Tuesday, June 11, 1974 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Nsne
Longlest-serving U' bus driver retires
By BILL HEENAN calls John Mullins, a student 3 pm. shift, he swings into the
When Frank Brooks began driver. "Brooks told him, why University garages below the
driving buses for the University no, sir, I'm in perfect health." stadium. Dodging railroad
in the 1940s, one of his many Another driver known as tracks, cursing mechanics and
assignments was shuttling "Squirrel" adds, "Yeah, ever truck trailers, he parks the $33,-
World War II veterans from since then he's threatened to 000 bits in the midst of 25 oth-
th Pi r ilti "t e hang a bedpan out the window ers.
i e 1r spsuanu arpaper
shacks" to the campus.
Brooks, 70, will retire at the
end of June kafter 28 years on
the road. He has served the
University for longer than any
other bus driver.
BROOKS HAS been driving
the campus since 1946, and he
remembers times when the
routes and their riders were
vastly different. In the '50s, he
recalls, "Everyone dressed in
suits and coonskin coats and
drove Stutz Bearcats."
Ie also drove chartered buses
which often "broke down at
night at least 20 miles from the
"I remember the Snowbowl
football game in 1951," he says.
"It took us a couple of days to
get back from Columbus."
BROOKS CONTENDS that the
University "scoured" nearby
army bases to procure its de-
Slightly stooped and pink-com-
plexioned, Brooks could easily
double as a department store
His notorious dry wit soon de-
molishes his twinkly-eyed im-
age, however. From the Uni-
versity's drivers, "Brooks stor-
ies" get a laugh every time.
"REMEMBER when some-
body kept asking him if he was
going to the Med Center?" re-
to let 'em know."
During his 28 years of serv-
ice, Brooks has accumulated an
outstanding record, according
to his superiors. Bus foreman
Bob Kepler calls Brooks' attend-
ance history "exceptional."
"HE HASN'T been sick or
late a single day," Kepler re-
marks, adding that Brooks has
accumulated 1,063.5 hours of
"Brooks could make more
money by not working than
wbrking," claims student driver
"Bitsy Lamb. She jokingly as-
serts that Brooks will donate
$4900 in sick pay to the Univer-
sity on his retirement.
Lamb says Brooks has caus-
ed some consternation among
riders because of his smoking
habits. "It's those half-eaten ci-
gars of his. If he doesn't like
you, he'll blow smoke right at
you." She claims the 'No Smok-
ing' signs on his vehicle have
been "mysteriously" scratched
ON HIS DAILY route, Brooks
directs his vehicle past the city
golf course, where golf balls
land precariously nearby. Chew-
ing on his cigar and pulling his
faded blue cap over his brow,
he regards this trip as no dif-
ferent than about 6,000 others.
After completing his 7 a.m. to
"Bus driving sure gets mo-
notonous - tip and down the
same old hills every day," he
complains. The only excitement
on his route recently, he says,
has been the irate riders.
BROOKS WILL no longer
drive the Big Blue buses in the
future, but he is not sure what
his future holds. "I haven't giv-
en it much thought," he re-
flects. "I'll play it day-to-day."
Brooks was born in Detroit,
where he attended school
through sixth grade. During
World War II he worked for
Bendix Corp. and in the Mosh-
er-Jordan dormitory cafeteria.
Presently he lives in Ann Ar-
bor, and he plans to stay here.
As Brooks shuffles out of the
Transportation Services cafe-
teria, Squirrel quips, "It'll take
four men to replace him."
Doily Photo by TOM GOTTLIEB
FRANK BROOKS, the University's longest-service bus driver
with 28 years of campus driving to his record, sits in his bus
puffing on one of his well known trademarks. Brooks will
retire at the end of this month.
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