The Bus Station

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I am still browsing through Pine Log Echoes III and find something of interest each time. An efficient place to start is the index. A brief scan will always bring a subject to my attention. You know already what this column covers. In my scan, I found two business names, Swainsboro Greyhound Bus Terminal and Greyhound Post house. Both were what I always called The Bus Station and located on corner of W. Morning and South Main across the street from the post office where Harvey’s Super Market and large parking has occupied for many years. I have much history of riding on the Greyhound. This stretches from childhood trips to visit my grandparents in Lyons to flying to Atlanta from my home in San Antonio, Texas and then boarding the Greyhound to complete the journey in Swainsboro. My mother walked up from her desk at Forest Blade to meet me and was astonished that it had taken me longer to get to Swainsboro from Atlanta than it had to fly from San Antonio to Atlanta. I think she told that to everyone we met on our way to the Blade office. My trips to Lyons were less than an hour but as an eight- year- old traveling alone a big adventure. I was always warned to stay in my seat until my grandparents met me in Lyons. The route stopped in Lexsy and Oak Park, and I guess they feared I would get off there---never did.

Many other trips were taken on the Greyhound between the first to Lyons and last from Atlanta. During that time, you were always passed by a Greyhound on every highway. Now few are seen on Interstates and are mainly tour groups. Another bygone era.

I learned from Pine Log Echos III that the bus station was built in 1940 at the cost of $20,000 with

seating for 32 waiting passengers, lockers and telephone booths. There was a restaurant (which explains the Post House) with U-shaped counter and round stools. Five buses at a time could be accommodated. It was always busy and crowded with passengers going, coming and layovers when changing routes. During World War II, bus loads of GIs passed through. This fete really put Swainsboro on the map----however it was not popular with everyone. Some town folks feared that having all those travelers passing through our town could cause problems, and the heavily used bus station would be a nuisance for houses nearby. One prominent home owner was angry and tried every way possible to prohibit the building of Bus Station. He decided to take it into his own hands and shot out several of the large windows of the new, yet unoccupied building. There was no question of identity of the shooter for he had threatened in advance. No one was injured and damage repairable. I do not know if he was charged beyond paying for the repairs. For the rest of his years, he lived in his home across from Bus Station and watched the busses arrive and depart with none of the disasters he had predicted. Now a bit of Greyhound humor. My Grandmother often traveled on the Greyhound from her home in Lyons to visit us in Swainsboro. She had a very small chihuahua dog that she wanted to accompany her. Since dogs were not allowed on Greyhounds, she fit him securely into a box with small holes for air and planned to carry him on her lap. When driver saw her get on board and sit with box on her lap, he came to her seat and offered to put her box in the overhead. She replied, “No, I will hold it to keep from breaking.” Being a bit suspicious, he asked, “What do you have in the box?” She answered “Pickles.” “Well,” he replied, “It looks like some of your pickles are leaking.” Thankfully, the pickles did not start barking. Write to Shirley at sptwiss@gmail.com

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