Joe Burgess is the manager of United Way of the Greater Triangle’s Technology Outreach Program. He works in our Teaming for Technology location on McCrimmon Parkway in Morrisville. He is an avid bicyclist but on inclement days he rides the bus. This is his story.
Every day is always an experience when you take the bus to work; you make friends and chat with those around you. You get to meet all sorts of people and even the bus drivers themselves can be quite entertaining.
The other day I left work early because it started to ice. The bus home was packed and I took the last seat. I sat next to two ladies in their late sixties. The woman to my left said her home heater just broke and she didn’t have any money to fix it. I felt bad for her because it was one of the coldest weekends we’ve had around here. She moved to Raleigh from Barbados 30 years ago and I thought how warm it must be there.
I sat perpendicular to the other lady. She was on her way to church to fold bulletins for the weekend service. She saw my Kindle and reckoned she didn’t think she would like to read books on what she called a digital screen. But as she scrolled through historical artworks, one of the scenes was a famous picture called St. Jerome in His Study, and the church lady knew that one right away. She pointed out the lion and dog in the foreground. By the end of the ride we were all friends, with the church lady and the lady from Barbados calling each other “Sisters in Heaven” though they had just met.
Then a sad incident happened which I’ll never forget. Brooks Avenue is typically a busier stop where people get on and off. The last person to get on was an 83 year old woman. She was a tiny thing, all bundled up in her jacket and hat. As she got on, we waited so the driver could give her time to get seated. Everyone moved their stuff out of the way to give her space to walk down the aisle. Because it was icy out, I’m sure her feet were wet and slippery as she made her way down the bus aisle. Continue reading