During my school years of 7th through graduation I lived 17 miles outside of town and so had to ride a school bus...along with a bus full of other students scattered outside of Rock Springs. Some of the events that happened on that bus ride everyday could make many many posts all by themselves...we had danger, excitement, boredom, fights, parties....and some heavy duty make out sessions by the more daring among us. Everyday was something new...but everyday was exactly the same in some respects.
Without fail our radio was blasting...to overcome the chaos and disorderly conduct no doubt but I believe our string of bus drivers just liked to pretend we all ceased to exist while the radio was cranking out the latest top 10. The variety of men and women that were signed up to drive our bus was truly a line up of the best and worst society had to offer. I sometimes wonder if our bus had some sort of a curse on it or maybe a bad reputation(turns out it did...lol)...considering nobody viewed driving it as a step up the school bus driving career later...but I digress...
Anyhow, despite our many adventures one thing remained the same...a daily dose of Paul Harvey coming on to quiet us all down and allow us a moment to reflect on "The Rest of the Story".
Anyone that has heard this program knows that the "rest of the story" always involved some well known figure that had some event in their lives that few knew about. During the entire monologue many of us would be trying to figure out who he was referring to based on some of the bits of information he mentioned. Shouts of famous names and possible outcomes were never in short supply. I liked to just sit and listen...and imagine one day Paul Harvey might be speaking about me to a million strong audience who knew all about me because I would be famous...but didnt know this one thing from my life...this one thing that made me human...brought me down to earth and allowed others to share my humanity...such is the life of celebrities that we view them as "above us" ...unreachable and somewhat infallible and iconic....immortal!!!
He had the best stories that never failed to bring smiles and comments of..."I knew thats who it was"...or shouts of...."no way man...thats gotta be a lie...that guy/lady would never do that"...and other such things. We kids apparently knew much more about these people Paul Harvey spoke of then he could ever know...ah the audacity of youth!!!
There are a multitude of bad memories I have of my younger years...memories that involved riding that bus as well (oh the stories) but Paul Harvey was a good one that could be counted on every day to bring a little sanity to an other wise chaotic life...if famous people could be viewed as normal...then our messed up little no account lives could mean something too one day.
The rest of OUR story is what we were striving towards...aiming for...dreaming of no matter what hell we were suffering at that moment. It was just a moment in a story that would and could read out completely different from its beginnings...after all...many of those famous people he spoke of started out pretty much as ordinary citizens who experienced extra ordinary events that changed their lives...that could be anyone of us...and so we dreamed.
I happened to hear by chance that Paul Harvey passed away recently. That brought a moment of sheer sadness...it reminded me of the fact that much of my life has passed me by and my story has never really had a chance to turn into something people might want to hear about on the radio someday...I thought about all my hopes and dreams and how through circumstance and fate...they have been all but forgotten...but then I figured...Im not dead yet...theres always time...as long as your still breathing there is time...so who knows?
A moment of silence for Paul Harvey...an American icon that was able to silence a busload of misfits and troublemakers long enough to allow us to dream of a future with potential.