Part of the fun of going to a family reunion is learning things about your parents you never knew before.
For instance, my dad once saved a school bus full of children from near tragedy. Or so his side of the story went.
My aunt Audrey was reminiscing about the time the school bus almost went into a ditch on the side of the country road. She was just six, in her first year of school, and Dad was in his freshman or sophomore year.
Here’s what the two agree on: The road was in bad shape and the bus nearly went into a steep ditch. The bus driver slammed on the brakes to prevent the accident. That’s when the accounts start to diverge.
My aunt says she was trembling at the back of the bus, scared of what was to her a huge jump down to the ground. Dad, for his part, says he quickly and efficiently ran to the back of the bus, opened the back door, ushered all the kids off (saving all their lives in the process), then rushed up the road to the nearest home where he procured two blocks and raced back to the bus to chock up the tires so the poor driver could finally take his foot off the brakes. And then he saved the driver.
When cousin Tim and I heard that story we decided we had to find the exact spot this took place so we could one day place a historical marker. We drove out past the family farm and there was the ditch:
Fortunately, everyone lived happily ever after.