That song has been on my mind all day today. I decided to walk to Meijer to get some fresh produce and happened by Howard Street where a fleet of school buses congregated up and down and all around the block. They queued up in an orderly fashion, then their respective drivers tooted at each other as they took off one by one. There were fumes aplenty as those school buses chugged along carrying precious cargo scheduled to be deposited for the day to learn their three Rs. I wonder if I’m somewhat of an oddity, since, in all my years, I’ve never ridden on a school bus. Field trips during middle school were via charter bus and I always walked to school. Well, in between the bus arrivals and departures, kids were getting dropped off at a record rate at their respective schools – John Paul II Catholic School and across the street at Hoover Elementary School. A contingent of kids were gathered in front of the public school, with backpacks weighing them down … some of the skinnier kids looked like they might tip backward with their groaning canvas packs. Equally gargantuan was the stop signs that the fluorescent-strapped and buckled-up crossing guards used to wield their power to oncoming vehicles. Those crossing guards didn’t hesitate to use their big silver whistles either. The problem, as I saw it, was there was a whole lot of waving and whistling going on by the crossing guards but only one or two kids crossing the street. I watched a mom try valiantly to leave her little boy at the entrance of JPII school, while he was clinging like a burr to her leg. He wailed, then he threw his stuffed toy across the sidewalk and with tears streaming down his face said “I don’t wanna go!” Despite much foot stomping on his part, she tried to console him, but they were empty words and her little pat on his shoulder did nothing to quell the temper tantrum. Wow! I know I looked forward to starting school every year, even kindergarten. What wasn’t to like? All your playmates in one spot, a big room to romp around in, nap time and a cookies-and-milk break. The tradeoff was just expending a little brain power. Maybe it was more fun way back then in the early 60s, when all you needed to do was show up with your fresh-scrubbed face, a scribbler and a chunky #2 pencil.