There, next to the convenience store, were three people huddled under a tree to escape the midday sun. Several pieces of luggage were at their feet. I quickly realized that these were three travelers waiting for the Greyhound bus to arrive. They were at Tracy’s Greyhound “depot,” if that’s the correct word for a single tree at the edge of a vacant lot that is home to some weeds, an abandoned sofa and a trash-filled grocery cart.
What struck me about the sight on Grant Line Road was its contrast with Tracy’s new transit station at the corner Sixth Street and Central Avenue. There, the air-conditioned interior of the handsome building decorated with outstanding public art has ample seating, but only an occasional occupant waiting for a Tracer or county transit bus.
The folks out on Grant Line Road were waiting for a Greyhound that is Tracy’s only inter-regional bus service connecting passengers to destinations outside San Joaquin County. A few decades ago, the Greyhound Depot on 11th Street (where the state Employment Development Department office is now) was a busy place. Passengers and packages were shepherded in and out of the depot by Frank Taylor, the local agent who became a legend in the Greyhound system.
Too bad, I thought, that Greyhound can’t move its Tracy “depot” (now the tree) to the new, under-used transit building.
The city of Tracy transportation people would like nothing better, but, alas, Greyhound has opted to remain on Grant Line, which is close to Interstate 205, providing quick off-and-on access. I suspect the decision was made because of the added time it would take to travel between I-205 and the Sixth-and-Central location of the Tracy Transit Station.
But if the Grant Line Road location is to remain Tracy’s Greyhound station, then the least the bus company can do is to provide a curbside bus shelter for its passengers. And I’m talking about more than a tree.
Leading the league
Our far-flung network of correspondents continues to funnel information to the Press. Two former Press sports editors, Tom Mauldin and Randy Robertson, checked in this week.
Tom reports that Darrell Ceciliani, the 20-year-old grandson of Tracy’s Gladys Ceciliani, has come on strong in his second year of professional baseball.
Now a member of the Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn National League, Darrell is leading the league in hitting with a .387 batting average, 44 runs, 10 triples and 111 total bases. He ranks second in extra-base hits (25) and slugging percentage (.581.).
The native of Madras, Ore., with major ties to Tracy was drafted by the New York Mets in the fourth round of last year’s first-year player draft.
It may be fortuitous that Darrell is playing in Brooklyn and gaining an introduction to the New York area. If he keeps up his level of play, he could very well be wearing a Mets uniform in a year or two. ‘Finding Mary’
Meanwhile in Whitestone, N.Y., Randy Robertson, Press sports editor in 1992-94, writes that his book, “Finding Mary: One Family’s Journey on the Road to Autism Recovery,” has been published.
In the book, Randy traces his family’s determined efforts to help their daughter, Mary, now 8 years old, become a “high-functioning” member of the autism community.
“It’s about the beautiful and wonderful people in the world who are working every day with special-needs children, such as Mary, and making a real difference,” he said.
The book is now available at Barnes & Noble (barnesandnoble.com).
• Sam Matthews, Tracy Press publisher emeritus, can be reached at 830-4234 or by e-mail at email@example.com.