

I never bothered anyone.

Most of the time, I just looked out the window and took in the scenery.

It was quiet time for me.

I thought and reflected without knowing I was thinking and reflecting.

Wow! Those were the days...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy Birthday David Alan

The Big 4-0, right?

Dearest David Alan,

I was talking about you today at work and I happened to have this picture of us handy on my computer (thanks to you). These people I work with don't know me well - what they know of me - is what I have allowed to be revealed over the past twenty months.

When they saw this picture, they assumed it was of my husband. I chuckled and then said - no way Homer! That's David Alan! It was like I was transported back to 1982 and you were right there next to me. I swear, I started talking all Valley Girl like (or maybe I just imagined I did).

So anyway, people saw this picture and they were like - who is he and why do you two look like you stepped off of a wedding cake?

I was stumped. How much to tell? I mean, here I am 42 - it's your birthday - and I'm not sure I can do justice by describing who you are and what you mean to me in - like - three sentences or less.

So this is what I said.

I have known David Alan since before the beginning of time. He contributed significantly to my sanity during those John Hughes - Coming-of-Age-Years. He is someone whom I go for five years without talking to and three seconds later, it's like no time has gone by.

In a nutshell, David Alan is an extension of my heart, mind, and soul (in the most non-romantic way).

As you can imagine, people just looked at me like I was a freak, but, I figured that it was better than trying to describe why band practices, Uncle Jimmy's house, and the green jacket - all had significant relevance to me, my life, and my existence.

I love you David. Thank you for being my color purple. Here's to another 40 + years of us.


P.S. I really did have this ready to post on your real birthday - I just didn't get to post until after midnight :(

Monday, February 4, 2008

Fort Wayne Television In the 70's - PBS Was Zoomin' My Screen

In Fort Wayne during the 70's, we had three channels - ABC, CBS, NBC and sometimes, depending on the antenna on the television, which way the wind was blowing, and what other major appliances were running, we could get in channel 39 (PBS).

As a side note...I tell my thirteen year old that he just doesn't know how lucky he is. I've told him that while growing up in FortWayne, we had a television that was on the small side (maybe 19 inches?) and when we were able to purchase one of those console jobbies where the picture was color instead of black and white! Jackpot baby!

So back to PBS...while it is known for shows like Sesame Street, the coolest thing (or one of the coolest things to rock the face of my pre-pubescent earth) was ZOOM.

I loved lots of things about ZOOM and at the top of this list - well - it's all about Bernadette.

Take a look - remember her????