An sbX ride-along interview with Andrew and Mark Strickert
I met 4-year old Andrew on his first sbX BRT trip. “It’s really fast!” he grinned.
I offered him a gift from my prize bag if he would let me interview him. He eyed the bag thoughtfully. “Do you have any dinosaurs in there?” he asked hopefully.
I shook my head. “Nope. Sorry, fresh out of dinosaurs. I have a cap, a tote bag or a cell phone pouch.”
“A hat then,” he decided. He pulled it on his head, peering up from under the brim. “I like dinosaurs a lot.”
I snapped a few photos and talked a bit with Andrew’s dad, Mark Strickert, a student at Valley College. Thanks to the Go Smart program, Mark gets unlimited free bus rides with his student ID. Although he has a car, he prefers to park it at the Loma Linda Park & Ride and take the bus to school. It saves him money and time.
“It’s also much easier than trying to find parking on campus,” he points out.
Mark told me he used to work for Orange County Transportation Authority doing stops and zones but had decided to head back to school to study geography. His goal is to eventually do urban planning for cities or transit.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of geography, maps, and transit ever since I was a little boy,” he confessed. “I rode the bus by myself for the first time when I was seven. Of course it was a different time and place then. Chicago in the 60s was a lot different from what it is now. But I was always interested in cities and how to get around.”
He smiled over at his son. “Andrew’s pretty good at getting around too. He knows when we’re close to home and can tell where he is from places that he recognizes.”
“Do you help your dad out if he gets lost?” I asked Andrew.
The 4-year-old shook his head giggling. “He never gets lost!”
His dad laughed.
Andrew was so excited that it was hard for him to sit still. He moved from one seat to another between stops to check out the ride.
“So what kind of dinosaur do you like best?” I asked him curiously
“The one that stands up” he answered promptly.
“A T-Rex? He’s a little scary. You must be very brave. I think I prefer the kind of dinosaurs that eat veggies.”
Andrew nodded and turned around to look out the big window for a moment, swinging his legs back and forth.
“I have a dog named Roxie,” he said suddenly. “She does tricks.”
“Really? What kind of tricks?”
He peered at me over the top of the seat. “She sits down.”
“Wow. . . That is a pretty cool trick.”
“I know!!’ he said proudly, then added. “Dinosaurs don’t know how to sit.”
He hopped off the seat and went over to join his dad in the articulated section of the coach.
“Whoa!!” he laughed and held on to his head when the driver made a right and the turntable seats spun in a circle. “That was fun!”
“You know,” I said suddenly inspired. “I’ve never met a dinosaur but, if I do, I will have him call you.”
“Yeah?” Andrew looked up interested. “Do you think dinosaurs can talk on the phone?”
“I’m not sure, but if I meet one I’ll ask if he can call you.”
“Cool.” Andrew hesitated for a moment. “Not a big dinosaur though, okay? And not the one that stands up. A little one. Maybe like a baby or something.”
I agreed. “Besides, a big one might accidentally step on me. We’ll stick with little dinosaurs. Anyway it was nice meeting you. Thanks for the interview!”
Andrew grinned, “Bye.”
He grabbed his dad’s hand and the two got up to try out yet another seat.
You meet the most interesting people on board sbX!
This one’s for you, Andrew.
– Juno Kughler Carlson
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