I received an interesting email from a Dysartsville native who reads this blog. He grew up in the neighborhood and knows the characters of the Brackett Town Saga. Richard Buchanan remembers starting school back when Larry Sprouse drove the school bus, but it was an amusing anecdote about his younger brother Wayne that Richard wanted to share.
Richard lived in the two story white house on Vein Mountain Road where the bus turned the corner on to Landis Lane. (Mostly dirt roads back then.) When he first rode the bus there were only four benches running the length of the bus. “The little kids rode on the two long seats in the middle of the bus, back to back, with no back rest. The older kids rode with their backs to the outside windows.” He thought the seating arrangement helped control the younger children who might misbehave, but he also admits “I was pretty mischievous as a kid.”
And he gave us this example:
The year that Wayne Sprouse started driving the bus route, Richard was still going to Dysartsville Elementary School. By then, the buses had transitioned to be very similar to the ones on the road now. He recalls one day when school was dismissed early because snow was falling heavily. There was almost an inch accumulation. They had rounded the curve on Landis Lane past Joe Branch Road and were almost at the end where Wayne would turn left on Vein Mountain Road and head home to Brackett Town. This was Richard’s bus stop. And he coordinated a daring plot with the other kids who would get off at this corner. No doubt he hoped to impress them with his bravery.
“I told them to let me get off the bus first.” Then he instructed them to move slowly, giving him time to make a snowball. Once the last kid cleared the bus, Richard intended to pelt Wayne before he could close the door.
“Well everything went as planned up until I hit Wayne with the snowball. I can still see him pulling up the emergency brakes on the bus and chasing me up the hill. And it was quite a hill there before they paved the road. Wayne caught me about halfway up and, in sight of all the kids on the bus, turned me over his knee and spanked me. You can imagine how embarrassed I was. However, I guess life would be pretty boring without some lessons we learn the hard way. I have always liked Wayne and all the Sprouses. They were, and are, a good family.”
Maybe there are others who remember this incident. Or have stories to tell about when they “learned the hard way” in Dysartsville or Brackett Town.