f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

School bus stops for Anna Keller

Posted Monday, December 19, 2016, at 12:00 AM

Order this photo

Dec. 16, 1981 Southeast Missourian

Each morning 83-year-old Mrs. Anna Keller, who lives at 302 North Park, walks out onto her front porch and waves to the children in the school buses as they pass on their way to Schultz School. Today, one of the buses stopped and the children presented Mrs. Keller with gifts. Above, Steve Brown, left, Billy Bierschwal and Wendy Brown present the gifts to her. Below, Mrs. Keller waves to the children as they get back on the bus. (Fred Lynch photos)

Order this photo

Order this photo

The school bus stopped at 302 N. Park today

By Greg Sellnow

Early each morning Mrs. Anna Keller, 83, gets up, fixes breakfast for herself and bundles up for the weather outside. She pulls a stocking cap over her hair, puts on a pair of gloves and coat and rubs a little Vicks salve in her nose so she can breathe well.

"I dress like I'm going to the North Pole," she says.

Then, she walks down the stairs of her small cluttered apartment at 302 North Park and waits for the school buses to drive by her front porch. When they come, three of them each morning, she walks out to the porch and waves to the children. The children wave back.

It is, says Mrs. Keller, the high point of her day.

"If the day ever comes when I can't do this, I know something will be wrong," Mrs. Keller says. "Children love me and I love them."

Mrs. Keller, who many years ago taught school in a one-room school house, has been waving to the children every morning without fail ever since she came back from the hospital after breaking her hip last March.

"I went out on the porch one day and I saw the buses coming, and I started waving to the children. Now they expect me and I expect them.

"'Hi grandma. Hi aunt Anna,' they say--their little hands just waving and waving. You're not old like me, you just can't imagine how that makes me feel--how happy that makes me."

The buses, destined for Schultz School, never stop. Mrs. Keller doesn't mind, though. She's content just to wave.

Today, however, one of the buses did stop and Mrs. Keller received a thrill she says she'll never forget.

This morning, a bus pulled to the front of her house and several children got out and presented Mrs. Keller with Christmas gifts.

"It was wonderful, just wonderful," she says. "The gifts were all wrapped up pretty. I was so happy I almost--well, I just cried."

The children gave Mrs. Keller a box of Christmas cookies, a pot of poinsettias, a cap and gloves, an envelope containing the names of all the children who contributed toward the presents and a small statue of a little girl with the inscription "You make my life a little brighter" written at the bottom.

"God has been good to me," Mrs. Keller says. "I get a blessing out of life. I'm lucky I've got lots of friends."


View 2 comments or respond
Community discussion is important, and we encourage you to participate as a reader and commenter. Click here to see our Guidelines. We also encourage registered users to let us know if they see something inappropriate on our site. You can do that by clicking "Report Comment" below.
  • Well I needed tissues for this story! Glad it was printed again!

    -- Posted by Onajourney on Mon, Dec 19, 2016, at 7:34 AM
  • I remember Ms. Keller, she was so sweet and we loved to see her out on the porch waving at us every single morning!

    -- Posted by Olau24 on Mon, Dec 19, 2016, at 7:44 PM