Salmon Arm is a friendly sort of town, you know, the kind of place where people wave to the transit bus as it goes by and the bus driver waves back. But in Salmon Arm, this can sometimes leave you with a feeling of déja vu.
Walk along Okanagan Avenue and you might see Shuswap transit bus driver Leigh Pollard drive by, followed seconds later by another bus with Shuswap transit driver Tracy Pollard at the wheel.
Don’t be surprised that déja vu feeling: Leigh and Tracy are identical twins.
Two days a week, the Pollard sisters’ shifts overlap, and that’s when the confusion occurs for a fair number of transit bus riders.
“It takes a good long while for some people to figure out that there are two of us,” says Tracy.
“People get off Tracy’s bus and then get on mine right behind at the same stop,” says Leigh with a mischievous smile. “That’s when they start to doubt themselves.”
“Sometimes people will get on the wrong bus because they look at us instead of the sign on the front of the bus,” laughs Tracy.
When asked if they ever play tricks on people, they both say, in unison, “no, we don’t have to… People do it to themselves.”
Even when they’re not working the same shift, the twins confuse some people.
“People will look at one of us and say something like ‘boy, you sure work a lot of hours,’” says Leigh.
“Or they will try to remember who has her hair in a ponytail that day and who has it out,” says Tracy, again finishing off her sister’s sentence.
“We’ve always been close,” says Tracy.
“We’ve always had each other. As much as they (our parents and teachers) tried to separate us, we always found reasons to be together,” says Leigh – her turn to finish her sister’s thought.