I was forty-five at the time. “I’m eighty-seven years old.”
In front of the bus shelter a man about my age bounded up. “Why that’s my bus driver, Ruby! She used to drive me up and down this street when I was a little kid.”
“Yep. I drove streetcars for ten years, then buses for another twenty-seven. Then when I retired I took the Amtrak to Seattle, and they let me drive that. That was fun.”
I told her they were only now tearing up the old streetcar tracks buried for fifty years under Selby Avenue. “Yep. There are tracks under all these streets still.” Did she like the idea of light-rail coming to the Twin Cities? “Yep.”
It took us two lights to cross Snelling Avenue. How had she done this on her own? I asked how often she shopped. “Oh, about a month ago last time. Did I tell you I’m eighty-seven years old? I can take it from here.”
This happened thirteen years ago. Light rail is here. I haven’t owned a car since 2005. Ruby would be 100 now….
Listen to the Tin Pan Alley-song “On the Trolley” and browse the Novelties.