CSPS bus drivers hang up their keys
By Annette Tait
Together, Sharon Price and Ruby Meyhoff have spent 70-plus years and driven more than a half million miles safely transporting hundreds of Oliver County children from their homes to school and back in every type of weather North Dakota could throw at them. And that’s not counting miles driven for field trips, sporting events, and other activities.
Price started driving the school bus when the country schools all closed and there was no other way to get rural students to school in town. The superintendent at the time, Bill Hickle, talked her into giving it a try.
“That first year, the gas buses’ carburetors froze up and we’d have to stop about every half hour to pour Heat in them,” Price recalled of her first winter as a school bus driver. “The gas bus was tough to drive; the diesels stay running.”
Meyhoff started driving a school bus a few years later around Christmas-time.
“The janitor died, and the bus driver went to the janitor position,” she said. “Mr. Leonard Moore said, ‘Ruby, you can drive the bus’.”
And she did.
Price and Meyhoff shared stories and bantered as good friends and coworkers do, remembering the ups and downs of driving the school bus for, in some cases, two generations of Oliver County students.
“Sharon’s the only bus driver I had,” Center-Stanton Public School District Board Member Rick Schmidt said, noting his children now ride the bus to school.
Price and Meyhoff talked of the different types of air filters they had to carry, and having to change them out on the way into Center because the filters would clog with dust from the roads. The two also recalled how they dealt with breakdowns – the drivers would tow the broken-down bus to Underwood, one bus behind the other, and told of finding their ways on county roads in heavy fog and during snowstorms.