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It's My Ride: Al Mauseth

62 years of bus rides: Al Mauseth has watched Salem grow up while riding the bus

After thousands of bus rides, Al Mauseth of Keizer still says, “I like to ride the bus – it’s fun!” Al started riding as a kid in 1959 and his most recent ride was just yesterday.

After moving from a tiny town in Minnesota, Al attended Waldo Middle School. He grew up on Evergreen Street between Silverton and Sunnyview roads. He caught the Capitola route at Silverton Road and Duncan Avenue. The old Capitola route is sort of a combination of the modern-day Routes 3 and 13. Al remembers riding the bus into town and stopping in front of Woolworth’s in downtown Salem.

As a teenager, Al made money picking strawberries and delivering newspapers. After a hard day of picking strawberries for $5 a day, he’d ride the bus down to Olinger pool to cool off. And as part of his Capitol Journal paper route, he sold new subscriptions in the neighborhood for $1.50 a month. In 1960, he sold the most subscriptions and won a trip to the World’s Fair in Seattle, the event for which the Space Needle was built.

Al loved watching minor league baseball games in Salem; first the Senators, then the Dodgers at Waters Field near 25th and Mission streets. (Today, that site is the main Salem post office.) He even got to play first base and pitch in a C-league game at Waters Field against a team sponsored by Anderson Sporting Goods. There were no hard feelings, though, because in 1962, Al bought his prized Salem Dodger’s jacket at Anderson’s on Liberty Street downtown.

In 1966, Al started riding the bus to his job at Wheeler’s Laundry on High Street. He remembers paying 10 cents for fare, and he made $2.22 an hour. He then transitioned into a 26-year career of concrete work, building many of the downtown parking garages, the State Revenue building, and helping establish Salemtowne in West Salem. He even worked for TriMet on the first MAX line out to Gresham in the mid-80s.

Now retired, Al loves jumping on the bus, even just to go sight-seeing. He especially enjoys the diverse landscapes of south Salem on Route 6. Al started using Cherriots LIFT for some of his trips in 2017. He loves taking LIFT to go shopping because he can get right up close to the big stores and doesn’t have to deal with parking.

“I tell my friends all the time, come ride the bus,” Al says as he discusses his own personal outreach efforts for Cherriots. You can catch Al these days riding from his home in north Keizer to places all over town as he reminisces about the Salem of yesteryear. “Riding the bus is a good deal and it’s got everything you need.”