In the mid 1970’s, my parents bought a motorhome made by the Superior company. My mother liked this model especially for its large windows. During the gas crunch of the 70’s, my father ripped out the unleaded engine and put in a noisy Cummins diesel engine, then ripped that one out and put in a quieter Isuzu. I saw most of the western United States in that motorhome. There were trips from Washington to Southern California, many to the great parks of Utah, and weekend getaways to Bountiful peak. Getting the six-wheel “Blue Goose” up a steep dirt road that overlooks fallen cars in crevices was a task my father seemed to relish.
One of the last trips I took with both my parents was to Bountiful peak to watch a lunar eclipse. The memory of my mother peering out the side window watching the earth’s shadow engulf the moon will stay with me forever. My parents’ dedication to showing their children the world is something that I have tried to pass on to my own.
I used the motorhome a few times for trips with my own family. Robin and I drove it to Roswell, New Mexico where I proposed to her. We camped in it a couple times after that. My younger sister used it for a season as a park ranger at Bryce Canyon. Then it languished in my father’s yard, a relic of a bygone era. He tried to list it in the paper, but found that even for $2000, nobody was interested in it. So it sat and collected pine needles year after year.
When I launched the campaign in 2005, my father’s gears started turning and it wasn’t long before he handed me sketches of the motorhome with banners and slogans painted on it. I laughed then, but it seemed like a natural fit. He offered to paint it himself, but I managed to convince him to wait.
March of this year brought lousy weather and a certainty that I was the sole Democrat running in this race. April had pending county conventions, so if I was going to use the motorhome, it had to be painted in March. With the help of many gracious volunteers, we laid down the design, scraped, cleaned, and painted. The first weekend had stunning results. It took a second weekend then much touch-up by my steady-handed wife to finish it off.
Most modern campaigns flush with cash will hire an ad agency and a vinyl printing company to “wrap” a bus, usually with an oversized picture of the candidates head, a bald-eagle, or both. It looks about as populist as the Taj Mahal on wheels. What I have been blessed with is transportation that represents this campaign to a tee and I’m thankful to everyone who helped make it happen.