It was 24 years old, had an odometer with mileage deep into six digits and ran without air conditioning. But every day the big white school bus rescued more than 100 children from summertime boredom.
The decommissioned Chevrolet bus, bought from Johnston County for roughly $3,500, carried kids aged 6 to 17 to Boys & Girls Clubs around Raleigh, where they got all-day recreation and free lunch. Most of the kids came from low-income families, and nearly all of them rode from Parrish Manor mobile home park in Southeast Raleigh.
Then the bus quit running – twice in four days, for good the second time in early July.
Its blown engine strands 135 children who would otherwise be finger-painting and practicing free throws.
“They need to be there, not here,” said Charles Parrish, owner of Parrish Manor who runs the nonprofit Nessie Foundation.