Letters to My Granddaughter, No. 54

By | February 15, 2024

[February 15, 2024]  Fanny slammed on the brakes of the School Bus she was driving, and then, as she stood up, she turned around and yelled at us, mostly Junior High School kids from Bastrop.  “Shut up with that racket.  I can’t drive with all that screaming.”  That’s a close quote, as best I can remember, but I’ve removed six or seven cuss words.  In response, several girls started crying.  This ride would just be another typical day on Fanny’s bus.

The entire bus of kids, packed to the max with maybe 60 or 70 of us, stopped talking all at once.  But Fanny’s tirade only created a temporary lull in the pandemonium, and we made the trip twice daily, to and from school.  It never changed on her bus; more yelling and screaming, talking over each other, running in the aisles, throwing paper, and waving our hands out the windows; pure chaos.

This was my first year in school after Elementary School and my first time riding a school bus.  There was a little excitement in our household that first day as I readied myself.  None of us, parents or cousins, had ever ridden like this to school, so there was no getting the lowdown on school bus rules other than “shut up and sit down.”

Driver Fanny was a force to be reckoned with, and I wasn’t going to get on her bad side; that was the last time I sat in the front seat.  Sitting in the last seat was far more interesting; it was bumpier but had more action.  I even felt bad for a kid who was taken away by ambulance after falling and hitting his head on the emergency door exit while fooling around trying to open it.  I told my Mom about the accident, and she seemed not to hear me.

My homeroom was math class with Mr. Braumeister; he didn’t take gruff off anybody.  “Mr. Beer Man,” as we called him behind his back; yeah, I felt guilty about it.  We were often late to class because Fanny ran behind schedule, which was a common experience and much to our amusement.  This meant explaining my tardiness to Mr. B.  Most of us were afraid of him.  Kid scuttlebutt had it that he possessed a genuine German Tiger Tank hidden in his garage.  Untrue, of course.

Mr. B. Had been a German Prisoner of War, captured in early 1945 and moved around to a few POW camps in Midwest America before being returned to postwar, occupied Germany.  Somehow, he’d escaped his poverty-stricken Fatherland, immigrating to the United States.  He taught Advanced Geometry, which was the year I learned my previous schooling was academically poor.  Let’s be honest.  My schooling and lack of motivation to finish school work had destined me to a year of “remedial math.”  Humiliating.

Traveling home was another adventure.  Kids are only in school about six hours a day; the experts claim that’s all the attention span they can muster.  You’d never believe that if our bus trips were an example.


NOTE: See all my letters here: https://www.theleadermaker.com/granddaughter-letters/


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

35 thoughts on “Letters to My Granddaughter, No. 54

  1. Kenny Foster

    Gen. Satterfield, you’ve done it again. Thank you for delivering us another “Letter to my granddaughter” and giving us some insight into your childhood, the very same childhood that helped form your way of thinking.

  2. The Toad

    Gen. Satterfield, you hit the ball out of the park with this letter to your granddaughter. Sir, I’m a lovin’ your letters.

    1. Nick Lighthouse

      Yep and this is just another in a long series of letters for his granddaughter. She is one lucky girl. I hope she learns to appreciate how Gen. Satterfield is building up to his service in the US Army. These childhood experiences are helping us get into his brain to better understnad him.

  3. Laughing Monkey

    Powerful. And, I must say this letter is better than the rest. You are starting on your adventures in your life.

  4. corralesdon

    GREAT NEWS, Gen. S. has just published his #54 letter to “my granddaughter” and it is another one that makes me wonder what the heck Gen. S. did as a kid that made him a better, good, resilient, sometimes disagreeable young boy. ha ha ha ha ha…………..

  5. Army Captain

    “Fanny slammed on the brakes of the School Bus she was driving, and then, as she stood up, she turned around and yelled at us, mostly Junior High School kids from Bastrop. “Shut up with that racket. I can’t drive with all that screaming.” That’s a close quote, as best I can remember, but I’ve removed six or seven cuss words. In response, several girls started crying. This ride would just be another typical day on Fanny’s bus.” – Gen. Doug Satterfield and my favorite into. Well done. Keep your letters to your granddaughter on your site. BTW, just read “55 Rules for a Good Life” and I can see you in these letters.

  6. Maureen S. Sullivan

    Wow, Gen. Satterfield, another powerful blog post. Thanks and please accept my late Valentines Day thank you.

  7. Eddie Gilliam

    Excellent article my friend. I remembered those bus rides to school. In the elementary schools we had a very mean drive like Mrs Fanny. He would pull the bus over to the side of the road if we were to loud. He get in your face. When a fight occurred He stop and separated those involved. He rough us up by shaking us. We call him” brother mean:”. The bus number 14 was faster than the others. The bus had governors to prevent the driver going to fast .Brother Mean would reset the system to allow it to go faster. We had several people kissing on the bus who were dating in elementary and junior high school . I loved the bus rides and excited each day to get on to see my friends.

    1. Jasmine

      Hi Mr. Eddie, Great story on your school bus. Love it. I too went to school on a bus from 4th thru 8th grade in west Arizona. We moved and got close enough to the school that I could walk but I missed those days on the bus. Mr. Eddie, thank you sir for your support of this blog by Gen. Satterfield.

      1. Pooch T.

        There are plusses and minuses riding on a bus, but no matter what, you learn FAST.

        1. Danny Burkholder

          🙏 Eddie Gilliam is the one who publishes his inspirational words on this site. 🙏

          1. Eddie Gilliam

            Yes I am the one who wrote an recent post about purpose of prayer. I also had a great article Jan on blessed is the Peacemaker. Check it out. I am quite sure you will enjoy it. I love having an opportunity to write blogs for my friend Gen Douglas Satterfield.

          2. Danny Burkholder

            Thank you, sir. Great to have you here on Gen. Satterfield’s website.

      2. Eddie Gilliam

        It a great pleasure for me to make comments on my friend Douglas Sattefield blog and write blogs for him.

    1. Tom Bushmaster

      Hal, yep. Of course these letters have become my go-to blog posts to make me feel good. It is wonderful and lovely to read about what happened to a little boy from the 1950s and 1960s and how he made it through. Coming from a very poor (he called himself “rich”) boy from that time and into today’s urbanized, industrialized world. Must have been a shock of epic proportions. He adapted – so he is resilient – and was successful at his profession. I’m interested in how he made it in the Army, from Private to General.

      1. Eddie Gilliam

        You are so right about my friend Gen Douglas Satterfield. From a private to General. The amazing thing is that didn’t not change him. I remained humble to his take care of his company.

  8. Jonnie the Bart

    Riding the school bus for the first time, fantastic. So many experiences that are unreplaceable from those school bus rides. I rode to HS on them and loved the ride, relaxing and catching up with friends and gaining new friends. It was a small microcosm of learning how to get along with others.

  9. Kerry

    Another beautiful letter to “my granddaughter”, Gen. Satterfield sure knows how to create drama in his letters. He is not just writing about his experiences but is also putting us in his seat (ha ha, of the school bus). This is what I like about his writings.

      1. American Girl

        Bryan, you and others here have said it well, and that we love to read Gen. Satterfield’s letters. These are the kind of letters you can sit back in your easy chair and just enjoy. I know they are letters but I hope that one day, Gen. Satterfield puts these into a more comprehensive, longer narrative for our reading pleasure. These stories, one after the other, are what makes us more human and teaches us to be strong and resilient. You can see in these how Gen. S as a boy is developing, maybe slowly at first but as he is introduced to larger civilization he begins to get it on.

        1. Patriot Wife

          ….. as well as he is developing a sense of American patriotism. Thanks American Girl for your patriotism as well. 🇺🇸

  10. JT Patterson

    Gen. Satterfield, these letters are the best of the best. All 54 of them now. From No. 1 thru No. 54, we learn more and more about you growing up and what you were thinking and how that way of thinking made you a better man in life. Thanks!!!!!

  11. Melo in Chicgo

    Another letter of love from Gen. Satterfield to his granddaughter … and to all his grandkids. More of us should be doing this. I would think that it gives them something to read later in their lives that tells of the trials and tribulations of their grandfather, or of any other relative. Keep these letters coming our way, Gen. S. We love them too.


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