Greyhound: Thank You and Goodbye

The Greyhound bus service expired in the Prairies this past summer. It was once a regular, normal part of life growing up in southwestern Manitoba. When I was elementary school-aged, my mother, sister, and I would travel as far as Vancouver by Greyhound. More often, we would travel to Swift Current, where both sets of grandparents lived. Other people would also travel to see my family. We would meet them at a Greyhound connection, of which there were two nearby.

The Greyhound bus is as much a childhood memory in my Prairie experience as the classic pre-Christmas Sears catalogue (another recent extinction). Greyhound provided simple, affordable travel as a teenager between the towns of Elkhorn and Virden, Manitoba, where I grew up. This travel route would extend to Winnipeg as part of my high school and post-high school social orbit. Even back then, I was the anomaly as the teenaged non-driver. I would have thought there would be other people within that small demographic of non-vehicle driving youth moving about between small towns. However, that was a small number within the even smaller number of overall service users in the Prairies, a population that continues to shrink.

Keri and I have discussed the passing of things that caused us to meet. Keri worked at the Redwater video store, which was also the town Greyhound stop. The Greyhound also handled freight from the job I worked at the time. I would visit the video store as an employee of a business using the freight service and also to transport myself to Edmonton. I would rent movies and talk to Keri about them. As well, I paid my rent there since the video store was owned by my then-landlord. This was more than 20 years ago now.

So many things can change in that amount of time. My history with my lovely wife begins with Greyhound and movie rentals. Video rentals have also gone to the past and the Greyhound bus service, older than even VHS movies, has gone that way too.

Reinhardt lives in Boyle Street with his wife, Keri Breckenridge.

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Janis Irwin MLA

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