I can't say it enough.
First and foremost, thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you so much for the great wave of support. It's been a rough October and the financial situation of everyone has left us in a bind in terms of getting the bus up and running again in a timely fashion. What ended up happening is we have been subjected to the faith and goodwill of our community and, as a result, we were definitely NOT disappointed. A good amount of people, a national media outlet and one whole team threw themselves, their talents and a few bucks to our aid and I knew we couldn't disappoint.
A few choice emails and calls to contacts were tapped earlier this week to set Ben and me in the right direction for repair work. We stayed on the proper avenues and put in a long one on Wednesday to drive a crooked bus down to the far southwest side early in the morning rain to get it in line for a place that specifically cares for huge vehicle shocks. We were definitely in the right place behind a disassembled tractor and a trailer that was getting new bushings installed. We dropped the keys off and left our info with the mechanic, the moment of truth was approaching but it went out of our hands...
After the handoff, we biked it back up to do a full day's work in the loop. Well. I did. Ben had the day off. He had a day off that is hard to come by in his two job schedule. And he spent it focused around the bus...
Well, Ben has since gotten those keys back and the bus was connected at the other end! This job is done! Big shoutout to Southwest Springs down there at 85th and Pulaski. Dudes are legit. There's a great story that came out of it (Ben's always been one for the good stories) but the bottom line is they knew money was an issue so they kept it honest with us and got us rolling straight. Plus their follow-up to Ben's answer of the ever common 'what do you guys do with this thing?' was even amazing: "Oh... like that 7-Eleven team?" Love it.
Those tidbits aside, the real story amidst all of this stuff is how quickly and seriously people came to our side. I really can't say thanks enough for that. Those with names and addresses are getting lurked as you read this and should expect to have a little extra heckling and support for you come this Sunday and every damn Sunday from here on out. Stop by and have a dog or some Canadian bacon. Hop in the bus and thaw out a little bit, we'll have the portable heater going again with this damn chill sticking around.
For the record, that offer made just now is and always will be extended to anyone and everyone. The more the merrier.
As for the funds, the paypal donations should clear just in time to give us the boost we'll need to make up our due bus rent. Hopefully you won't mind, but we're also going to be getting on a little fundraiser work to build a little trust fund for the cruiser. I actually like to think of it as a "Bus-t fund" (you may commence with rolling your eyes.) It's a fund intended for a rainy day like this past Sunday or stuff to offset the rent and everyday upkeep. We'll be hoping to get things going in the very near future with some reasonably priced and delicious baked goods, possibly oat sodas and some nice new t-shirts.
Please keep posted for further details and, for the first of a million, let me say it: THANK YOU!