Saturday, March 1, 2014

Irish Eyes


A Former colleague of mine, John Bolton, died two days ago.
You may recall that a few years ago I edited a collection of writings by transport workers.
John contributed to it and came up with the title
“ It Happens Between Stops.”
As a tribute I am using three of his pieces.

Christmas Eve

I had to do the last bus to Ballybrack leaving at 21.00 hrs. The second last bus had only gone around the corner, when this very pregnant lady came to the door. She started her breathing exercise before she said anything. I got out and was standing beside her when she asked for Holles Street. I joked with her, that at my age I now go past it. She then asked how she would know it when she got there. I got a fright, she should not be out on her own and she should have visited it and know where it was. To break my tension I said of course you will know, there will be a bright star over head and three wise men.
Town was as dead as a dodo, only had a few on as I left at 21.00 hrs. On Merrion Square, as I got to Holles Street, I stopped in awe! There was a full moon which lit up the Square and Mount Street and just seemed to be sitting on Mount Street Bridge.
When I got to the stop there were three men as drunk as Skunks in a mini scrum with a bus pole in the middle of them.
Before I opened the door to them, I told the pregnant Lady we were near Holles Street now. I told her to look up at the big moon, the bright star and look what's at the stop; your three wise men. To her credit she helped them on board. I told her to stay put and brought her to the hospital corner. I watched her go down the road and up the steps safely.
Out of curiosity, I rang Holles Street on St Stephen's day, to see what the lady had had and just to see if everything was all OK. I was asked what my relationship to her was. I stated I was not related and then the phone went dead.
©John Bolton

“The Eclipse on the Cheap”

The morning news had a full load of Concorde passengers who had paid some £2,000 for a figure of eight over Tenerife to see the eclipse. This way you got to see it from both sides of the plane twice.
For me, I loaded up my single decker to go to Dalkey. I got to Booterstown when I got this eerie feeling. I noticed the light change, but before I pulled back into the traffic, I noticed the start of the eclipse in the dark glass sun visor. The time was spot on between 11.18 and 11.22.
While watching this, an elderly lady asked if I was OK.
I replied, “It’s the eclipse, do you want to see it?”
She and all the rest queued up the centre aisle to see this from the drivers’ seat. I got a great round of applause at 11.25 when it was all over.
I would be barking up the wrong tree to stick them for £2,000 each.
©John Bolton

The Guide Dog

There are people in a severe state, who, I wonder how the hell they can find a Bus.
The paralytic drunk gets there but I still reckon they are dumped by barmen who then run away as we come into sight.
My admiration goes out to our visually impaired passengers, men like Michael Moran, who have to, "Jig Jag" through pavement works.
When he got on, a passenger asked him, "Why don't you get yourself a BLIND DOG?"
"Madam", He replied, "I have enough problems dragging this mortal coil around without having to drag that around also".
Audrey, Another of my passengers, lost her sight as a child. With the eye infection, she was able to navigate the route to school and later to university. It's only in the last two years that she got a Guide Dog.
My "Cleverest Dog" Award goes to a Man in Crumlin, who works in The Blind Factory in Rathmines.
On good days, the Dog gets up at Grovner Road and rings his own bell, which hangs from his neck. He walks from there to Rathmines.
On wet days, the Dog stays put until it reaches Rathmines.
I should know, I saw the Dog stand up, but he didn't ring the neck bell until we got to Rathmines.
©John Bolton

Click on Mattie Lennon  for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

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