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Brad Swenson helped spread word on bus safety

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This is my memoriam to my friend, Brad Swenson.

Brad started and followed me from the beginning of my art career. He actually made my art career, from being on the cover of a magazine in London, England, to the different awards I won.

But more important to Brad and me was the safety of children riding the school buses. Every year before school started we would do an article on school bus safety.

He followed my career there also, from two administrations. Being elected by Gov. Arne Carlson, testifying at the Legislature to being appointed chair of the governor’s School Bus Safety Advisory Committee by Gov. Jesse Ventura.

Neither Brad nor I had any children on school buses. Mine (Breanna Leigh) was killed by her school bus. But every year we had a message to parents, motorists, children and anyone else to beware of the school year starting.

After I stopped being involved in school bus safety, I thought someone would step up to keep the messages going, but no one did. I hope it doesn’t take something tragic close to home to get someone involved in protecting children on school buses.

Every year Brad had some editorial on watching out for the coming year.

Brad, my friend, I couldn’t give enough thanks for following my art career, but especially the care he shared, sometimes even tears that we shared, trying to give a warning of the upcoming school year.

This is going to be my advice to everyone: that buses with children on them will be on the streets and roads. Please be careful. I know Brad would have the same advice.

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