Letter: Thanks to the people of Wilton

To the Editors:

My husband, Vinny Callanan, drives school bus #28 for the Wilton school district.

On Jan. 9, with unexpected snow covering icy roads, Vinny’s bus skidded and bumped into a tree. It was a minor accident. Initially, the bus company said the accident was unpreventable. However, later that day, Vinny was suspended pending an investigation. Vinny, who prides himself on his safety record, reliability and punctuality, was crushed. Vinny had been driving a bus for 45 years without an accident, the last 10 years for the Wilton school district.

The next day, when Vinny was not driving the bus, parents expressed concern and the word got out. Facebook posting, blog postings and a petition to “get Vinny back” mobilized the community.

It seemed like hundreds of messages were sent by Wilton parents to the school district, and to us. The outpouring of concern was not just from the parents who see Vinny every day. There were messages from parents whose children are now in college, reciting the positive experiences on “Vinny’s bus 28.”

It worked. Vinny got a call to return to work the next day.

The amazing outpouring of support and genuine affection from the community has touched us deeply. We are overwhelmed and humbled by the kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity of so many people. When I was growing up in Ireland, I heard people say that the streets in the USA were paved with gold. Well, the streets may not be paved with gold, but gold is in the hearts of the people who live here. The people of Wilton have hearts of gold.   

From the bottom of our very humble hearts, Vinny and I thank you so very much.

Una Callanan

67 Wilridge Road, Feb. 9

Editors’ Note:  Vinny has submitted his resignation and is retiring to spend time helping his family and son who recently became seriously injured.