The state’s coolest bus driver is an opera singer

Who among us hasn’t thought that if we drove a school bus, we’d be the coolest school bus driver ever?

Sorry, but Philip Bologna, of Rochester, Minn., has that distinction.

In 1984, Bologna was one of 11 national winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, crowning him as one the elite young opera singers in the nation, the Rochester Post Bulletin says in its profile today.

Bologna, now 63, shuttles kids with special needs.

One day, when his student passengers were driving him crazy making farting noises, he stopped the bus and arranged them in sections like an orchestra. He then proceed to conduct them in what he called a “fart symphony in D flatulence major.”

All kids have virtuous qualities, he says, but sometimes an imagination helps to bring out the best in them. Although far from the marquee opera houses where he once serenaded spellbound audiences, Bologna says he is content with life.

“Certainly, I try to enjoy everything that I’m doing,” Bologna said. “That’s my basic attitude. There are things that I’d rather be doing, of course, but I make the best of it. So far as the joy factor is concerned, it’s wherever I’m at and whenever I’m there.”