Tag Archives: bus people

Station Conversations: New start for a lucky man

Many of our bus passengers have fantastic stories to share about their lives. Take Refugio Salazar. I caught up with him at the sbX Civc Center staton in downtown San Bernardino.

Refugio is going back to school to get his GED and then plans to attend Valley College.

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“I’d like to train as a car mechanic,” he tells me. “I used to work on cars all the time, and I’m pretty good at it. But now the diagnostic equipment is all computerized, so I need to get familiar with that.”

As we talk, I tell him I write stories about our passengers. His eyes light up and he laughs. “I’ve got a story for you. I’ve almost died twice in my life.”

“The first time I was just three-years-old,” he continues. “I was out in the yard and my father was mowing the lawn. The lawnmower blade hit an old silverware spoon that was on the ground. It flew up in the air and lodged in my skull. My parents were scared to death. The doctors told them I would likely have some brain damage since the edge of the spoon was just touching the brain when they extracted it.”

He shrugs and smiles. “I beat the odds though, and never had a problem with that. As you can see, I’m doing pretty well.”

“How did you almost die the second time?” I asked curiously.

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“I was transporting produce in a truck down Mount Baldy Road when I suddenly lost my brakes. I was going about 50 miles per hour and coming up on a steep curve with no way of slowing the vehicle. My choice was to either crash into the side of the hill or take my chances making that curve at high speed,” he shakes his head, remembering. “I choose the curve.”

“As I made a hard turn into the curve something amazing happened. The truck swerved, tipped onto the shoulder and then stopped. It just stopped. For no reason.” Refugio pauses, a look of wonderment on his face. “I’m convinced that someone was looking out for me that day. For some reason God chose to save me.”

“It sounds like you’re a very lucky guy,” I told him.

He nods and smiles broadly. “I am. Life’s good. I’m engaged to my fourth grade girlfriend. I love everything about her, and she loves everything about me. We’re very happy together.”

An sbX vehicle pulls up to the station, and Refugio waves as he climbs aboard.

I wave back. You meet the most interesting people on the bus.