Monday, July 26, 2004

HoustonChronicle.com - Raskin: Vanishing: 'Go Greyhound and leave the driving to us'

HoustonChronicle.com - Raskin: Vanishing: 'Go Greyhound and leave the driving to us'

When I entered The University of Texas at Austin back in 1959, freshmen weren't allowed to have cars. I went to school in the middle of the first week of September, and I wasn't able to get a ride home until the week before Thanksgiving. Because I met a girl named Judy Stutts during the Christmas break, I decided I wanted to go home more often than every two or three months, so I occasionally hopped the bus.

Couldn't do that now. I suppose the Greyhound station is still where it used to be in downtown Austin, on Congress Avenue a few blocks from the Capitol Building, the bus hasn't stopped in Mexia in many years. Maybe it doesn't matter, but 45 years ago, it would have mattered to me. When my grandfather died later my freshman year and I had to get home in a hurry, I took the bus. I remember walking with my suitcase all the way from the dorm on the UT campus to the station.

I always bought a book to read before I left Austin. Once it was something by Jack Douglas, maybe the classic MY BROTHER WAS AN ONLY CHILD. Once it was the Fawcett edition of THE WIZARD OF OZ. A little girl saw me reading it and told her mother, who gave me a suspicous look, as if she thought I might be some kind of child molestor.

I haven't ridden a bus in years, probably not since 1960. But it was always nice to know it was there.

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