Our First Ride

All the months of planning leading up to this project did not prepare us for how terrifying the first steps onto the bus would be.  It’s strangely intimidating to walk up to a stranger and say, “Hi, we’re doing an art project – can we interview you and take your picture?”  Luckily, we spent the first day interviewing four kind and deeply interesting people, and our fears were quickly allayed.

When we walked up to the bus stop outside our front door (a poetic place to start), we saw one lady standing at the stop already, waiting for her bus.  We nervously scurried across the street and up to the sidewalk next to her, and our hearts were pounding.

We introduced ourselves, and luckily she became our gracious tour guide and our first interviewee.  She gave us tips on what lines would be good and which lines might be troublesome.  She gave us tips on where to find people to interview.  And she was really good natured about the whole project.  We were very thankful that our first interaction was filled with such kindness.

We had four interviews that day.  Two were travelers – one who was traveling across the United States, one who had visited 42 countries.  We met one California native who surfed and played guitar in a rock band.  And one mother on her way home from work to celebrate her child’s second birthday.

It was exciting and enthralling to learn the stories of these people – people that would have sat next to us in silence, had we not taken those first terrifying steps to start a conversation.

Beginning this project, we knew that some people might not be interested in participating.  Whether they’re having a bad day, think we’re weird or just want their privacy, we understand.  We had two people decline to be interviewed during our first ride, which isn’t too bad.  On his way off the bus, one sweet gentleman who had declined turned to us, flashed a peace sign and said “I’ll let you have this one for free.  Deuces baby.”  Cheers to you, friend.

Omaha, Nebraska, art, bus, public transportation, metro, Omaha Creative Institute, Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Humanities Council

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