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A Mugging, A Marriage, A Movie: A Century Of Bus Rides

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The Greyhound bus service is now 100 years old. So that is why a few weeks ago we asked you to write to us to share some of your most memorable bus journeys. On this week's Winging It!, we hear some of those tails, starting our adventure is Leah Holt (ph) from Minneapolis.

LEAH HOLT: When I was 15 years old, I was taking a bus to meet a friend who I had met in camp the summer before. And on that bus trip I met the person who I ended up marrying and have been married to for 25 years.

SARAH THAYER: I was going to Pittsburgh from Hartford and we made many stops. The first was New York City. As we were driving through the city, the bus made a stop. And I happened to look out the window and on top of a Department of Transportation vehicle was Richard Simmons dancersizing in front of a crowd.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

RICHARD SIMMONS: Hey, come dance with me. Come dance with me, come on.

TOM LANDON: In the bus station in Pittsburgh, at about 2 o'clock in the morning, I was mugged by two gentlemen much larger than myself. And they took all the money I had earned working for my sister for a week. And that was when I learned the lesson not to go into the restroom of a bus station in 1979 in Pittsburgh.

ASHLEY SACK: I went from Canyon City, Colorado to San Luis Obispo, California. There was a young lady that sat next to me. And she spoke very little English and I spoke very little Spanish. Through our limited conversation, I ended up lending her my CD player and we bonded over a shared love of music. And she was just the kindest, sweetest person. In Las Vegas, we finally parted ways. But it was just interesting to me how she was my best friend in the whole world at that moment for about 15 hours. Together we traveled through the west, it was wonderful.

MARTIN FERRELL: And my most memorable bus trip was back in 1969. I was 13 and it was a 24-hour trip. I changed buses in Cincinnati. I arrived safely Columbus, Ohio, where I had a four-hour layover. Me being a kid from a small town, I was in the big city. So I went and saw "True Grit," which was showing, with John Wayne and Kim Darby.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TRUE GRIT")

JOHN WAYNE: (As Rooster Cogburn) Stand clear and you won't get hurt.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character, imitating rooster).

AMY HUGHES: So I was a tired graduate student and there was no way I was missing Christmas. And so my exhausting 24-hour experience was about finding friends and humor in the oddest places. One of my favorites that I met was Teddy, who introduced himself as the reigning empress of Chicago. And on our way to Denver in this freezing cold, he entertained us for hours with impressions of Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Billie holiday and Carol Channing. It was amazing.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DIAMONDS ARE A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND")

CAROL CHANNING: (Singing) A kiss on the hand may be quite continental, but diamonds are a girl's best friend.

MARTIN: You heard from Sarah Thayer (ph) Tom Landon (ph) Ashley Sack (ph) Martin Ferrell (ph) and Amy Hughes (ph). Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.