It was early morning, and bunches of school kids stood by their mailboxes in the cool autumn air, waiting for the school bus. Just one bus plied these arrow-straight country roads, picking up students at one- and two-mile intervals—students not only from all different grade levels but indeed from different schools, both public and parochial. In one tiny farm village, little more than a general store, tavern, church, and fifteen houses, the bus door opened to admit a half-dozen children....
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