Carol Burns

As Interviewed by Mateo J., March 20, 2019

Carol Burns: In Her Own Words

When I was young we lived in Lincoln, Nebraska. I don't have an exact recollection of it but I was probably around six and a half. The story is that my family had family friends. They didn’t have a lot of money, so Mother would sew clothes for them in exchange for the mother to help with spring cleaning. We were in the way so they gave us each 8 cents, a nickel for the bus trip and 3 cents each for candy.

We get on the bus and we ran to the back of the bus and put our nickel in the machine and sat down, still laughing from the silly things we had done in the department store. The bus driver went about a half a block and then he stopped and told me I’d have to move to the front of the bus.

I said, “I don’t want to, I want to sit with my friend."

I got up and started to move to the front because he told me to.

After, I got to thinking about it, he started up again and about another half block I thought, 'I want to sit with Ella May.' So I went back and sat with Ella May in the back of the bus. He stopped again, he let on a few passengers and said, “Little girl back there, you need to move to the front of the bus, you can’t sit back there." And I said, “Oh yes I can, I’m sitting with my friend."

So we went another couple of blocks and when he stopped again to pick someone up, he put the bus in neutral or park or whatever and he came back and he said, “You” - and he pointed to me - “You have got to move to the front of the bus."

So I said, “Come on, Ella May, let's go.”

And he said “No, she can’t go with you.”

And I said, “ Well then, I’m staying here.”

And he said, “No, both of you will get off the bus.”

I don’t think Ella May said anything. I said, “But this isn’t our stop.”

And he said, “Oh yes it is, you will get off of the bus.”

And he took me by the arm. Of course Ella May followed me, we got off the bus, and we walked the rest of the way home.