We also went to Disneyland and an amazing restaurant. It was a wonderful couple of days; I am sure that none of us will ever forget that trip.
That was a busy time for me. I had attended a school bus contractors convention in New York City, where I met lots of people and made some good contacts.
A few months after the Rose Bowl, my dad and I came to an agreement with Perry Township Schools for the district to purchase our fleet of buses. This was going to increase the number of buses in their fleet, and my dad was going to be in charge of maintenance.
I made some calls to people I had met at the convention and soon had a new job with Community Bus Co., which operated more than 700 buses in Southern California. I had five months to get there.
The year before I had purchased a wrecked Econoline Ford delivery van. I had it repaired and painted and was driving it. It was only a couple of years old and was mechanically in great shape. I got my things together and headed west.
I wasn’t in a big hurry, and my path took me to visit friends in Austin, Texas. I also spent some time on Route 66 and slept in the desert one night.
I had already secured an apartment in Garden Grove, Calif. When I arrived I still had a couple of weeks before my job started. I made new friends, and some of them invited me to go with them to Disneyland (it was only about a mile from the apartments). I was told it was going to be a special evening of musical entertainment for local residents. And it was. We saw Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Dizzy Gillespie and other performers.
A couple of months later, I remembered that nice restaurant we had visited when we were in Pasadena for the Rose Bowl. I asked my friends if they had ever eaten there. No one had, but one of the gals said she would like to go, so we made a date.
I was planning on her driving because I only had my van. I asked her if we could use her car, but it was in the shop. We had to take the Econoline to the restaurant.
Young men rushed out to greet us as I pulled up. They opened both doors and helped us out. The guy on my side gave me a ticket before jumping into the van to park it.
The Hoosiers didn’t make it back to the Rose Bowl in 1969, but I was ready if they had.