dailybell: End of the Ferry Saga?

Friday, May 23, 2008

End of the Ferry Saga?

5/16 AM We Broke the 6 AM Barrier

Stephen (the driver of the Baylink bus) and I rang bells this morning to an attentive audience of birds. Today’s sunrise was at 5:59 AM and getting earlier…

5/19 AM San Francisco Summer Sunrise

Monday morning at the Ferry Terminal. Stephen, the driver was there but was off taking a walk while I rang the bell. We spoke afterwards, and I asked him if he would ring the bell on Wednesday morning because I wanted to walk away and hear what the bell sounds like from a distance. He said OK, and I’m looking forward to that.

5/21 AM A Rude Awakening?
My friend Linda and I have known each other since High School. When I was towing the big bell around the country in 2006, I stopped by to visit Linda and her husband Lamar in Maryland. We hadn’t seen each other in 20 years, and it was like no time had passed except that we looked so much older. Same voice. Same laugh. Solid connection. We decided to stay in touch, and they finally came out to visit Norman and I in San Francisco. So, I woke Linda up at 5AM and we went down to the Ferry Terminal. The Baylink bus was there but we didn’t see the driver. I had been expecting that Stephen would ring the big bell in the back of the car so I could wander around and listen to it from different distances. While I was setting up, I suddenly noticed someone sleeping on the bench, resting his upper body on a big suitcase that was also on the bench. He looked like he was waiting for an early, early bus. Sound asleep. I felt a little bad about waking him up but kept on getting ready. When it was time, we rang the bells and I wandered around with the ship’s bell and the camera. From far away, I saw the driver approach Linda and saw her offer the bell to him. He obviously refused and I headed back there to let see what was going on. As I passed the formerly sleeping man, he smiled- a big smile and said good morning and thank you. His spoke with an accent and I thought that he was from somewhere else and that maybe he thought that this is how we did it in America. Somebody came down to the water and rang bells at sunrise to wake up the people sleeping in public. I found it hard to believe that he really did seem to appreciate and enjoy the bells. As I got closer to the car, I saw the driver was not Stephen. Linda didn’t know that though, and when the man had approached her she said, “Oh I’m doing your job”. And of course he hadn’t the faintest idea what she was talking about but tried to accommodate her none-the-less. He rang a little bit, but he wasn’t really comfortable. I wonder where Stephen was.

5/23 AM Baylink Bus On Holiday Schedule

No Baylink bus at the Ferry Terminal today. I was so surprised. Then I thought that maybe it was because of the holiday weekend. Sure enough, the Baylink is on a holiday schedule . This means that it will still be the same schedule on Monday and that the bus won’t be at the Ferry Terminal until 8:00 in the morning. So I never got a chance to say goodbye to Stephen, the regular driver since he wasn’t there on Wednesday either. I go to New York on Tuesday and the sun will be rising at 5:47AM by the time I get back. We’ll see if the bus arrives that early…

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