Sunday, December 8, 2013

Riding the School Bus

     St. Mary's School, in Taft California, was built in 1926.  St. Mary's was a two-story school building taught by the Dominican Sisters of Kenosha, Wisconsin.   About halfway through the 1958-59 school year classes were moved down the street to a new and bigger school.  Grades one through four were located on the ground floor.  I remember thinking how big I was when I got to fifth grade and moved upstairs.  I wish that I had a picture of the old school building. 
     City schools in Taft had an unusual relationship with parochial schools.  I attended St. Mary's Elementary School for eight years and the entire time I traveled to and from school on the Taft City School District bus.  I rode from our house about 2.5 miles outside town to the end of the line at Roosevelt School.  Then with my siblings I walked the last mile to St. Mary's.  It was a pretty good deal.  This relationship certainly doesn't exist now because St. Mary's closed down some years after I moved away from Taft with my parents.      
     Taft was flush with money from the oil companies that was the reason for Taft's existence. The pastor of Saint Mary's was a go-getter and he had a good working relationship with the city leaders.  I would imagine that these had something to do with the fact that we were allowed to ride the school bus even though we went didn't attend city schools at that time.
In the 50s and 60s there was a yellow bus stop near the burned palm tree

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