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"An Extra Passenger on the Bus," #12 Swapping Stories
Harold Talbert, Arcadia, Louisiana


We had a lady here. She just died the other day, Miss Evelyn. She ran the bus station for years, when we had a Tri-State bus station. And Miss Evelyn was a wonderful lady and a real character; she was, I believe, a hundred and two when she died last year. Or maybe it was this year. When things got slow and there wasn't anything to do, we'd go downtown and sit with Miss Evelyn in the bus station. She had some cold drinks in there, and she'd give us some cold drinks. And I'd go sit over there with Miss Evelyn.

Miss Evelyn was the first person that I ever knew that had a small car. She had an American Austin. Now, these little cars were the forerunners of the little-type foreign cars that you see now--the Volkswagen Bug and these little Hondas. But American Austin built this little car, and it was a little bitty thing. It was just a real curiosity to see one. And Miss Evelyn bought her a little American Austin.

So she'd ride us. If she had to go somewhere, she'd ride me in that little American Austin. I couldn't get in one now, but then I could get in the back seat and ride with Miss Evelyn.

So one day, Miss Evelyn had her little American Austin parked down at the bus station. She would come down, a little before the time for the bus to arrive, and she'd sell tickets. A lot of times she'd go back home when the bus left. When the bus went to leave, she'd leave, too, because there wouldn't be another one for several hours or maybe only once or twice a day.

So Miss Evelyn goes out that day. And when the bus is getting ready to go, and she's through selling tickets, she locks up and gets in her little Austin. About that time, the bus pulls out. But the bus is so big and so tall, and he's not used to looking down that low for some little, old car, so he doesn't see Miss Evelyn, and he just drives on out. The back bumper of the bus hooks the front bumper of Miss Evelyn's little American Austin! And we look up downtown, and here comes the bus with Miss Evelyn in her little Austin, just blowing her horn in the back of it, and he's driving through town! So they got him stopped and got Miss Evelyn unhooked from the Tri-State bus! And oh, she was a character.

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