PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Christian Tabernacle Church on Centre Avenue is flanked by a cordon of Greyhound buses.
The sanctuary is filled with drivers who have come to honor one of their own. Clyde Barnett suffered a fatal stroke in a New York City bus station, just after his final run from Pittsburgh.
The 70-year-old Hill District man had been taking passengers home for 41 years. Friends and family had kind words to say about the man known to many as Uncle Clyde.
Fellow drivers? It took four buses to drive them to the service. From Chicago and New York, Philadelphia, Detroit and Richmond, they come to say “Goodbye.”
“We started as young men back in the seventies, with Trailways.” Fellow driver and long-time friend Guy Calhoun, now retired, lived in the same apartment building. He and his friend had a routine before each run.
“Because he had his bag and everything, he’d go out and I’d stand on the porch, wave goodbye, and I’d tell him ‘Clyde, have a safe trip. See you when you get back.’”
Funeral director Elliott White was the late driver’s cousin. “He stuck with us. And he made his final journey to New York. He did something he loved. He loved driving his buses. And the way he lived is the way he died.”
The hearse pulls away from the curb, followed by four buses filled with drivers. As it was when he drove, Clyde Barnett does not travel alone.