DRIVING THE FALLER'S BUS
By: Dave Connolly
During my college years, in the summers I was very fortunate to get plenty of work to finance my education. One summer I scaled for the timber Fallers and also picked up a couple of hours per day driving the old Faller's bus to and from the woods. It was a classic old International school bus that was built like a tank. I was never able to master shifting gears without creating a grinding noise.
We had many close calls on those narrow roads whenever we met the logging trucks and their oversized "off the road" bunks. I remember one time one of the trucks clipped off my side view mirror as it went by. None of those hardy Fallers even blinked an eye at the incident. They lived with "close calls" everyday.
Many of the Fallers had ridden the old busses for a long time and they designated themselves special seats which had their names invisibly written on them. This one particular man chose to sit in the front seat directly behind me.
I had carefully placed my lunch bucket in the front corner to the left of my clutch. After my first day driving to the woods, I learned that this particular corner happened to be the target for his chewing tobacco. I learned the meaning of tolerance and flexibility. We turned out to be good friends, but I never attempted to challenge his choice of spitting. I also learned his secret to being an excellent fisherman was a little spit of chew on the bait. Evidently the fish couldn't resist the powerful aroma.
The Fallers worked very hard during the week and put the same effort into their weekend "play time." Things were always very quiet on Mondays. Too many guys nursing hangovers and loss of sleep over the weekend. However, when Wednesday came along they had the "undercut" finished in the week and were starting on the back side of the tree (week). By Friday there was a lot of whistling and good natured kidding on the bus in anticipation of the weekend. The cycle was complete and the hard work seemed justified for another fun weekend.