Back in the mid 1990s I enjoyed a part-time job driving a charter bus. I mainly took local trips to sporting events or concerts. I was assigned a trip to transport a group to a Buffett concert at what then was known as Deer Creek Music Center. These were generally fun and easy trips.
I was a bit concerned when I read my trip instructions. The pickup point seemed to be in a Westside neighborhood. I checked it out ahead of time in my car and discovered it was a narrow side street off of Washington Street. There was no place to park a 40-foot bus.
I tried getting in contact with someone at the phone number on the charter sheet but got no answer. So I showed up at the assigned time. A gentleman approached the bus and explained that they were ready to depart and it would be fine if we loaded where I was sitting.
He also explained to me that he was a police officer and he owned a small business that provided escorts for funerals. He told me that he was treating his employers to the concert.
Just as I thought we were ready to depart, the gentleman in charge started speaking on a handheld communication device. All of a sudden we were surrounded by about eight motorcycle policemen. I was informed that we would have an escort to the concert.
We traveled some city street then to the interstate. I was informed that we would exit the interstate and travel on some countryside roads to avoid traffic.
I found it difficult to keep tracks of all the motorcycles, which seemed to be everywhere as they were zipping in and out of traffic. I’m sure the families out in their yards were wondering what important celebrity was passing down their road.
We arrived at Deer Creek and were directed to a parking area near the stage, which only had a couple of buses and a motor home parked in it. This was nothing like the area that I was directed to in previous visits. Most of the passengers departed and went to their seats. A few remained on the bus to try to recover from their early partying before the trip began.
Because I still had passengers on the coach, I needed to remain nearby and provide any assistance they might need. The bus was almost totally surrounded by the motorcycles. We were quite a sight and lots of people were curious.
It came to my attention that all of the other vehicles parked around us were being used by Buffett, his band and crew. They were curious about our bus and the large motorcycle escort that we had.
I explained several times about my group and our trip from Downtown Indianapolis. I met Buffett and got a brief tour of his motor home. I was showed a great location from which to watch the concert.
Going to Cheeseburger in Paradise or seeing Buffett on television causes me to remember that interesting day, which always makes me smile.
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On Monday I watched on TV as fallen Boone County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Picket was transported from St. Vincent Hospital to the Marion County’s coroner’s office.
I’m sure that those motorcycle officers were serious about everything going smoothly to honor Pickett.
I felt a close connection to them as I was watching. I know they were having a rough morning.