Oh man, it was a long time coming. I got pulled over in Ojai a little over a year ago after I was visiting Zhena’s Gypsy Tea headquarters. The officer told me that it was illegal to have a “school bus yellow” school bus in the state of California if it wasn’t operated by a school district (although it could be “lemon yellow” if I wanted). Fortunately, as I saw him dig into a law book, he could not find the specific law and he let me off with a warning. A year later another officer in Arcata told me that not only could I be fined, but my bus could be impounded. NO, not Edna Lu! The situation seemed dire. I needed to paint her.
I had gotten flaked out on for painting Edna by two different people who were supposed to help me with knowledge and equipment. Frustrations were high, but a new friend indeed stepped forward. His name is Ronnie. He’s a man with a whole lot of heart. He volunteered his time to get me over to his friend Brandon’s shop in Cloverdale, CA, where he paints everything from cars to heavy machinery. Since I already had prepped the bus for taping and painting, and bought the paint, we decided on a reasonable price for getting Edna sprayed.
That very same day Ronnie, Brandon, and I got down to business taping and washing with the help of Jim (who’s been a big help all the way since the beginning) and Jonathan (an anarchitect with similar passions). Taping her up was a relatively fast process in the beginning, but then it just seemed to drag on an on. Once she was taping and clean she was ready for a spraying. I left and came back after dinner to an incredible sight. Edna had been primered and the first layer of paint was getting put on. Wow!
The morning was like Christmas, with Jim and I tearing off all the tape and paper. Each piece brought us closer to the full picture. Once the bumper, mirrors, lights, and reflectors were back on, she looked like a charm. Wow, I didn’t even recognize her. She was so clean and shiny!
I still have to take off all the wheels and paint both sides of the rims (only the outsides are painted), as well as paint the stripes on the sides and the roof rack. I am also going to paint on some simple floral/gypsy stencils on a couple spots. Otherwise she’s done, and I am happy to have a legal makeover!
It takes a community of people to do this. Thanks so much to all the people who volunteered and put in their time to help give Edna a new look – one that will help make the bus more inviting to more people.