Family & Friends
By Jack Conrad, F72092
The Converted Coaches of the Eastern Area chapter kicked off the 2004 new year with its annual “Bussin'” Rally in Arcadia, Florida. This event has seen continual growth, and this year’s rally was no exception, with 198 coaches in attendance. Buses started rolling in on Monday, December 29. The rally was held at Horizon Coach in Arcadia, Florida. This is the second year that Horizon Coach has generously allowed us to use its facility for our rally.
Jack and Paula Conrad, F72092, hosted the rally with the help of some of the best volunteers in the world. Bill and Brenda Phelan, F234801, headed the parking committee and managed to get all the coaches parked with no delays. As each coach arrived, attendees were presented with a nice fabric goody bag courtesy of Alcoa Wheel Products, C9081. This bag included a sample of Alcoa’s new wheel polish along with all of the rally information.
Although the rally did not officially begin until Thursday, January 1, we enjoyed an impromptu New Year’s Eve party on Wednesday night, complete with a bluegrass/country music jam session. Thursday was the official arrival day, and that evening we gathered for an ice cream social/get-acquainted party.
Each day of the rally began with a breakfast of fresh-baked doughnuts, juice, and coffee. Friday was filled with seminars, although the morning seminar on fire safety had to be cancelled when Jack Conrad had to take Paula to the hospital. She was admitted overnight for observation. It seems that she was suffering from exhaustion. Fortunately, she was released on Saturday and returned to the rally, where she arrived to find a huge “Get Well” poster attached to the side of her bus.
Everyone enjoyed a catfish supper on Friday evening, courtesy of Prevost Car Inc., C632. Afterward, Ron and Sharon Frazier, F290435, put on an excellent gospel music show.
Saturday began with a seminar by Rich Luttfring, from International Bus & Parts, C5850, who explained the nuances of polishing buses. This was followed by a roundtable discussion with panel experts Luke Bonigura of U.S. Coach, as well as John Palmer, Howard Best, and George Myers. The panel answered questions from the audience about all aspects of bus conversions, including electrical systems, tires, preventive maintenance, and pre-trip safety checks. Questions were answered by the panel member with the most experience in that area. That afternoon, Jack Conrad gave the fire safety seminar.
Saturday evening, everyone enjoyed grilled chicken prepared by what has become the famous Bussin’ cookin’ crew: Alan Baker, F27226; Don Lindstrom, F14484; Dan Lindstrom, F310275; Jack Fahnestock, F5510; Steve Mann, F29252; Dale Warthan, F122783; and Les Vose, F278342. Members from the South East Cruisers chapter helped out by serving more than 400 people in approximately 30 minutes. After supper, drawings were held for door prizes and the 50/50 split-the-pot. Following these drawings, Jan Devereaux, F252631, announced that, in appreciation for all of the effort the Conrads have put into the Bussin’ rallies, they would be guests of the chapter at the annual Myrtle Beach rally in May. (The rally will take place from Saturday, May 15, through Friday, May 21, at the Myrtle Beach Travel Park.) It was now time for the entertainment. BusStop Bluegrass took the stage for a rousing bluegrass music show.
As at previous Bussin’ rallies, money left over after expenses was donated to a charity. This year’s recipient was the Sarasota Benevolent Firefighters Organization. The funds will be used for the non-medical expenses of a firefighter who works for the Sarasota County Fire Department. This firefighter contracted Guillain-Barre Syndrome and is still in a rehabilitation center. Although all bills and receipts had not been tabulated as of this writing, it appears that we will donate approximately $1,000 to his family.
“Bussin’ 2005” will be held at Horizon Coach in Arcadia, Florida, from Thursday, December 30, through Sunday, January 2, 2005. As in the past, early arrivals are permitted beginning on Monday, December 27.
B.C. Bus Nuts Couples Celebrate Fifty Golden Years
By Ruth Enns, F45602
In ’53 they took a vow to “honour and obey”
And somehow in those 50 years, it all came out okay,
Though sometimes bumpy was the road they walked along together
Life had its little ups and downs, somewhat like the weather.
Three couples who belong to the B.C. Bus Nuts chapter celebrated their golden wedding anniversaries last year: Walt and Ruth Enns, F45602; Harley and Renate Hegadoren, F71249; and Marj and Tom Kosiancic, F134290. All three couples have hosted rallies and kept up their interest in the B.C. Bus Nuts, a chapter for converted coach owners in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, as well as Washington and Oregon. Following are their stories.
Walt and Ruth Enns
Ruth met Walt when she began her teaching career in Armstrong, British Columbia. This was Walt’s hometown, where he was employed in the construction business. The courtship ultimately concluded in marriage in Vancouver, B.C., on August 15, 1953. They first resided in a small house in Burnaby, but later moved to Kitsilano, remodeled a house, and then built their own house.
After having two daughters, Ruth continued her teaching career with the Vancouver School Board. Walt was a partner in a construction business, and eventually became the sole owner.
The Enns family began camping with a used tent and equipment, and the Okanagan Valley was their usual destination. Then they upgraded to an 8-foot camper. Missing all of the “horse trading” in between, they went straight to converting an MCI 2 bus in 1983. Since then, the coach has been updated with a new interior, new paint job, and (their pride and joy) a new 6V92 turbo engine.
Walt and Ruth are charter members of the B.C. Bus Nuts and have served the chapter in various capacities, including president and secretary-treasurer, respectively. For these and other responsibilities, they were granted the honor of lifetime chapter membership.
Walt continues to repair and maintain things while Ruth has tried writing, quilting, crocheting, and genealogy. The latter has taken them as far afield as Ireland, Scotland, and Australia, including Tasmania. However, no matter where they go, they always wish they had their coach with them.
Their two daughters have become teachers and parents. The Ennses now have three grandsons and one granddaughter. The whole family spent a memorable weekend in Whistler, B.C., to celebrate Walt and Ruth’s 50th anniversary.
Harley and Renate Hegadoren
When Harley Hegadoren was stationed overseas with the Canadian Army in Hamelin (as in the “Pied Piper of”), Germany, his eye was drawn to an efficient fraulein, Renate Bahlmann, who was working in the mess. As their friendship grew, it became a courtship, and the two were wed in Germany on September 19, 1953.
After completing his tour of duty, Harley returned to Peterborough, Ontario, with Renate and their firstborn, Rita. After a short spell on “civvie street,” Harley decided to rejoin the military, this time the Royal Canadian Air Force. While Harley was stationed in Aylmer, Ontario, their daughter Glenda was born. The next posting in Hamilton added Glen and Harry to the happy crew. Future postings took the family to various locations around Canada and back to Germany. Harley retired in Kamloops, B.C., in 1975 and the Hegadorens settled at Paul Lake, just outside Kamloops. There they built their first house and Harley established his own plumbing and heating business.
While in Germany the family traveled extensively, first in a tent trailer and later a Volkswagen van. This was often a bit cramped with four teenagers and sometimes a Canadian grandma. However, they managed to visit Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, France, and Spain.
Harley’s first conversion project was a cute little yellow school bus. It served them well. In time, they upgraded to an MCI 7 bus, on which Harley labored, in addition to building yet another house at the lake. Renate, known as a meticulous housekeeper, has at times assisted Harley on some of his construction jobs.
Harley served a term as chapter vice president, and even got to conduct a meeting. We were grateful that he jumped in at the last moment!
The Hegadorens have nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, most of whom joined them for a special 50th anniversary dinner last September in Kamloops.
Tom and Marjorie Kosiancic
Tom Kosiancic and Marjorie Doerksen met in Nelson, B.C., when Marj joined Tom’s brother in visiting him in the hospital after an appendix operation. Seems Tom healed and, over the years, love bloomed. They were married in Nelson on September 12, 1953.
Tom worked for his dad, who owned a sawmill in Crescent Valley, operating a Caterpillar tractor and driving logging trucks. He later became a driver for Greyhound. Upon retirement, he had a record of 31 years of accident-free driving.
Being a handy sort of guy, Tom literally built their first home from trees he cut down and hauled to the mill, where he sawed them into lumber. He made his own furnace, and wired and plumbed his own house with help from his brothers and “how to” books. He rose to the occasion again some years later and built a summer log cabin.
Meanwhile, Marj raised three girls and two boys. The couple now has 11 grandchildren. All this time, Marj has honed her skills in the kitchen and elsewhere. She is a very creative cook, and can turn her hand to many crafts: sewing, knitting, and crocheting, among others. She also spent almost 40 years doing volunteer work for the Girl Guides of Canada. An admirable record, indeed.
It’s no surprise that Tom took on the job of converting an MCI 7 bus to a motorhome. His experience and skills proved invaluable, and the end results were amazing. He has a coach to be proud of. And the B.C. Bus Nuts are fortunate that Marj has served two terms as secretary-treasurer and Tom has served as president. They both did a good job for us.
The Kosiancics celebrated 50 years of marriage at their home in Bradner, where 93 relatives and guests joined in the occasion.
The common denominator with all three couples appears to be hard work, an aptitude for building, and togetherness. Perhaps this is the formula for longevity in marriage?
Long may they travel on in life
Enjoy good health, be free from strife!
Celebrating the 50th “” with a $50
Nine couples from the Orange Blossom Special chapter, married 50 years or more, received framed certificates with a $50 bill in the center. So far, at least 13 couples in the Orange Blossom Special chapter have been honored in this fashion. Chapter membership chairman Jay Markley, F148949, wrote that chapter members consider it to be a worthy method of reducing excess money in the chapter treasury.