The Norman Transcript

Headlines

February 2, 2013

Magic 1967 Volkswagen bus driving smiles all around Norman

NORMAN — When Harlan and Kelley Butler bought a 1967 Volkswagen Kombi bus in Waco, Texas, and brought it to Norman, they really didn’t know what they were getting into. The Hall Park couple and their Longfellow Middle School daughter knew it was a fun vehicle with an outlandish paint job. Even though the bus was over forty years old it started and ran OK. What they didn’t know was the seemingly magical effect it has on people. Everywhere they go random folks at filling stations and in parking lots are instantly attracted to the old VW.

The former owner tried to warn Butler that the questions, comments and requests for photos would never stop. “As I was driving slowly back from Texas with the bus on a trailer people in other vehicles were lagging alongside me on the interstate taking pictures with their phones,” he said. “I’ll take you for a ride in it and you’ll see.”

We’d driven a couple of blocks through their neighborhood in the bus just as two adult women were coming out of a home and onto the sidewalk. One lady looked at us driving by and immediately stuck out her hitchhiking thumb. Butler’s right. The bus is magic.

Recently he took the bus to a Veteran’s Day car show. A dozen biker dude vets in black leather pulled up on their Harleys.

“A 6 foot five guy with long hair came up and said ‘Man, I love this bus,’” Butler said. “The guy was about to cry and told me he’d lived in one just like it for two years after coming home from Viet Nam.”

The vet had traveled around California when his war was over and the bus was passport into the era’s hippie counterculture.

“He told me that bus had probably saved his life,” Butler said. “That’s one of the cool things about owning this.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Body 1 Police identify woman found dead Monday

    Norman police have identified a woman found dead in her home at 2202 Donna Drive Monday afternoon. Police responded at 1:25 p.m. to the residence of Cassandra Thompson, 30, after receiving a report that she had not shown up for work ...

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents speak out about document regarding shelter photos

    Norman and metro-area residents showed up in overwhelming numbers, many in red shirts, for an Animal Shelter Oversight Board meeting Monday night demanding for their opinions to be heard....

    July 29, 2014

  • Mixon’s attorney says athlete acted in self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense. “This past Friday morning, Joe Mixon found himself in a situation ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The dog days of summer are coming in with a whimper. Weather forecasters say a cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week....

    July 29, 2014

  • Be ready for ‘prolonged’ Gaza war, prime minister says

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Signaling an escalation of Israel’s Gaza operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis Monday to be ready for a “prolonged” war, and the military warned Palestinians in three large neighborhoods to ...

    July 29, 2014

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were ...

    July 29, 2014

  • County moves forward on nursing home bonds

    Cleveland County commissioners on Monday approved a resolution authoring a county trust to issue up to $15 million for a nursing home on the site of the former Whispering Pines nursing home at 501 E. Robinson St....

    July 29, 2014

  • Deal to improve health care costs $17B

    WASHINGTON — A bipartisan deal announced Monday would authorize about $17 billion to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat veterans and make it easier to fire executives at the Department of ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Little Axe Health Center hosting blood drive

    Norman-area blood donors this summer will not only save lives when they donate with Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI), they’ll also get “Feel Cool” T-shirts and two tickets to the Oklahoma City Zoo....

    July 29, 2014