We didn't always pick up adults. We did a lot of packages, too, and students going to school.
Once I had a route picking up two girls in the "desegregation" program. This meant taking little black kids who had schools across the street and instead transporting them to schools way the hell out in the county, often to two different schools maybe five blocks from each other.
I picked up one girl, then went maybe five blocks to pick up the other, then took both way out in the county, dropped one at one school, then the other at another school five blocks away.
I was paid separately for each ride, say $25 for each ride. Then I pick them up from school and take them home, again getting paid for each ride. And in the afternoon I'd pick up a girl from kindergarten and take her home for another $25. I was making $125 a day working part-time - maybe five hours a day.
Unfortunately I had to pick up these girls at 6:30 in the morning, so often before picking them up I'd stop at the local convenience store and get a couple of pastries and some milk.
One morning it was drizzling and when I walked out of the store I saw an old man walking in the rain carrying a small paper bag. I knew immediately he had been in the store buying something to eat, so of course I wondered why he was walking in the rain. I knew he couldn't live very far away, being that he was walking at 6:00 in the morning.
So I stopped and offered him a ride, no charge. He immediately got in the car and gave me his address, which was about three blocks away.
He told me he couldn't find his way home. He remembered his address, but forgot how to get there. He looked to be about 85.
He told me he and his wife had lived there for 40 years.
Otherwise his mind was clear and he wasn't senile - he had just forgotten where his was located.
He wasn't upset about it. He told me this in a calm, rational voice.
So I dropped him off and watched him walk into his house, then went to pick up my five-year-olds.
That's not the only time I encountered a lost elderly person. It happened one more time, when a gas attendant pointed to an old lady walking down the sidewalk and suggested I give her a ride. When I did I found she was walking in the opposite direction of where she lived. She knew her address so I took her home.
She lived about seven blocks from the gas station. Long walk for an 85-year-old woman.
She had me come her in house, opened up her little change purse on her wrist - and gave her a quarter tip, apparently thinking it was still 1935. I smiled and thanked her and went on my way.
I'm sure both are dead by now, otherwise they'd be about 120 years old.