Buckle up for the carpool memories on the road ahead

By HannahCusick

The salty ocean breeze and soothing sounds of waves crashing against the shore echo into the cloudless summer day. Laying on the warm, sandy beach with a book in hand— BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP.

Eyes shoot wide open from the screeching alarm, disappointed to see the beach paradise was only a dream. Dreadful groans replace crashing waves. Irritable and tired attitudes lead to screaming arguments and piercing death stares.

Unfortunately, parents of daughters unable to drive know these types of mornings too well. Before work, parents have to shake their kids awake cautiously; sleeping teens turn dangerously feral in the morning.

After parents rush to drop daughters off early at school, they have to wait for what seems like an eternity for other students to arrive.

No one wants to start their day like that, stressed and irritated. Freshmen leaving their comfort zones see high school even more intimidating; new people, new environment, and many new opportunities. Carpooling with an upperclassman to school can help newcomers adjust a little easier.

Whether it’s every day to school or once a week, carpooling can create friendships that leave a lasting impact on underclassmen.

Senior René Gannon Militti in the 1977 yearbook
Freshman Susie Spethman Sullivan in the 1977 yearbook

Going 45 years all the way back to 1976, Marian’s beloved principal entered her freshman year of high school accompanied by her senior carpool. Even after several years, Mrs. Susie Sullivan can still describe the memories of her freshman year carpool like it was yesterday.

Starting her freshman year at Marian, Sullivan was randomly put in a carpool with senior René Gannon Militti. The senior quickly became a role model for Sullivan because “I thought she was really kind of this glamorous, older student,” she said. “I literally would hang on her every word.”

Militti made it easier to adjust to a new environment. Being able to ask her carpool about anything making her nervous, like how the lunch system worked, made her feel like she had “a lot of information at your fingertips.’’

Carpooling made her feel more comfortable and was “almost like a therapy group,” just checking in on each other and ranting if someone had a bad day. The daily rides to and from school became something to look forward to.

Senior Maria McLeay and junior Jane Kidder have been a carpool for eight years. Photo courtesy of McLeay

The way Sullivan describes her outgoing and bubbly carpool shows how much she looked up to Militti.

Though they are not close anymore, the two stay connected through their communities. Both of their kids went to Mary Our Queen, and they also bump into each other at Marian when Militti accompanies her grandchild, junior Lauren Militti at the annual Grandparents Day Mass.

Senior Maria McLeay is also very appreciative of carpooling due to her friendship with junior Jane Kidder. What once was just a convenient carpool to club soccer, now, eight years later, has become an unbreakable bond.

They first met when McLeay was 10 at piano lessons, but they weren’t close originally. She said, “we would always like to ask our moms to hang out but we never did.”

Once they realized they lived only a street away from one another, carpooling to club soccer quickly became their daily routine.

Once they both hit high school, their carpooling adventures extended. During soccer season in March, McLeay said they were “with each other like 24/7 because we do our school day and then we carpool to practice, and then we carpool home.

She further explained, “if there were team dinners on Sundays, then we carpool to that.”

Stuck together for hours in the car, McLeay and Kidder grew closer and closer. McLeay confessed her appreciation for her friendship with Kidder. “This is cheesy, but like we’re kind of like sisters because like we’re with each other 24/7. We grew up together.”

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