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About Mr Tattie Heid

Mr Tattie Heid is Bruce D Allen (that's me), a retired charter bus driver living in Springfield, Massachusetts.

I was a pretty smart kid, but my parents and teachers were really frustrated with me. I got told a lot that I could do anything I wanted to, if I would only apply myself. I was never good at applying myself. I spent a lot of my school years sitting in my seat, looking out the window. I slid through school all right, but dropped out of university three times, and never did get a degree. I worked a lot of odd jobs.

In my third university stint, at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, I took a job driving buses for the student-run transit service. One of the student managers there became a manager for a nearby charter bus company, and I started doing part-time work for them. In time, I forgot about school and started driving full-time. I don't think I thought of it as a career, but in hindsight, I can see that it was perfect for me. It allowed to me travel, which is all I really wanted to do, and in particular satisfied my jones for Canada. I got to spend a lot of time in Quebec City, Montreal, and other Canadian destinations. And best of all, perhaps, I got paid to sit in a seat and look out the window, which is the one thing I've always been good at.

Europe beckoned...I think Scotland was always in the back of my mind, but I'm not really sure why. Maybe it was just because my mother had given me a Scottish name. It was seeing the movie Local Hero in the late '80s that provided the decisive kick, although it would be another decade before a confluence of circumstances led me to go, in 1998. In two and a half weeks, I went to Orkney and Lewis and everywhere else I could think of, because I didn't know if I'd ever go again. As it happened, my employer would allow me a month or more every year to travel. I returned to Scotland annually, and extended my travels to various points in northwestern Europe, and across the arc of the North Atlantic. My old love, Canada, called again, and I fit in trips to Québec and the Maritimes, as well. I retired in August of 2019. I thought my trip to the Netherlands and Scotland that fall would be the first of a busy decade. You know what happened next.

Life is funny. I never married--most of the women I dated figured out, sooner or later, that I wasn't really husband material. The few who didn't plainly had something wrong with them! My friends who have married and raised families sometimes express envy for the traveling I've been able to do. Likewise, there are times when I think about what my life would have been like, had I followed a path similar to theirs. I don't think any of us would change what we've done. We are all grateful for what we have, and make do with the vicarious pleasure of witnessing the experience of others.

I am grateful, too, for the years of traveling I've already had. I'm hoping to travel again, but there's no guarantee. These journals keep my travels alive for me. If others get some enjoyment from them, as well, so much the better. See you down the road, maybe.

Mr Tattie Heid

October 2021


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