Wilton school bus driver wears different hats for Friday Fun on Bus 21

Every Friday, a Wilton school bus driver greets the kids on his route with something different on his head.

Mark Sudol

Apr 21, 2023, 9:52 PM

Updated 401 days ago

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A Wilton school bus driver has found a great way to have fun with the students he takes to school.
Michael Eastland, 65, is a man who wears many different hats.
This Friday, he's wearing a chicken hat.
"If the chicken starts talking, let me know," said Eastland.
"You're a chicken," said one of the kids.
"I'm a chicken. I thought I was a bus driver," said Eastland.
Every Friday, Eastland greets the kids on his route with something different on his head.
And the kids on bus 21 always want to know what hat is he going to wear.
"Oh I got lots, I've got a shark, I've got a crown, a lobster," said Eastland.
"A pizza, a rainbow, one like a mohawk," said one of the kids.
Eastland says his Friday ritual started after he wore a shark hat at a Jimmy Buffet show.
"One Friday morning, I put the shark hat on and drove the bus and the kids got a kick out of it," said Eastland.
Eastland calls it Friday Fun on bus 21.
"People told me it rhymes, I'm like I know. I don't have kids of my own and so I enjoy it. I enjoy the kids. We have a good time on the bus. I don't really have any trouble," said Eastland.
Parents love the joy it brings to them and their kids.
"Oh he's awesome! Michael always does it on Friday mornings and we love it," said one parent.
"I usually get more parents and grandparents on Fridays," said Eastland.
"It just makes me feel good knowing there's people like that in our community," said another parent.
He now drives his childhood route.
After several years, everybody knows him.
"I get recognized at the deli but I usually have my hat on at that point. I've been gifted hats by kids so I've got a pizza hat and a hot dog hat that were gifted to me by a boy up the road," said Eastland.
Eastland has turned a monotonous drive to school into a year full of memories.
"It feels very good. I guess you can make yourself happier by making other people happy," said Eastland.
Eastland grew up in Wilton and went back to driving a school bus in town after a 40 year career driving for companies like FedEx.


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