N.J.-S.P. Bus Driver Reflects on 50 Years of Service

Gaston Combs has been driving a school bus for North Judson-San Pierre for 50 years. Photos provide by N.J.-S.P. Schools.

A North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation employee was surprised by his colleagues last week with a cake to celebrate five decades behind the wheel. Gaston Combs has been driving a bus for the corporation for 50 years. He says they’re a lot better now than they used to be.

“When I started out we didn’t have power steering, no automatic transmissions, none of that stuff, you know,” Combs said.”But they all have power steering now and automatic transmissions. The newer ones have the push buttons to open the door like commercial buses, city buses. So that’s been a big change in that.”

Combs has also seen quite a few kids pass through the bus doors over the years. He’s on his third generation of Bluejay passengers.

“Some of those kids of course are grown and married and have got kids and they’ve moved away. But when they come back a lot of them will stop and see me, come in and say ‘this is my kids.’ Tell their kids ‘hey, this is my old bus driver’ . So it’s always good to see them when they come back like that. I enjoy visiting with them”

gaston-and-colleagues_edited-1Combs has a piece of advice for his fellow drivers.

“The bottom line is to love the kids.”

He also encourages them to have good working relationships with the parents if possible, as it makes the job a lot less stressful.

Combs adds he has no plans to retire as long as his health holds out and the Lord allows him to continue working.