Guest Fox: Opal Campbell

                                                          By Jeff Salter

 Intro
            Those of you who have been checking-in with our group blog for the past 19 months will likely recall that during the first year, I hosted a Guest Fox nearly every month.  Want to know what has kept me from doing the same in our current year?  Yep:  procrastination.  I have typically not thought of what I would DO for the blog until a few days prior to each Thursday.  Not conducive to scheduling a Guest Fox.
            So, I finally knuckled down and spread out my schedule and booked half a dozen Guest Foxes!  And I’m delighted to resume this practice by hosting Opal Campbell, an indefatigable staff member on the virtual campus of Astraea Press.
           [We’re blogging about bus travel this week.]  Please give a big warm welcome to Opal Campbell! 

                                                 The Wheels on the Bus…
                                                          
By Opal Campbell

            As a child I had the distinct pleasure of riding the bus to and from school. Not that this is an uncommon occurrence but I was less than thrilled about the length of time I had to spend on the yellow tube. A two hour bus ride was NOT on my list of favorite things that I got to do each day…and I got to do it TWICE every day. YIPPEE!!!!
            The ride itself probably wouldn’t have been that bad if our driver hadn’t been a step away from the psycho ward…imagine riding a bus with a driver who thought it was fun to swerve and hit garbage bags on the side of the road if they were close to the hiway.
            Though I must admit that not everything about those hours on the bus sucked. I learned A LOT from listening to the high school kids in the back seats.  Made some friends. Did homework and took many many naps.
            Now, my eldest gets to ride the bus. Though he only rides in the afternoon. Call me a push over but since we only live about 2 miles from the school I see no reason that he should be forced to catch the bus at 6:50 a.m. So he just rides in the afternoon…and boy howdy does he come home with some stories.
            I get to hear all about the boy who sneezes the gummy worm boogers, the 4th graders with cell phones, the new “words” he has learned. I wait in giddy anticipation every day to see what new information my boy gets off the bus with.
            As an adult my bus riding has been all but extinct from my life and I can’t say that I am disappointed. I can only imagine what my seat mate would be like. Knowing my luck…and the fate that seems to follow me like a nasty imp…I would be seated next to either the silent farter, the non-stop talker with more pictures in their wallet than Carter’s got pills or the creepy guy who can’t seem to keep his arm on his arm rest. Yep….it’s a good thing I don’t have to ride the bus. Someone might get slapped.

 About Opal Campbell:
            Opal is the review coordinator and marketing director for Astraea Press. In her copious amounts of free time she tends to her husband, two children and a hound dog named Crusty. When not trying to promote Astraea and its wonderful authors, Opal likes to let her creativity flow by creating book videos for authors which she posts on her YouTube channel and her blog www.reviewcoordinator.blogspot.com

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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57 Responses to Guest Fox: Opal Campbell

  1. Tracy Krauss says:

    Fun memories. I didn’t have to ride the bus regularly, but I stayed with my older brother for a time on his farm and had to ride it. (About a month.) didn’t enjoy the extra hour before or after school… I certainly have ridden my share of city buses though

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Other than for things like “field trips” I only recall riding a typical school bus route ONE time … when I visited a friend’s house after school. I had a note (for the driver) from my mom and everything. I recall it being something of an adventure … and nothing like I’ve seen in the movies. Ha.
      Thanks for commenting, Tracy.

      Like

    • Opal says:

      Tracy, I have never ridden a public bus but got to ride a big bus once when our football team went to state playoff’s. I was amazed to find a bathroom on the bus 🙂 WOW, I really am showing how much of a hick I am 🙂

      Like

  2. Opal says:

    Riding the school bus was NOT my favorite thing to do. Heck, I am not sure ANY kid really likes it 🙂

    Like

  3. Iris says:

    LOL – Opal, we’d be perfect on a bus together. I fit nicely on a bus seat without taking up too much room and I’m usually pretty silent during a bus ride, too. I once shared a small space with a nice, but slightly overweight person on a 24 hr flight – he was still there after each stop-over :-(. But he gave me all his salads and fruits, so that’s kinda made up for it.
    Always walked to school, but did many bus trips …. One 40-hrs to Portugal. i thought I’d never sit down again in my whole life!

    Like

  4. Laurie Ryan says:

    Hi, Opal! (and howdy to you, too, Jeff!). I love the name Crusty for a Hound dog. Our dogs have been fairly straight forward names, but we’ve had cats like Screamer and Dude, so we definitely have fun with names. Crusty just seems appropriate for a hound dog. 🙂

    Like

    • Opal says:

      Laurie, Her real name is Angel but she responds to Crust, Crutsy, Musty and Bad Dog 🙂 Shortly after we got her as a puppy, we discovered she had mange and some type of bacterial skin infection. Needless to say the name Crusty sprouted from the fact that for about 4 months…she REALLY was a f\very crusty dog. I couldn’t stand to even touch her. OY it was bad 🙂

      Like

      • jeff7salter says:

        Can we assume that Crusty’s mange has cleared up? When I was in kindergarten, we had a dog with mange and the Vet put her down.

        Like

      • Opal says:

        Yep, the mange has been gone for about 8 years 🙂 a little over $150 to clear it up but she is a good dog. I told Hubby that she is the most expensive FREE dog I have ever had 🙂
        Mange $150
        Spay $100
        Rattlesnake bite $380
        Heartworms: $700
        and this does not include regular yearly vet trips or monthly heartworm meds…. which did NOT keep her from getting heartworms UGH!!!!

        Like

      • jeff7salter says:

        rattlesnake bite? Good grief, that Crusty sure has some stories to tell.

        Like

      • Opal says:

        That she does 🙂 But she is a tough bird and we are blessed that she picked us 🙂

        Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      yeah, Crusty is a cool name.
      Glad to see you again, Laurie.
      BTW, I’d be skeered to meet your cat named SCREAMER. Yikes. Pet Sematary!

      Like

      • Laurie Ryan says:

        Ugh! is tight. I’m glad the mange went away and Crusty stayed to be a wonderful, if not expensive, dog.
        And yes, Jeff, Screamer was a cat to fear. He was my husband’s cat and tolerated no one else. Well, maybe me a little. She was stuck living with me, too, since I had no plans to leave. lol

        Like

      • jeff7salter says:

        Laurie, there must be an interesting story as to how SCREAMER got his name. Was he part bob-cat?

        Like

  5. jeff7salter says:

    Opal, You’re on your own now, for about the next 9 hours. I’m really bushed and I’m hitting the sack in about 3.5 minutes. See ya in the morning!

    Like

  6. My school didn’t have buses, because our district was only four square miles in area. Nobody had to walk more than a mile to get to his/her school building. We had to rent buses from other schools for field trips. I was always jealous of kids who rode them – until I spent a lot of time on a bus during my first trip to Europe. That cured me, and when we had kids I made sure we lived close enough to school so they could walk.

    Like

    • Opal says:

      When I was a kid I lived about 25 miles from my school…hence the reason for the long ride. But my son is only about 1.5 miles from his…we just have that many kiddos in our school that the ride takes that long. I drop him off in the mornings but the interaction with other kids is good for him 🙂 At least for now LOL

      Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Good morning, Patty. Sorry I didn’t see this last night.
      Four square miles, hun? I grew up in Louisiana in a small town. Our schools drew from outlying communities, some as far as 25 miles away. I felt sorry for those students at the ends of those runs.

      Like

  7. Lindsay says:

    I never had the thrill/pleasure/misery of riding the yellow tube but heard many stories, most that can’t be written down.
    Opal you are the best.

    Like

    • Opal says:

      Lindsay, Yeah…I saw many things on a bus that a kid my age probably shouldn’t have. I shudder to think what my son will be learning this year since this is the first year he will be riding the bus with Junior High and High School kids. UGH!

      Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Lindsay, now I want to read those stories you think shouldn’t be written down. LOL.
      Thanks for visiting today.

      Like

  8. Jeanne Theunissen says:

    I could see my elementary school from our back yard, so I just had to walk across the field to get to it (paddock for you, Iris, LOL) except on rainy, muddy days when I had to go the long way round through the campus of the local Catholic school. I rode the bus in jr. high and high school, though I frequently walked to school when I was in high school.

    I ride city buses here in Melbourne whenever possible, simply because it’s usually a lot easier than finding a car park, and I absolutely REFUSE to drive in the city proper! I hated driving in Houston when I lived there, and even after nearly 40 years of driving, I STILL can’t parallel park to save my life…

    Longest bus trip ever? From Detroit to Colorado Springs, about 36 hours. And it was only that short because it was a charter bus for us when going to camp the summer between my jr and sr years of high school. Although, I took some other pretty long bus trips on the church bus to camp in the U.P. when I was still living in the Detroit area. Luckily at that time, though, I was still small and skinny enough to be able to sleep in the luggage rack.

    Like

    • Opal says:

      HOLY COW!!! I am not sure I was EVER small enough to be able to sleep in the luggage rack 🙂 And don’t feel alone…I can’t parallel park either 🙂

      Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Slept in the luggage rack? Barbaric!
      When our kids were young, both the Elem. sch. & High Sch. were right across a ditch and field, similar to your situation, Jeanne. Somebody had placed a few boards across the ditch so it could be traversed safely & cleanly. Except after heavy rain when the water came up. [Drainage was terrible there.]

      Like

  9. jbrayweber says:

    Great post, Opal!
    My bud riding days were nothing like yours. I didn’t mind it so much. I daydreamed, did homework, and gossiped. Sometimes I’d whip the whole bus in a rousing song of ’99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall’.

    It wasn’t until high school that I changed my attitude about the bus. None of the COOL kids rode a bus. By mid term sophomore year, the very moment I FINALLY, after 3 tries, earned my driver’s license, I kissed bus riding goodbye!

    Jenn!

    Like

    • Opal says:

      Yeah, there is a stigma attached to riding the bus. Hubby and I were talking last night about homecoming. We got an order form in our son’s backpack for mum’s. OY! We laughed about how expensive they still are and about how you could ALWAYS tell the cool girls simply by there mum. The more BLING they had…the more popular they were 🙂

      Like

      • jbrayweber says:

        Mums…it’s a shame. My young daughter is in cheer. The organization makes the mums so that all the girls have the same one, save for their name. But this is totally different once the kids hit high school. *shakes head*

        Yes, Jeff. It should come as no surprise that I am somewhat a daredevil while driving. But alas, it was the dreaded parallel parking that did me in every time. The officer who finally passed me was quite surprised that I grabbed him in a huge bear hug. LOL! What a sight!
        Jenn!

        Like

      • jeff7salter says:

        I was never any good at parallel parking either … unless I had the length of TWO spaces to work with! I was delighted when malls were invented — yeah, I drove BEFORE shopping malls — and you could just pull into a diagonal slot.

        Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      It took you three tries to get the drvr lic? Jenn, maybe you consumed some of that beer you sang about?
      I don’t recall — at the time — any social issues regarding whether the bus kids were or were not cool. I just knew they lived out of town. Some of them were football players and others were top scholars. It wasn’t until movies began portraying bus kids as geeks or felons that I became aware of the stigma. I think it was solidified by the film “16 Candles.”

      Like

  10. Meg Mims says:

    We walked blocks and blocks to school, rain, shine, snow, ice, hail… LOL. Always used to envy the school bus kids but NOW I KNOW BETTER! Mwaaa-haa-haaa-haaa-haaa! Glad I walked.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      In Elem, Sch., I rode my bike often — about 10 blocks each way.
      In Jr. H.S. I also rode my bike a lot — some 15 blocks each way.
      In H.S. I often got a ride TO school, but nearly always walked home — 7 blocks.
      I was told it would build character. Ha.

      Like

    • Opal says:

      Meg, I think I would have rather walked…except it would have taken forever. Once, my mom and I estimated how long it would take if I had to ride my horse to school. If I left at midnight I could have gotten to school by the time the bell rang. If I left right after school let out….I would have gotten home only to turn around an hour later and hear back to school. Now, Please understand that that is an estimate based on the general speed at which a horse walks and taking into consideration that I would have trotted ocasionally…but with 25 miles to go one way? UGH I can say SADDLE SORE 🙂

      Like

  11. tonettejoyce says:

    Welcome to the blog,Opal! When my grandson stayed with me,I did the same thing…why so darned ealy on those busses?
    I only rode the bus for field trips when I was in the lower grades, then I rode on a school bus when I was older. I rather enjoyed the comraderie there,(even though there were several ‘cliques’ going at any given time).
    I was left at school on day, completely forgotten by my mother and older sister that they were supposed to pick me up at a new school.A neighbor whom I did not know was fortunately there late for some reason as well and got me on the right bus. The little city I lived in had a contract with the local bus company for that run and the kids paid a nominal fee,(.15, if I recall correctly).I did not have exact change,I was upset and worried… I was very shy, in junior high, (a NEW jr. high), and was forgotten by my family …what else could happen?).I didn’t care, so I put a quarter in the slot.The bus driver asked me what I had done, berated me to no end, made my nieghbor give me a dime and scowled at me, huffing in the mirror at me all the way home. Small wonder I was still concerned about public transportation when the story I have to tell tomorrow happened…please look in; it has quite a punch line.
    (Crusty and Screamer? Sounds like they need to meet one of my sister’s cats so they can mellow out…his name is ZEN!)

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Gosh, that bus driver must have been selected based on her personality and ‘people skills’.

      Like

      • Opal says:

        I agree Jeff. What a turd 🙂 ANd I will TOTALLY look in on your post tomorrow 🙂 I have to say that I have really enjoyed the interaction here. Thanks to Jeff for extending the invitation to me 🙂

        Like

      • jeff7salter says:

        Glad you could be here with me today, Opal. But don’t sing your swan song yet … there’s still about six hours of mayhem. And I’m hoping more of our friends at A.P. will chime in.

        Like

  12. tonettejoyce says:

    I’ll leave the blog open to yours through the night; after all, mine is up first all weekend, so I’ll wait to until morning to post mine…around here,the more the merrier!
    Thanks,Opal; I’ll be looking for you. I haven’t gotten a lot of people leaving comments…I am going to work on getting more traffic in.

    Like

  13. Louisa Bacio says:

    My bus ride throughout school usually was 20 minutes to half an hour. I cannot imagine two hours each way. Ugh! Used to like to meet up with friends at the bus stop, and then there was always sitting next to the cute boy …

    Like

  14. Pingback: Guest Fox Opal Campbell, Again | fourfoxesonehound

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