He also had a school bus. I am sure there are plenty of Perry Township residents who have great stories about riding Ed’s bus. He also was involved in owning multiple buses and had his wife and her sister drive for him.
Everyone who knew Ed has stories to share. Once a month I have a breakfast with some former and current bus drivers from Perry Township. I’m sure Ed will be the focus of several stories at our next breakfast.
Without much thought, I came up with a couple of stories about Ed. One of them involves him being in a men’s locker room and a conversation with another guy, but I don’t think that’s suitable for a family newspaper. Let’s go with this one.
Back in 2002 the Southside was hit by a bad tornado, and our neighborhood was in its path. We lost a few trees, but our house was undamaged. A few homes on the west end of our addition were destroyed.
The area was a mess for days as there was no electricity and streets were blocked with debris. There was a command post set up by the police and the National Guard. After residents proved their address, they were issued a pass that allowed them into the neighborhood. Our pass was checked at Banta and Derbyshire roads. As a former guardsman, I was please to see soldiers protecting our neighborhood.
My wife, Lyn, and I were home as the cleanup entered its third day. I heard my name being called from someone in our front yard. We walked out to find Ed Wetzel sitting in a golf cart. He explained that he was worried about us and had to check on us.
After exchanging tornado stories, I explained to Ed that Lyn and I were just about to leave to do some shopping and grab a bite to eat.
Lyn and I climbed into my truck and followed Ed to the checkpoint. It seemed like it was taking a long time for the guardsmen to check Ed’s paperwork and let him proceed. When I leaned out the window of my truck, I could hear the guardsmen and Ed shouting about looters. Then they looked back at us, at which time I started to get a bad feeling.
Ed was waved on, and the line started moving forward again.
As we pulled up to the checkpoint, we were approached by several guardsmen donning serious looks on their faces. The men peered inside the back windows of my truck and stepped away. One of them asked me if I knew the crazy man on the golf cart. He checked my paperwork, shook his head and waved me out to Banta Road.
Ed, we are going to miss you.