(Intro: In choosing which scenario to write for “The Bus of Trust” I became reflective on how much trust we all invoke daily when traveling the highways, remembering my scary bus ride from Ithaca, NY to Los Vegas, Nevada as a single woman of 52, writing a half page before switching to a pleasant memory of my childhood.)
My memory involves my mother and sister and brother, usually it would be about my dad whom I loved many times more. I am not riding the yellow school bus to school, but to Robert Treman State Park every Monday during the summers. Now, as I write I can feel the special sadness of white privilege during my elementary school years: my mother preparing a picnic lunch, us in our swimsuits, waiting at the bottom of the stairs of our middle-class home, for the Bethel Grove Community “swim bus.” Only white occupants.
Ithaca is Gorges is a familiar bumper sticker because of the many gorges’ magnificent waterfalls, two of which create natural swimming pools where one can swim at the foot of waterfalls where lifeguards watch you dive. At Treman Park one can carefully walk along the narrow edge only wide enough for one’s toes, as the waterfall showers you.
Most summers I would tight walk with the help of tiny finger holes, tip toeing until the ledge disappears, falling into the refreshingly clean water. Yes, I am proud to say I have held this gorgeous waterfall close to my body most years as I did last summer when turning 75, smiling brightly as I did as a kid licking the Sugar Daddy my mother bought for her three children, just before stepping back on the yellow school bus, aiming for (my other) home.