Best Bus Driver

Everett Minard

If you ride the #2 bus—looping endlessly from the shores of Lake Washington to the top of Queen Anne Hill—you've seen him. He's talked to you, greeted you, even thanked you for riding. He's been driving for King County Metro since the mid-'80s, but that's not what makes him special. He treats his passengers like an extended—if occasionally dysfunctional—family, with warmth, consideration, and respect, and they respond in kind. Too often, public transit can be a hostile, even threatening, environment, but nobody makes trouble for him—or each other—when he's driving. His name is Everett Minard, but if you know him by name, it's "Laury," short for Lawrence, his middle name. He turned 86 in May, and he's not just Metro's best driver: He's also its oldest. Ten hours a day, five days a week, he drives a 40-foot-long trolley coach on overhead wires better than most drivers one-third his age, having passed a battery of medical and driving tests over the past quarter-century. He talks softly, going back three decades: Nearing 60, he was looking to do something new, and one of his sons drove for Metro. Occasionally he'd ride along. "I thought, 'This would be a good job.' " Twenty-seven years later, it still is. Waiting for a light to turn on Third, pale blue eyes sparkling under his ever-present cap, he reflects on a life well lived: born in West Seattle "at Seattle General Hospital—it's not there anymore," raised in Magnolia, graduated from Queen Anne High School, then off to the Navy—after all, there was still a war on. He married a girl he met in first grade (her name is Nancy; they just celebrated their 64th anniversary) . . . the decades unfold as the pavement rolls by. Kind, decent, and unfailingly polite, he's the grandfather you used to have—or the one you always wanted. MICHAEL MAHONEY

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