This one was special because one of the district’s senior drivers, Annie Singleton, was in the process of retiring. I first met her when our family moved our auto repair shop and school bus businesses to Southport.
Our small fleet of buses that were contracted to Perry Township had grown to the point that we needed more room to park and secure them. It wasn’t long after we relocated from our Sunoco station on Madison Avenue to the building on Southport Road (now Long’s Bakery) that Annie came to drive one of our buses.
One of my duties during the school year was to be in our office to answer any telephone calls that might affect the morning routes. I remember Annie bringing her two oldest children into the office each morning. They quietly waited for the driver who would take them to school.
When the school system purchased our fleet, Annie and most all of our other drivers became employed by Perry Township. I think she took a few years off before returning and finishing her career.
There were a couple of “Annie stories” shared by the speakers at the breakfast; I’m sure many more were privately shared at the tables.
A few years ago I was invited to attend the monthly breakfasts for current and retired Perry Township bus drivers. Annie is a regular and the official photographer. She ensures that the waitress tip bowl is passed around the table for everyone to leave a tip.
Annie’s students and fellow drivers are going to miss her.
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I was thrilled to spend an evening last week at the Stacked Pickle, where my wife, Lyn, and I listened to Carly Brooke, a young country singer who is on her way to a promising career.
We have become acquainted with Carly, 14, over the past few years. She has an impressive resume, having sung the national anthem at various sporting events around the city. She has also performed at the Beech Grove Fall Festival.
She has sang at The Southsider Voice’s cruise-ins, and I hope she will do the same this spring. If you want to know where this amazing singer is performing, check out her Facebook page.
I had a chance to visit with Carly and her mom a couple of times during her performance last week. They told me about the possibility of moving to Nashville, Tenn., next summer. They have visited the city several times, and Carly has made some connections.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools.