MY RIDE- Carol Mumsey- 1994 Blue Bird International TC 2000

Two years ago Carol Mumsey had two options: she could teach the kids in Albemarle county schools or she could drive them to and from school. She chose the latter and got comfortable behind the wheel of a big yellow 1994 Blue Bird school bus.

In her routes from Greer and between Hollymead and Albemarle High School, what Mumsey likes best about the job are the kids in the back and the free time in between pick-ups. Now retired, Mumsey has also created a network of friends with her fellow bus drivers.

"You get to know the other drivers, and we all get along really well," she says.

While the work environment is ideal, driving a 30-plus foot school bus is a world away from steering her tiny Toyota Echo around Charlottesville.

"You have to remember to keep an eye on the back to make sure kids aren't sticking all their limbs out the window," says Mumsey. "And, as big as we are, you have to be extra careful because other drivers still don't see us."

Next year, Mumsey will hang up her keys when she moves to Texas. Though Albemarle will be one driver shy, Mumsey can't wait to try out her bus driving skills in mesas and canyons.

Carol Mumsey

What drives you? Call 295-8700 ext. 239, then pull up in front of Hook headquarters at 100 Second St. NW, and tell us why you love your ride.