Who is Captain Ted? How does he rate his own “page” (not just a post, although that’s what this is…) on this bus blog? Read on for the not so brief explanation.
After we found this bus and bought it, it went from Washington state to Las Vegas for some work to be finished that the seller agreed to take care of. It was there for about two months being gone over (supposedly) by Gary Bennet of B and B Coachworks. They are getting their own post soon.
During the time we found, looked at and bought the bus, I was in the middle of designing a book by Ted Boothroyd, The Gentlemen’s Game of Pink Ball Golf. It is basically a small rulebook or guidebook about not cheating in golf. Interesting that somebody has to write a book about this, but he did and it was published by Code Three Publications in Grand Junction, Colorado.
I knew Ted before this since he is a frequent contributor of articles and photos for The National Falcon News, the monthly magazine for the Falcon Club of America. He liked the look of the magazine and emailed me to see if I was interested in designing his book. I also knew from his articles that he is a retired Fire Captain for the city of Santa Rosa, California. Thus the title, Captain.
We got started in October of 2009 and the book was published in May 2010. It was an intensive project that we conducted completely through email exchanges and attached document corrections. Only toward the very end of the project did we even speak on the phone, but during that time, we became friends beyond work collaborators. I believe in Pink Ball Golf and we did our best to make it happen.
At some point, when it got closer and closer to having to pick up the bus and drive it home from Las Vegas, I asked Ted in an email, “If you can drive a fire truck, you can probably drive other big stuff too, right?” It turned out that after his career in the Fire Department, he went to work as a bus driver of MCIs on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Talk about fitting a big bus into tight spaces, he had it down.
So we started figuring out how he could help us learn to drive the bus. Being in Grand Junction, he said that if we could get the bus to Grand Junction (where he has a full RV hookup at his house!) he would take us through all the driving skills we would need to return home and have a solid foundation.
Great, now we just have to get ourselves to Grand Junction… In the bus.
One evening, enjoying a cocktail on our patio, Jim said, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could get somebody to come with us and teach us to drive?” We listed a few local possibilities and I finally said, “What about Ted?” Jim was all over that idea and I agreed to ask The Captain the very next day. Which I did.
I called him to ask him about this rather than emailing. I wanted to make our case appear as desperate and needy as possible. When I asked if he would meet us in Las Vegas and drive with us to GJ or even Denver through the mountains, he didn’t hesitate. He simply said Yes.
What a relief! Jim and I really felt that a very important piece of the puzzle was in place. When Ted and I talked further, he said, “I was worried about you guys driving yourselves for two days in a new bus with no experience.” I asked him why he didn’t say something, and his response was very interesting.
He said, “I don’t know Jim, and didn’t want to imply that he couldn’t drive the bus.” Like Jim would say, “I’m a macho man, I can drive my own stinking bus, thank you very much!”
I explained that Jim was nothing like that and would be a most humble and very thankful student, eager to learn. Which we both totally were.
We were picking up the bus on Memorial Day weekend, so hotel rooms in Las Vegas were hard to find and very expensive. Again, Captain Ted to the rescue. He and Ramona belong to Windmark, and he was able to get us a small apartment for two nights for like $60 for the three of us. Then, since he was flying in before us, he also took care of getting the rental car and arranged to pick us up at the airport, since our flight was delayed (of course) and we arrived about midnight. What a guy! We paid his costs, of course, but there is really no way to pay back that kind of friendship.
The bus inspection and sign-off went fine on Saturday, May 28, which happened to be Jim’s birthday. Ted had prepared us all kinds of materials relating to driving the bus, emphasis on safety first. He even prepared us a pre-trip checklist to sign off on a walk around the bus which we use every day we drive. He took us out on a practice run that day and we prepared to head to Grand Junction the next day. That evening we enjoyed an Italian speakeasy experience and got to know each other better. After all, we’re taking off IN. A. BUS the next morning!
I will post more about the drive home, but when we got to Grand Junction, we stayed with Ted and Ramona for the entire holiday weekend during which they hosted a lovely party for the launch of Ted’s book. See some photos of the Pink Ball Golf Launch Tour here.
During the time we spent with them, Ted and Ramona became our very good friends for life. We were so thankful to have Ted’s expertise, calm demeanor and thorough, clear explanations. Ramona was encouraging and really helped build our confidence. She even went along on our practice runs.
One of the reasons we got a bus in the first place is that although we have many good friends, they are very far flung throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. With a bus, we can more easily spend time with like-minded souls whose company we truly enjoy and cherish. The kind of true friends where you just pick back up with them no matter how long it’s been.
Ted and Ramona are right at the top of the list.