A few years back when I lived in the Miracle Mile area, I recall our first conversation about taking the bus in Los Angeles. You were recently retired and came to visit quite a bit. The conversation went something like this (I hate to admit it, but my memory is less than stellar these days):
Dad: Well, I think I’m going to take the bus into downtown to meet you for dinner.
Me: Really? Are you sure? It’s not that hard for me to drive out and pick you up.
Dad: No, I’ve been studying the bus maps and I’m fairly sure I can make it.
Me: Fairly sure, huh. Well, as long as you’re fairly sure and not merely kinda sure, but semi-worried that you won’t make it. OK, as long as you are willing to give it an honest go. Call me if you get lost or in trouble.
Dad: Trust me, I’ll make it.
Yes, it’s true, I thought you were insane. Who takes the bus in Los Angeles! It’s not a small town with only one bus line. You could have ended up anywhere. But—though I worried relentlessly and texted you continuously to see where you were every few seconds—you made it.
After I moved to DTLA, you were a bus-riding fiend. On the day you called to tell me you were leaving a USC baseball game but thought the DASH stopped running and so were walking back, I realized I no longer worried about your adventures on the bus and metro. I didn’t bat an eye. I didn’t even offer you a ride. I waited for you to make it back and bought you a couple of beers in celebration of your return.
Everything is different today. I don’t own a car. I willingly ride the bus. I have met a lot of interesting, though sometimes a little crazy, characters during my travels.
Thank you, dad, for pointing me to the bus stop and showing me that it’s OK to ride the bus or metro in Los Angeles. I always think of you every time I take public transportation.
Image courtesy of http://www.toonpool.com/artists/GBowen_1026