Buster in winter

I didn’t park my bus home in Scappoose for long. Well long enough for Banff the ¼ boxer and 3/4 Great Dane to come home covered in cow manure. Evidently he had been romping in the pasture with some cows and they decided the best defense for a dog sniffing their butt was to cover him in excrement.

So another teacher in Special Ed was renovating a house in the neighborhood, just two blocks from Adams High. He said it was OK to pull in next to the house and plug in and connect the hose, which I did.

The bus was remarkably easy to maneuver and so I drove into NE Portland, backed it in, plugged it in and connected the water. Hooray, I could now walk to school. It was very convenient. Betsy was in Eugene going to school and teaching little red necks in Coburn to read via the NRA bible which they loved because they had to pass the test to get their hunting licenses.

Something needs to be said here about Buster’s abilities to maintain warmth in cold weather. (BTW this is where we discovered the poltergeist dirty old bus driver, Buster, stealing and or hiding things, like my wife’s bra and my checkbook.)

The bus was warm in the winter due to a floor heater that would occasionally blow fuses. But that was not the main problem. The main problem in cold weather was that it wasn’t insulated. When it was a bus it had no reason to be and when it was my home no one had done anything to keep the warm in and the cold out. Consequently, the walls were cold, very cold.

One time Betsy was home for the holidays and she sat at the table sewing something with the sewing machine. There was snow outside so the temperature had to be below freezing. (This was the winter of 1972 and we had lots of cold weather. Fortunately for her the travel trailer she had in Eugene had insulation and its pipes were wrapped with electrical tape, and it may have even had a skirt around it to prevent pipes from freezing. The Silver Stream next door though newer and more expensive lost its water pipes in that winter weather.) Betsy had her gloves on while sewing and her coat on as well. The ceiling had frozen water from our breathing and boiling water for tea.

I don’t recall any frozen pipes on the bus, but the main problem was sleeping two to a bunk, not one up and one down, but two people in one bunk. The problem arose when one turned in one’s sleep and touched the cold wall with a bare butt. The shock was instantaneous and the person on the aisle side of the bunk was promptly drop kicked out of bed and on to the floor. Almost made a person want to sleep alone, but that was even colder.

There was a small house on the way to school that was for sale. They only wanted $11,000 for it with a $1,000 down. We wasted little time buying it and parking our bus next to it on the street. When Betsy finished her work at U of O, I used the bus to move the travel trailer back to Corvallis for the rest of my work at OSU. It was quite a sight with the bus pulling the travel trailer, like a circus coming to town. Betsy watched Watergate and I finished my course work for a Master’s in General Science, courtesy of the National Science Foundation.

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