Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An Education from the Jazz Man

I don't usually watch the TV news at 10, but after the Olympics Sunday night, I got caught up in a news feature on KARE 11, "Cruisin' with the Jazz Man."

The story was about Rob Thompson, a bus driver who plays jazz on his boom box while shuttling University of Minnesota students between the east bank, the west bank and the St. Paul campus.

Thompson has more than 400 jazz albums and has been driving the bus for 12 years.  He tells students that they may be getting a four-year degree from the university, but by riding with him, they're also getting a degree in jazz.

Because there are more than two dozen shuttle buses, students never know when they're going to catch the jazz bus.  And that, I think, is one of the cool things about this story.  As reporter Boyd Huppert puts it, "For a U of M student, catching the jazz bus is one of life's random pleasures."

We need more random pleasures like that in our daily lives.

We also need to give more credit to people like Thompson, who make others happy just by doing what they love.

"I think God gave us all a talent. You find out what that that talent is and you use it," Thompson says.

1 comment:

  1. I just watched the video on Kare 11 online. A feel good story for sure. Thanks for telling us about it.

    The Jazz Man even has a facebook page!
    Find it at The Jazz Man Fan Club on Facebook. He now has over 1,500 members.

    I'm betting my older brother knows The Jazz Man. My brother has driven U of M transit busses for about ten years.