By Heather Regula, Correspondent
The 2018 Bus Fest, originally called Transporters at the Point, now in its 15th year, drew over 70 campers and many curious Volkswagen enthusiasts to Oakmont Park, in Morgan’s Point Resort, this weekend.
“This deal starts years ago when Randy Dixon was the Morgan’s Point Resort Police Chief. I saw in the paper that the police department needed defibrillators, so I hosted a campout, and we raised money to help them out. We’ve continued the tradition over the years, and we donated $4,600 to the police department last year,” explained founder Paul Smith. “The City of Morgan’s Point is always so good to us. We take good care of the park while we are out here, and the city always looks out for us. This event is something that families look forward to all year long, and people travel from all over to attend Bus Fest!”
Saturday was day 31 on the road for Rick Lanning and Steve Lind, friends on a cross-country adventure in Lanning’s 1970 VW Riviera, affectionately named Mae Westie.
“I was a police officer in Prince George’s County, Maryland for 25 years and retired in 2011. Mae Westie was my retirement gift to myself, and she has been the best therapy ever – there’s nothing like climbing in your bus, turning the music up and hitting the open road,” remarked Lanning. “I wanted to take a trip in my bus from ocean to ocean, so we started in Ocean City, Maryland and drove all the way out to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco! We’ve driven close to 6,000 miles on this trip, and it’s been incredible. I’ve met the most amazing people on the road!”
Saturday morning featured the annual camp-wide Parrot and Flentge Memorial Breakfast, while the kid’s pinata and the highly competitive valve cover races were the highlights of the afternoon. A barbecue dinner and fundraising auction rounded off the evening. Monies raised from the Boys of Bus Fest calendar, tee shirts, and raffle tickets will be donated along with proceeds from the auction. The $30 camp fee included two tickets to the barbecue dinner. Blustery winds and some sporadic rain didn’t deter campers, and most stayed through Sunday.
Terry and Mary Hoad, of Austin, attended this weekend’s Bus Fest for the first time.
“We are here with our 1965 Type II Single Cab Transporter Bus. It was a barn find in upstate New York, near where I’m from. I go back there every summer to cool down, and I’ve admired this vehicle for many years – it just sat outside of a barn, and the owner wouldn’t sell it. Last time we were there, I drove by it and saw the for sale sign on the windshield, and I was thrilled,” stated Terry Hoad. “There was so much work that had to be done – the vehicle had no motor in it, and it wouldn’t even roll right because one of the back wheels was so messed up. I’ve been able to do a lot of the work myself, and I named her ‘Damn Yankee’ because I have busted my knuckles so many times while I’ve been working on her!”
Bill and Donna Harris drove up from Georgetown for the weekend in their 1965 VW 350 V8 bus, named “Buster.”
“We came up here for the day last year, and we promised ourselves that we would be back for the whole weekend this year, so here we are! I’ve owned Buster for about a year and a half – there’s a V8 Oldsmobile engine in there, so we cruise along just fine,” stated Bill Harris. “I had a 1963 split window bus and sold it a few years ago. I missed it almost as soon as I sold it, so I started looking for another bus – I found this one out in California. I’ve been working on cars all my life, and I do a lot of the work on Buster myself. My wife and I love VWs – she has a Beetle that she drives. This is a beautiful park, and we are happy to be part of Bus Fest this year!”
To get involved in next year’s Bus Fest, or to sponsor or donate items to the auction, contact event organizer Shirley Clark at email@example.com.