“Burl’s Bus” – from June 2014

Good afternoon from Butler & Bailey Market.

I hope everyone is doing well!  I am going to do something a little different today with “Grocery Life”.  I am going to do a rerun.  I don’t always have time to write these days, and probably more truthfully, I run out of stories to tell.

As you have probably noticed, I write more about things outside of the store than inside the store. Grocery stores are pretty boring when you get right down to it, so I try to not overwhelm you with store news, just what you need to know.

So, last night I was trying to think of my next topic for the blog while I was flipping channels on the TV, looking for something to watch, and I realized the only things on TV now seem to be reruns from months and years past.  Well, that gave me the idea I needed: start rerunning old “Grocery Life’s”.  I keep a binder at home of old blogs, so I pulled it out and started looking for reruns.  I didn’t realize I started writing these things back in 2014 until I opened it up.  So, I am going to start mixing a few old ones in when I don’t have a fresh topic.  That way, I can still get my mother something to read and stay on good terms with her.  You will just have to disregard any information in them concerning sales or events concerning the store at the time.  The reruns will be for “entertainment purposes” only, and I use that term loosely.

I do want to remind you that tomorrow morning, from 8am until 9 am, will be dedicated to seniors and high-risk customers.   We will also continue our abbreviated store hours this week.  We will be closed on Wednesday and Sunday this week.  Our inventories continue to improve, and we are hoping to receive a pretty good load of groceries tomorrow so, hopefully, we will receive some of the things we have been out of.

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy some of the oldies!

This one is from June 26, 2014.

Good morning from Butler and Bailey Market.

I hope everyone is having a good week. Everything is going good at the store this week.

We had a cooking class Tuesday night, and we have another one tonight. Everyone we have had in June has been full and most of the ones in July are almost full.  The one that is not filling up in July is on the 24th, which happens to be my birthday.  Maybe people are afraid they have to bring a present if they come to that one?  Don’t worry about bringing a present.  My son always does something special for me on my birthday.  He takes me to Chuck E. Cheese.  That’s what we did last year, and I am sure he will want to take me again this year.  Tyson loves to go to Chuck E. Cheese, and I guess since he loves it, he thinks everyone must love it.  I do not love Chuck E. Cheese.  I do not even like Chuck E. Cheese, but I love my boy, and he loves his daddy, so wherever he wants to take me on my birthday will be a special present to me.

Another thing happening near the time of my birthday is my thirty-year high school reunion.  I graduated from Bearden High School.  I actually went to Bearden all twelve years.  School zoning was different then because if you lived in the house I grew up in now, you would go to Sequoyah Elementary, Bearden Middle, and West High School.  I kind of like the fact that I got to go to the same school my whole career.  Maybe because I always went to Bearden or maybe because I lived in the same house during my school years, I always rode the same bus and always had the same bus driver, Burl Jones, bus number 143.

As a kid, Burl seemed like a gruff old man.  He wore either grey or blue pairs of coveralls every day and a cap in warm weather or a toboggan in cold weather.  He never smiled that I can remember, but I do remember the glare he had in that big rearview mirror when kids got rowdy on the bus.  I kind of feared him, so my friends and I usually just sat quietly hoping not to get the glare.  His bus was kind of like I perceived him, old and gruff.  I don’t guess it had ever been washed or, if it had, it was so old it didn’t change in appearance.  After I graduated from high school, I didn’t see Burl again until I started here at the store.  It turns out Burl and his family lived right here in Rocky Hill, just around the corner from the store and came here to buy their groceries.  He still wore either a grey or blue pair of coveralls after all those years, but as I got to know him, I discovered he was a very kind and gentle man who had quite the sense of humor and he still drove bus 143.  I always enjoyed the stories we shared about our bus riding days and couldn’t believe how many that we both remembered.

Several years later, when Erica and I were planning our wedding, I decided I wanted to invite Burl and his wife to our wedding, and I also wanted him to chauffeur us and the wedding party between events in bus 143.  It took a little work to convince Erica that our wedding limousine was going to be my childhood school bus, but I think she was so busy trying to plan everything else, she gave in pretty quickly.  Well when we walked out of the church after the ceremony, there sat Burl and bus 143, just like I remembered it growing up, but on this day the bus seemed a little shinier.  Burl and his wife were dressed to the nines in their Sunday best.  Several of the guys in my wedding had grown up riding the bus with me and, when we started filing onto the bus, we all greeted Burl just like we did every morning all those years ago.

It meant a lot to me that Burl was a part of my wedding day, and I think it meant a lot to him, because his wife would always ask me for more copies of the pictures we took on that day so she could send them to their friends and family.

The Rocky Hill community is full of great people like Burl and Martha Jones, and I am glad I get to know so many of you by working here at the store.  It is great to be part of this community!

Have a great weekend!

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community.

Tom Butler

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