First On, Last Off

An image of a vintage Fisher Price school bus painted by Jonathan Fenske

First On, Last Off by Jonathan Fenske; acrylic on board, private collection

I was snuggled deep in covers this morning when our eldest girl joined me. It was barely light and rain drummed on the roof of our Colorado home. Rain is rare here, so I relished the quiet, the stillness, the sweet child beside me.

All of a sudden, a school bus lumbered past our house. It was barely 6:30 a.m. I said to my girl, “You know, that’s a school bus taking kids to school. Daddy sees it when he’s running.” We’re on the western edge of our school district, so some kids get picked up really early. And then they are bussed about ten miles east.

Immediately, I thought of a painting Jonathan did a while ago, which sold at the Matre Gallery in Atlanta. It’s called “First On, Last Off.” When Jonathan was a child, his bus driver lived in his neighborhood. He would walk down to her house and climb on the bus. Then, they picked up all of the other students. Since it was a private school, the students were all over the place. Of course, the ride was repeated on the way home and he was last off.

It’s neat how in art your childhood can surface pretty much anywhere. I wanted to share this one in honor of the new school year. Happy new lunch boxes and backpacks!

Confidential to RK in NYC: I hope you are loving Kindergarten! Hugs and kisses, your Godmother and Godfather

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