Paul Leisz - The Frugal Bus DriverSaturday, September 23, 2006
I married the first Canadian I met (Rosemary) in Mexico 40 years ago. When we came to Canada in 1975 I became friends with the second Canadian I met, Paul Leisz. Paul was born in Hungary and came here with his parents as a young boy. Paul has driven a bus for the last 20 years. 30 years ago Paul taught me the fine Canadian sport of sitting very near the woman's bathroom of the Fraser Arms pub. "They all have to pass by our table, sooner or later." Paul was also of that generation that owned a TR-6 which he drove every year to Penticton. Paul is frugal even though I have never heard Hungarians boast that they invented the bagpipes. His frugality has led him to finding ways of repairing anything and always finding the best deals. I have often profitted from his deals. My computer, which Paul supervises and nurses, has never crashed. Its record is as fine as his own bus driving record. For my first computer Paul took me to a small shop on Bridgeport road and we ordered my computer by components. If I am computer literate and still in this tough photo business I can only credit Paul for having pushed and dragged me into it so that I am competive today.
I have always been fascinated by trains and buses. One of the high moments of my life came when I was given a radio and the authority to stop a CP train (3 times) at the Sisco bridge near Lytton, BC. I felt as close to God as I have ever been! A couple of times I have felt as important and all because of Paul. One Christmas Eve many years ago Rosemary and I went to a corner store to buy some forgotten item for a Christmas dinner. As we left the store a trolley bus stopped right there and Paul emerged from the bus to give us a hug and he stayed and chatted.His passengers stared at us wondering who we were. On a second occasion I was crossing Seymour at Davie street when suddenly a trolley bus stopped while turning and Paul, again jumped out to greet me!
A bus driver has an intimate view and feel for our city and I am very lucky to know Paul so that he is able to share with me that unique view. The years have passed and I no longer play racquet ball with him. I stopped when a ball that Paul had driven went through my racket. I feared for my life. His visits over Earl Grey tea are more relaxing and satisfying.
On October 20th Paul and I are going to attend the West Coast Symphony's all Hungarian concert at Christ Church Cathedral. The conductor is Leslie Dala (right) my new Hungarian friend. Perhaps some day Leslie may give me the opportunity to start or stop an orchestra! Here you see Paul with the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra's Barbara Dominik and VPO and Westcoast Symphony's Byan Deans. The bus is a E-901 1982 series Flyer.