Opening Happiness with a Coke

Jonathan Perry has loved Coca-Cola for as long as he can remember

Jonathan Perry, a bus driver with Parking and Transportation Services, readies to leave on his route. This summer, Perry is driving the H6 bus route for Duke Transit. Photo by Bryan Roth.
Jonathan Perry, a bus driver with Parking and Transportation Services, readies to leave on his route. This summer, Perry is driving the H6 bus route for Duke Transit. Photo by Bryan Roth.

Name: Jonathan PerryPosition: Bus driver, Parking and Transportation ServicesYears at Duke: 20

What I do at Duke: Depending on the time of year, I'll drive different routes. When school starts in August, I'm usually running a route to the Medical Center, which is nice because I've made friends over there and we look forward to seeing each other. Later in the school year, I'll usually run more campus routes that take me along Science Drive. I like those because there's a short break every 40 minutes so I can go for a short walk, talk to people or enjoy the scenery of campus.

My first ever job: My father was a carpenter, so I came up in that field with him since I was 7 years old. I did work at Wendy's for three weeks. That was during the summer when I was 16 or 17 and it was so hot the shingles we put on the roof were melting off. I thought I should get a job in air conditioning, but I couldn't adjust to just fixing hamburgers or handling the salad bar. So I left and went right back to roofing.

My dream job: To be an airline pilot. Even though I don't like flying, it seems nice to have the freedom of the sky. You'd get experience to travel and care for people by getting them where they need to be - like the bus I drive.

A memorable day at Duke: In 1995 we had baseball team and Duke Transit played another team from the hospital. That was a good day because we all came together and acted like best friends, bonded and got to know one another. We played, talked, gossiped and joked. We just had a lot of fun.

If someone wanted to start a conversation with me they should ask me about: Anything. I'm not a difficult person to talk to. You can ask me anything - if it's appropriate - and we'll have a conversation.

The best advice I ever received: This world is a school and it's going to teach you every day. That's from my father.

What I love about Duke: Everybody is friendly and treats you with respect. The atmosphere at Duke feels like it's all about how nice people treat you. They take care of you like a family.

When I'm not at work, I like to: Hangout with my kids. I have two sons who are 16 and 19. We ride motorcycles, walk on trails and go fishing.

Something most people don't know about me is: I think I'm addicted to Coca-Cola. I'm 43, and I'd say I've been drinking it for 43 years. I've tried Pepsi, but there's something about that red can. I prefer it in a can because if you take a bottle and a can from the fridge, the soda tastes a lot stronger to me in the can. The flavor is different.

In a normal week, I'll drink a can a day because at least once a day I've got to have my Coca-Cola. My mom always said to drink water and I'm going to drink water, but I'm still going to get that Coca-Cola.