Lisa McCall, 47, steps off a bus at the DCTA train station in Downtown Denton and walks to the iron fence that runs behind the station. She lights a cigarette while she waits for her connecting bus from Big State Pawn to take her home so she can clean house. A nice man missing teeth and sporting a beard that would make ZZ Top jealous stands with her but declined to be interviewed.
She’s lived in Denton for 40 years and has been using the buses for 13 of them. She says they’re okay but she would rather have a car. She says she hasn’t worked in seven years and can’t afford a car with her disability checks she’s lived on since ’07. However, a background check revealed she has been arrested for drunk driving several times which may be the real reason behind not having a car.
Lisa was in a roller skating accident and broke several vertebrae. “I can’t roller skate or ride horses or really walk very well anymore,” Lisa says as a freight train declares its presence. “It’s hard for me. They’re things I really enjoyed doing.”
Now, Lisa enjoys spending time with her 11-year-old daughter who says she’s going to be a Dentonite forever. The two will take the bus to the movies or stay home and play games or swim.
Lisa did not go to college but her oldest daughter, by another father, just graduated this year from UNT where she studied early childhood and special education.
She doesn’t use the trains, but the buses get her everywhere she needs to go. When she doesn’t know where she’s going, she plans routes and checks schedules ahead of time to make sure she knows what she’s doing.
She has perfect timing, finishing her cigarette as her next bus pulls in.