Bio: Olson, Maryanne (Bus Driver - 1975)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Olson, Esselman, Walter, Zupanc, Rogers, Bobrofsky

----Source: Tribune Record Gleaner (Loyal, Clark Co., WI) 1/16/1975

Olson, Maryanne (Bus Driver – 1975)

Mingling with Mary (By Mary Woods)

Bus driver, Maryanne Olson, enjoys the company of all her 60 riders, and is pictured with just three of them, left to right, Margaret Esselman, Judy Walter and Carol Walter.

For many employees, the “special day” for them is when they walk out of the office to begin vacation or the day that the bonus is included in the weekly pay check, but for Maryanne Olson, bus driver, 4-H leader, farm wife, and mother of six children, her “special day” is when smiling and sometimes tearful faces get on her bus for the first time.

Since the fall of 1968, Maryanne (Mrs. Noel Olson) has been stopping 22 times each morning and evening, and picking up approximately 60 school children. Her route begins at 7:20 a.m. and by 8:05 her riders are at their destination. Her afternoon route is finished at 4:20 and she is at home ready to begin the other responsibilities that she holds.

“It’s really a happy job, states Maryanne, the kids are usually good mannered, and the difference between the morning ride and the night ride is like day and night. The children in the morning are quiet and peaceful, and seem to be still sleeping, and the ride home is noisy, but, only happy sounds are heard. Stories of who got caught throwing airplanes in the hallways, and who had to sit in during recess are familiar, and, of course, the stories of who got A’s on a test are usually heard every now and then, but I never hear who got the F’s.”

As one of several bus drivers for the Loyal Public-School System, Maryanne drives a bus owned by Tony Zupanc. She states that the school administration and bus drivers have set up rules and regulations which must be followed by all riders, and she has made the regulation that students in kindergarten through sixth grade sit in the front half of the bus, and the remaining students sit in the back half. “This policy works out very well,” comments Maryanne, “and there is not a hassle who sits where.”

Recalling some of the incidents that occur on the bus, Maryanne mentions the times that children fall into mud puddles just before they get on the bus, which happened to her own child, and the times of bad weather when she gets stuck backing out of driveways, which she states to be the hardest part of being a bus driver.

Maryanne also recalls graduation day, and thoughts that wander through her mind as some of her riders get on and off the bus for the last time. “You become friends with so many of the riders, and think back of the conversations and laughs, that you have shared together. I had one senior graduate last year who was special to me in the sense that he would always be ready to help me if I ever got stuck, or needed any assistance, and the day of graduation he gave me a small gift that is perhaps drunk by more seniors than given away … a bottle of beer … and yet the gift in some small way brought back many memories of the laughs that we had over him turning 18.

“Christmas is also a special time of the year, and this past Christmas the riders all went together, and bought me a cookie jar, and as they got off the bus, I gave them a gift of candy,” states Maryanne with a smile.

Within the past seven years of bus driving, Maryanne, and her husband Noel, who is also a licensed bus driver, have had a substitute for only two days, and we can all agree that, that is a pretty good record. The Olsons also drive for field trips now and then.

Turning away from bus driving and looking at another interest of Maryanne’s, 4-H, one begins to wonder where she gets her time. For the past four years she has served as general leader of the Jolly Workers 4-H Club. She states with pride, that the club has grown from 12 members to 34 members in the past four years. As for their main goals, the club has many, but one deserves recognition, the upkeep of the Free Methodist Cemetery, located one-half mile east of K and H. “We started this project bout five years ago, and each spring the members go to the cemetery and clean the yard, and rebuild fences, and keep the sign in good condition. There are only four stones there; General Rogers and his wife, and two Young babies, but still the club takes great pride in their project,” notes Maryanne.

The club is also active in baseball and softball, and gives special attention to the senior citizens, living in the club area every Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, or any other special holiday. During the past fall, Maryanne was assisted by Judy Bobrofsky with enrollment, since the system has now been computerized.

Through her involvement in the 4-H, Maryanne had the opportunity to serve as a delegate to the National 4-H Leaders forum in Washington D. C. this past summer. Reflecting on the trip, she states that going to the forum had always been one of her goals, and she hopes that someday her children, who are now involved in 4-H, may do the same.

Living on a 254-acre dairy farm south of Loyal, Maryanne finds herself enjoying the outdoor work that goes along with being a farm wife. She considers herself her husband’s best hired worker, and during the past summer when her husband suffered a heart attack, the statement no doubt, proved to be true. The Olsons have six children, Richard, Robert, Annmarie, Rosanne, Melissa, and Michael, who all have their chores, and responsibilities on the family farm of Maryanne’s parents.

“If it weren’t for my husband and children, the joy that comes from being involved in 4-H, and being a bus driver perhaps would not be possible,” reflects Maryanne, “we all work together, and that’s what makes things go easy, and doing this enjoyable.”

Whether it be on the bus or on the farm, or helping the 4-H students, Maryanne believes in friendliness and helpfulness. The comment on the first day of school, “I always try to give the new riders special attention, and a smile,” is truly typical of Maryanne, and, no doubt, she carries that idea and thought with her always, no matter who it is.



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