Bus stop Blues

In the fall of 1980, i was recent college grad, living in San Francisco, working for a BP subsidiary and playing a weekly dungeons and dragons game in Berkeley.

I missed my midnight bus to the city and was sitting on the long bench at the bus stop wishing i had a book to kill the hour i was going to have to sit there.  A man came and sat beside me on the long bench so close he was touching me.  After a few moments of strange conversation he said

“What do you think about Ronald Reagan?” Reagan was running for president.

i started to complain about Reagan’s foreign policy pronouncements and my new friend interrupted me

“i really like Ronald Reagan, because when he was governor he let me out of the insane asylum!”

This was not a personal release for my animated bus buddy.  As governor, Reagan had closed all of the states mental hospitals and as president would defund most of the national mental health program.

Needles to say, this little tidbit made the rest of the hour waiting for the bus especially uncomfortable.