Bedford Co. School Bus Driver Still Behind The Wheel After 54 Years
Bedford Co., VA - James Bryant has been driving kids to school in the Forest zone for more than five decades and doesn't have any plans to stop.
Bryant used to drop his own children off at New London Academy. Now that his children are grown, Bryant has driven his grandchildren to school as well. He says as long as he keeps passing the yearly bus driver physical, he'll drive another generation.
"I drove bus 47. I drove bus 56. I drove 19," Bryant recalled.
Bryant, 75, has been behind the wheel of some school bus every school year since September of 1959.
"So the mothers done already filled them in about Mr. Bryant, you know. Don't y'all act up on that bus because I rode it and I know he don't take no stuff off of nobody," Bryant said. "The people are so nice. You know the parents are real nice. I have no problems out of the parents. I have no problems out of the children."
Judy Wolcott used to be a mom on Bryant's bus route.
"That meant a whole lot when I was leaving town," Wolcott said. "I taught in Bedford, so I had to know my children were safe on that bus before I could leave Forest and we did it for a long time."
Schools superintendent Dr. Douglas Schuch says you couldn't ask for a better bus driver.
"He kind of has a strong and steady personality that the students really respond to," Schuch said.
Bryant's own children learned the hard way not to be late for the bus. He says they weren't at the stop on time on two occasions, and he left them both times.