Contrary to what you might think, we have not dropped off the face of the earth, we’ve just been busy. My trip back to Kansas from Arizona was mostly uneventful. The weather even cooperated. The storm that was coming to the area followed me in and just as I arrived at our daughter’s home in Sedgwick, there were snow flakes in the air. By the next morning, four or so inches of snow covered the ground!
Meanwhile, back in the desert, LeRoy was still parked in the back lot of what we now know is one of the best automatic transmission repair shops in the country, Global Industrial Automatics. The mechanics there not only made the inside of the tranny work like a champ, they made the outside look like new, too.
LeRoy left Tucson on Tuesday afternoon as promised and drove to Truth or Consequences, NM to visit his cousin Raymond. He says they talked non-stop, but I’m pretty sure they found their share of good food, too. Thursday he was on his way toward Kansas when the source of the noises he’d been hearing became evident. The passenger side drive wheel broke off and passed him, crossing 3 lanes of traffic and the median and landing in the bottom of an arroyo on the other side of the road. In the process it broke the valve stem on the other dual, so that tire went down as well.
He did manage to find the tire and with a great deal of effort, brought it back to the bus. 5 hours later he was on the road with a new wheel, but the old tire was still good to go.
The rest of the trip was rather anticlimactic. Except for slow semis on two lane roads, he didn’t run into any major difficulties and by Friday afternoon, Liberty was parked at The Landing.
Easter Sunday at our home church felt terrific. We love our Tucson church but we really feel at home at Northridge. Friends there have known us for 40 years and they still let us come back!
A week ago on Monday, we left for the Ghosts of Highway 61 antique bus rally in Blytheville, AR. Since we usually travel alone, it was nice to trail along behind Bob and Karen Ward in their Dragonfly Eagle, so named because you drag it up one side of the hill and fly down the other. Bob and Karen are principally responsible for us owning Liberty since they introduced us to Debbie Bell, the earlier owner and converter. In Rogersville, MO we met up with a couple other Eagle buses and headed for Arkansas on Thursday.
Blytheville is a small Delta town in eastern Arkansas. The headquarters for the rally was a restored 1930s Greyhound depot. The beautiful Silversides bus in front belongs to a friend of ours who also owns an Eagle.
The next morning, we joined several busloads of bus owners on a trip to Memphis to tour Graceland. We rode three different buses that day including an old Scenicruiser. I can’t say that I’ve ever ridden one but since I traveled by bus several times in the 1960s, I may have.
Riding the seated buses was fun but given my choice, I’d take an Eagle every time. Liberty rides so smoothly my jewelry doesn’t even fall off of the rack on the wall!
When we lived in West Memphis in 1989 and 1990, we never did the tour of Graceland. We walked through the gift shops and around the jets, but never the house and grounds. This time, we did it all.
Whether or not you are a fan of Elvis Presley, the man did amass a tremendous amount of awards!
Even though Elvis died in 1977, fresh flowers and other decorations arrive regularly at the family graves on the property.
The auto museum was pretty amazing. What a collection of Mercedes Benz, Stutz Blackhawks, Rolls Royces and Cadillacs! There was a dune buggy and a pink and white Jeep. And his favorite tractor to boot!
Buses were the main attraction of the rally and even though Liberty is a 1967 model, she wasn’t really considered “antique” by the organizers of the rally. The oldest bus we saw was a 1947 Spartan. Unlike the seated coaches, which look every bit their well-used age, some of the older ones were gorgeous.
Blytheville really took good care of us. The downtown organization or local churches fed us hamburgers and brats one night, pulled pork another night, ice cream sundaes and even a pancake breakfast on Saturday. They offered discounts at stores and restaurants and one tea room even had this cake in the front window.
We have nothing but good things to say about the people of Blytheville, AR. Many of them came to see Liberty and oohed and aahed about what they saw. Maybe she (and we) gave them a dream for the future!