More than just a bus driver, building a bond

Grace Donner, Visual Arts Managing Editor

“Oh why don’t you be my grandpa,” those were the words that started the relationship between freshman at Stillwater Junior High School, Taylor Gregg, and bus driver Marvin Peterson. He became her honorary grandpa just by asking and their relationship grew from there. Sadly, Marvin suffered a heart attack and died on Oct. 27.

In fourth grade, Taylor rode Marvin’s bus and talked to him almost everyday. She learned that he was not in contact with any grandchildren and Marvin learned that Taylor’s grandfathers both passed away before she knew them. One day Taylor asked Marvin to be her grandfather and they were close ever since.

When Taylor first came home and told her family she now had a grandpa, they had some mixed feelings.  It was a simple childhood thought but also confused the family a little. They also had to have trust in Taylor to form this relationship because it was with someone the Gregg’s did not know previously.

“I thought their relationship was strange at first. But Taylor is not your average kid, she is very willful,” Taylor’s father, Jody Gregg said.

Marvin and Taylor became great friends, the two had a very warm connection and they loved spending time together. It was unusual for strangers like they were to become so close to each other. Their relationship brought joy to both Marvin and Taylor.

“It was close, it was really interesting and different. How they came to be friends is just special,” Jody said.

I thought their relationship was strange at first. But Taylor is not your average kid, she is very willful”

— Jody Gregg

“We hung out about once every two weeks and I saw him everyday on the bus. We loved to go shooting together and play cards or watch old movies,” Taylor said.

Their relationship was something very special that many can learn from, the family will always appreciate how Marvin became close with Taylor. He gave her the grandfather figure that she needed in her life.

“We can’t all choose our loved ones, and she did choose her grandpa and they had a really great relationship. A lot of people didn’t understand that,” Becci Gregg, Taylor’s mom said.

Marvin was not just a grandfather to Taylor, but he became close with her whole family. He grew relationships with her mom, dad and sister beyond just getting to know them for Taylor’s sake. Marvin became part of their family just like an average grandfather would be.

“We were all really close with him and once he gave my sister a fruit basket for getting a bonus at her job. He would give my mom birthday cards and write emails to my dad,” Taylor said.

Marvin is in the Gregg’s loving memory as they recognize the wonderful friendship he brought to Taylor and her family. They will cherish his relationship with Taylor for years to come.

“I know he is in Taylor’s heart and I think of him and I think Taylor and him had a real connection and they both learned from each other,” Becci said.

Family isn’t something that is normally a second chance deal, but for Taylor and Marvin this was not the case.  Although their relationship didn’t happen in an average way, it ended up feeling just like a granddaughter and her grandpa.