It was like yesterday. So many people coming off every ship in the harbor, all speaking different languages, all from different corners of the world, all coming with the hope of a better life, a place to call home. My! How times have changed. Still, all of us from every nation yearn for that same sense of belonging, so, as we come together to board a bus with brief encounters of strangers, we are a community, eager to leave worries and troubles behind. For a few minutes we are all waiting for the D Line* that will take us to work, shopping, birthday parties, parks, university. We are one, and for a few short minutes, even after stepping off the bus, we are still one. Perhaps that oneness can grow stronger with a little more effort in respect, humility, curiosity, forgiveness. Come closer and feel the warmth of this little piece of Americana.
*The D Line is the Metro Transit bus line that is being proposed for 2020 and will ultimately travel from Brooklyn Center, through Minneapolis, to the Mall of America, pending funding. It will replace a portion of Route 5.
Edna is a well-seasoned Red Hat Lady. Her pet mouse, Morty, accompanies her everywhere, safe inside the folds of her red hat. Edna is concerned with most of the local and international problems of her time and is at the ready to support or protest any cause. If there is a demonstration to attend, she is fully prepared with her earbuds installed and transistor radio in her tote. Always fashion conscious, Edna wears her organdy blouse with coordinating camisole, her pencil skirt, proper jewelry of peace sign necklace and mood ring. Ready to march, she wears the fashionable rolled down hose, and sturdy orthopedic shoes. Age takes its toll with a less than voluptuous bosom and cookies take their toll with a paunch that can’t be hidden. Inside her tote remains a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (which keeps well in warm and cool weather), a small purse with a few coins to get her home on the bus, a wool scarf in case the weather turns foul, and a flashlight-should she be detained into the evening.
Friedrich lives alone. He is in his upper sixties and thinks he is still God’s gift to women. Debonair and handsome is that man in the mirror, a professor of philosophy, and still wanted for special lectures at the college. If someone isn’t caring for him, cleaning and picking up after him, then he lets things lie where they may. Friedrich pays little attention to his color blindness, so anything that looks like brown “must” coordinate, right? Blue socks look brown too in the early morning light and his dirty wing-tips are just weathered?
You might notice that there is no American flag lapel pin; nor is there a poppy to support veterans, or a gold cross. Friedrich has little interest in being affiliated with an organization. Since he lives alone, there’s no one around to tell him he’s spilled on his tie. When a button falls off, he is forced to sew it on himself – however it gets sewn.
Hakan is the Turkish barista in Minneapolis who owns Sovereign Grounds Coffee shop on 48th and Chicago. He is a handsome man who arrived from Turkey, has a wonderful work ethic and a kindness seldom found in business. He loves all the neighborhood children so much that half of his coffee shop is dedicated to the little kids and their mothers, supplying them with toys galore. All the little kids know that they must leave their shoes at the door, so at any time, you can see a pile of shoes under the coffee counter nearby. The front room is always bustling with coffee drinkers, commuters, and breakfast or lunch crowds. Hakan looks for ways to help you even when you don’t know he’s looking! I am honored to have Hakan among my bus stop people.
Star is the goth daughter of a flower child mother, Summer, and an aristocrat father, Theodore. I’m sure Theodore was smitten with the free spirit of Summer; it was love at first glance, hence, Star. Star has been given a boatload of freedom growing up and has chosen to join the Goth. This decision has been eye-opening for her: her choices in life have not always been positive. Star has seen more than she should and done more than she should. Dedicated to goth, tattoos and piercings are her badges of courage and her attempt] to find acceptance within the group, although finding friends doesn’t seem to be within her reach. As her youth slips through her fingers, Star is still only moderately concerned with what life has in store for her.
Yana is Russian. She had a fine marriage until her husband suddenly died. With little family left, she immigrated to the U.S in hopes of finding a little peace. Fifteen years later, Yana finds her environment much safer and more comfortable. Yana has no children, so once alone, she misses her dear old friends. Yana is so very caring and so sweet. She will invite you in for a cup of tea and you will talk over the problems of the world, and yours, and when your cup is empty, it’s time to go. You may not have solved anything, but you will feel so much better. Life is good now. Yana has made some new friends here.
Sadie is the youngest of the two daughters of Clarice and Charles. She is quiet, shy, curious, and happy-go-lightly. Sadie loves her big sister, Mom, and Dad. She is accompanying her sister, Sophie, and her Mom to a birthday party for one of Sophie’s friends. Taking the bus is a treat. Sadie is experiencing a sudden desire to know more about the man next to her, Jesu. She wonders where he is going and why he looks so sad and wary. She would like to be friends with Jesu, he draws her to him.
Sophie is Sadie’s sister and daughter to Clarice and Charles. She’s upset today because her mom isn’t letting her carry the birthday present to her friend (little does Sophie know that the present is a blown glass unicorn: very unusual and very fragile). Sophie’s normal reaction to not getting her way is to pout. Today is a perfect example of that. Sometimes, Sophie is upset with her mother believing that she treats her little sister as a favorite. Of course, it’s all in her head, but Sophie can see it all! She thinks: “I’m right! Sadie gets all the attention! It’s just not fair!”
Clarice is the mother of Sophie and Sadie. They all come from the East Coast of the U.S. along with their dad, Charles. Husband Charles is well educated and has a good job, which allows Clarice to stay home and care for the girls. Clarice is also a college graduate and sometimes works at home designing Christmas ornaments. This is a special day with Sophie’s friend’s birthday. It seemed much easier to take the bus today than drive across town and then hunt for parking. The girls love the bus, though Clarice has her hands full with Sophie and Sadie together. Did you ever have everything under control and just “space out” for a second? Seems Clarice is having that moment, though only for a moment. She is a good mother, trying to give the girls space, but she always knows where they are and what they’re doing.
Jesu is homeless. He has seen everything. He has experienced EVERYTHING. He is sad and anxious for the people around him; he seems to know what they all are thinking and what they are anticipating. Jesu is wary about some people, wondering if they will be kind – as kind as he is. He has seen some people do miserable things to innocent bystanders. He wants everyone to know that they are loved. If you come close to Jesu, you will experience a warmth and glorious peace that you’ve never felt before.
Toby is an impatient four year-old boy who has had it, waiting for that bus. It’s time to take matters into his own hands and head for the park himself. So, off he goes……… well, maybe. Mom is right there to bring him back in line. Toby will not be happy waiting longer for the bus.
Jane is a single mother raising Toby. This is her one day off from work this week and she wants to spend it having fun with Toby. Some days it’s hard to handle child and work, but today, we forget all that and head for fun. “Just a few minutes more, Toby. OOPS, Toby, stay with me.”
The bus stop people are raw edge appliqued. All are originals and are designed, constructed and quilted by
Carol Hancuh from 2016-2018.