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Pamela Loxley Drake recalls her days of riding the school bus and going to a since-demolished school.

COURTESY PHOTO - Pamela Loxley DrakeThe old Franklin School has been torn down. Only a vacant field fills the corner where children played, where generations walked the halls.

My parents were some of the first students to attend it when it was new. I attended the same along with a new generation.

Each weekday, I stood at the end of the lane, waiting for bus 16. Lewis drove the bus and was there to greet me each day. I rode the bus with his daughter, Patsy, who was a year older than me.

Years later, Patsy wrote to me after reading my column about Franklin School. She provided me with this history related by her brother Bill.

Bill was one of a group of 20 kids who were the first to go to Franklin School the year it opened. He started the first grade when the school opened in 1926 and graduated in 1939. Decades later, it turned into an elementary school.

I never thought much about the way my parents got to school. I took it for granted that they walked or were taken by their parents in a buggy or on horseback. They had gone to the little one-room schoolhouse just down the road from my grandparents.

The new school must have been quite a transition with each class in their own classroom rather than one big room. It was a time of transition into a new age.

Mom and Dad never talked about a bus. I envisioned my grandmother watching her children walk down their lane to meet the bus and my mother standing by the mailbox, waiting to be picked up. Imagine sitting on the old bus in the rain and in the snow, and, knowing my parents, probably holding hands and cuddling against the chill.

How many kids were on the bus? Was it just one bus or were there several? What was it like to be a kid back then, going from one room to a big school with two floors of classrooms? And, no outhouse!

Bill more than likely rode that bus with my parents, so his story is theirs as well.

Patsy gave me a gift by sharing Bill's story. I have a new appreciation of the history of the old, brick school.

Her dad was Lewis, our bus driver. I wonder if Lewis decided to be a bus driver when he took a picture of his son getting into that first Model T school bus, heading to Franklin School.

Ah, the fun of driving a new bus to a new school.

Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and self-described "farm girl."


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