My favorite story in Lehrer’s autobiography, A Bus of My Own, is Runaway Betsy. Lehrer’s father was a bus company owner for a short time, and one of his buses was Betsy. In the story of Runaway Betsy, the bus was being driven by a man named Cameron, and Lehrer, a young boy at the time, was in the front seat. Betsy was driving passengers to the station.
As they began to drive across the city, Betsy lost her brakes. Miraculously, past red lights and green lights, down main streets and side roads, Cameron, through skillful use of throttle and gears, drove Betsy to the station unharmed. The passengers didn’t even notice that the bus had no brakes until the very end, when they pulled into the station.
This story stuck with me because it kept me in suspense to the last letter. Would they crash? When would the passengers notice? Would Cameron be able to park the bus when they reached the station (if they did)?