Arthur Lawson, an environmental tech at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, relies on Metro’s bus service to get to work from his home near Historic Edgefield in East Nashville.
Due to flooding in the basement of Children’s Hospital on May 2, he was called in to work early to help clean up the mess.
He walked the three blocks to his bus stop but the bus never came.
“I thought, I’m in trouble,” Lawson said. “I called and said I’m running late but that I would be there. I just started walking.”
Along the way, police officers made him turn around as he approached Memorial Bridge by the Titans stadium, so he found another way and crossed the pedestrian bridge. He wound his way down Hermitage Avenue and back to Edgefield Avenue, where he hit 21st Avenue for the last leg of his journey to Children’s Hospital.
“I got there just before the roadblocks,” Lawson said. “I made it on time!”
All in all, he walked more than five miles in the downpour for two hours before making it to work 15 minutes before his shift began.
“I tried to dry off, and then they asked us to grab mop buckets and squeegees and clean the water up.”
Lawson’s supervisor, Sharon Boyd, director of Environmental Services at Children’s Hospital, was overwhelmed with his dedication to his job.
“He walked a long way. He was determined he was going to get here,” she said. “He’s a real team player. I love my team.”
Lawson, who just began to work for Environmental Services full time in mid-April, said he was able to catch a ride home when his shift ended at 11:30 p.m. that night.
But not every night. Two weeks after the flood, buses were still operating on a “Saturday” schedule, and, unbeknownst to his co-workers, Lawson continued walking home on several nights after he quietly clocked out.
“It’s worth it,” he said.

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Authur Lawson